Friday, January 6, 2012

Creamy Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

I love making stuffed mushrooms all kinds of different ways!  Mushrooms rock!  Usually I do a crab-cheese-breadcrumb stuffing, but last night we had some leftover spinach in the freezer and I was thinking of going a little creamy with it.  I've tried doing creamy stuffed 'shrooms before using cream cheese, but I didn't really care for the way it came out... a little too rich and stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth. Thinking there must be a better way, I tried a bechamel and cheese sauce and I loved how these came out!  They might even be better than the crab stuffed 'shrooms!  Oh man... now I'll have to try making crab and spinach stuffed mushrooms using this recipe!!!

How about a little Face to Face doing a cover of Popeye!  Eats your spinach!  -jen

Time:  20 prep, 20 baking
Serves: 5-7
Difficulty: Easier than Pie!
  • 12-15 large white mushrooms, cleaned
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1.5 cups shredded Fontina cheese
  • 1.5 cups frozen spinach, thawed (squeeze all the juice out!  Do it!)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil (love having the AeroGarden!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs 
  • non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Using your hands, gently tug the mushroom stems away from the caps, careful not to break the caps, and dice the stems finely.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over a medium-high heat and saute the mushroom stems, diced shallots and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 minutes.  Quickly pour in the milk and whisk to remove all lumps.  Continue whisking until sauce becomes thick, another 3-5 minutes.  Add the cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste (I think I used about a teaspoon of salt and probably 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper.)

Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and add about 1/2 of the shredded Fontina, stirring until the cheese is entirely melted.  Stir in the spinach and the basil until entirely incorporated, then add the remainder of the cheese and set aside.

In a small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave.  Add the Panko to the melted butter and toss until entirely coated.

Spoon the spinach mixture into the mushroom caps.  Since the mixture is creamy, you don't want to go too far over the top of the cap or it will just ooze and melt when you bake it.  Top each mushroom with a generous portion of bread crumbs, gently pushing the crumbs into the spinach mixture.  Place mushrooms on the prepared baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until breadcrumbs are golden brown.

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