How has the week been treating you?
Are you in the holiday spirit and baking up a storm?
Is your house decked out with all things twinkly and bright?
Up until this weekend our house had one Christmas decoration, a Santa hat gracing the head of our fat chef man on our kitchen island. But, my mother in law, being the fabulous woman that she is, brought us over the cutest little lady reindeer in a festive-Christmasy tutu.
So now we have two decorations. And that is it. Womp-womp, I know. But, we have had a lot going on.
And today I am flying to Orlando to attend my grandmother’s funeral. My entire family is flying in for the occasion, so while it will be wonderful to see everyone, the reason for us all gathering together isn’t a cheery one.
But, I’m hoping when I get back home on Sunday night, I can find a way to turn my Scrooge outlook into something more festive and cheery.
Since I have a bag to pack and a plane to catch I am going to stop rambling and get down to today’s delicious business. Goat Cheese, Spinach & Bacon Stuffed ‘Shrooms.
First of all, I want you to know that these stuffed mushrooms are legit and seriously scrumptious. How do I know? Well, I devoured them… and I happen not to be a huge lover of mushrooms. So, if I ate two-thirds of these bad boys, then you know they are divine.
These stuffed ‘shrooms are meaty, cheesy, creamy, earthy and salty. They have the perfect amount of popeye-spinachy-scrumptiousness and oink-oink-bacony-lovin’.
Aside from them tasting down right delicious, they couldn’t be any easier to prepare. Simply sauté the mushrooms, mix together the filling, stuff and bake until warmed throughout. Done and done. The ease of these preparing these bite sized stuffed ‘shrooms, along with their delicious taste, make them a perfect appetizer for all your holiday shindigs… or just for appetizer night at your house.
Baby bella mushrooms stuffed with spinach, bacon, goat cheese and lightly baked to warm perfection!
- ½ Pound Bacon – small dice
- 1 Cup Yellow Onion – finely diced (about 1 small onion)
- ¾ tsp Kosher Salt , divided
- ½ tsp Pepper , divided
- 8 oz Goat Cheese – room temperature
- 2 TBS Heavy Cream
- ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 (9 oz.) Package Frozen Chopped Spinach – thawed
- 18 Baby Bella or Cremini Mushrooms* - stems removed and cleaned with a damp paper towel
- Parmesan Cheese – shredded, to taste
- Panko Bread Crumbs , to taste
- Cook Bacon: Add bacon to a COLD cast iron skillet (or nonstick skillet) and place skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy and fat has rendered, about 11-15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon to paper towel lined plate and set aside. Pour all but one tablespoon of bacon fat into a small container and set aside.
- Add onion to bacon drippings in the pan season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon (reserving bacon grease) to transfer the onion to a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in the drained bacon. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile: Remove moisture from spinach by placing it in a large tea towel, kitchen towel, or paper towels and squeeze until spinach is mostly dry. Add to the bowl of onion and bacon along with the goat cheese, cream, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Cook the Mushrooms: Heat the cast iron skillet, with reserved bacon grease, over medium heat. (You want about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the skillet. If the skillet looks dry, add extra virgin olive oil). Add half of the mushrooms and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, flipping once, until tender and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, cavity side facing down. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and repeat with remaining mushrooms, salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Assemble and Bake Mushrooms: Transfer drained mushrooms, cavity side up, to the prepared baking sheet. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach/bacon filling in the cavity of each mushroom. Top with parmesan cheese and panko. Bake until stuffed mushrooms are warmed, 5-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
*Yield: about 36 stuffed mushrooms
*Look for Mushrooms that are uniform in size and slightly larger than bite size, as they will shrink when cooked.
*Spinach and bacon filling can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Prepare stuffed mushrooms as directed.
*Recipe adapted from “Cocktail Food” by Barber, Whiteford and Narlock.
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