I’ve never posted a recipe before, but in the spirit of adventure thought I’d branch out a little! I’ve always been a casual chef, cooking throughout undergrad and before I moved to Aberdeen a few months ago, but typically stuck to a few tried and true recipes. However, this is the first time I haven’t held a job and studied at the same time in who knows how long, so I’ve got extra time on my hands. Add in my attempts to consume enough protein and a lovely boyfriend who enjoys culinary experimentation as much as I do, and I’ve had some extra inspiration in the kitchen as of late.
This stuffed mushrooms recipe is loosely based on a starter one of my friends made for me at the start of my time in Aberdeen. Before I get too far into it, let me be clear: I’m not a fan of mushrooms. Ever since my grandmother and I got into a battle of wills over a mound of the chewy, flavourless things on my plate fifteen years ago (I lost spectacularly, finally conceding a bite of them once they’d cooled for two hours while I was prohibited from leaving the table), I’ve had a particular dislike for the fungus. So when my friend whipped these bad boys out of the oven—I was banned from the kitchen while he cooked—I. Was. Scared. How did I get around eating these without making a face? Would I be ill in front of my friends? Or worse, offend them? Was it possible to hide the caps under my sofa cushions and dispose of them later? Did I shove them in my socks? WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?!
But, I’m a grown woman (yes really) and decided I would take the mature route: I downed my glass of chardonnay and ate the mushrooms. Clearly I didn’t die, as I’m writing this a few months later, and dare I say I actually enjoyed them? Because I did. The mushroom caps were barely crisped on the outside, giving way to a chewy centre, and the creamy filling, with a goats cheese base, tied it all together. I adjusted the recipe a bit to add protein and reduce fat, but have noted what I changed so you can experiment as you wish!
Things to bear in mind when cooking mushrooms, as I learned from experience and from the lovely people at Bon Appetit
- Mushrooms are incredibly absorbent—consider them the sponges of the forest (sorry moss)—so when cleaning them, go with a damp paper towel or cloth rather than running them under water
- Going off the absorbency issue, when cooking mushrooms will release some of their moisture. Some will evaporate with the heat from the oven, but a lot will stay on the tray. Be careful not to spill this on you when pulling the tray out of the oven (I use a paper towel to absorb a lot of the excess water, since I have a clumsy streak and will scald myself with mushroom juice otherwise)
- Don’t crowd your mushrooms! Spacing them out on the tray gives the liquid more space to evaporate and keeps you from inadvertently steaming them
So put on your chef’s hat and get stuffing! They’re great for starters or served alongside a main dish—I paired mine with a lemon-pepper chicken and leftover spinach. Or, if you have a favourite stuffed mushroom recipe, let me know below!