Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Snow-Capped Stuffed Mushrooms for Ski Weekends

Make-aheads meals are the skiing cook's best friend.  These hearty sausage-stuffed mushrooms satisfy big appetites after a day on the slopes and can be made using smaller mushrooms for excellent apres ski hors d'ourvres.  The "snow" cap is a sour cream-roux that creates a lush sauce for each mushroom.  Diced jalepeño or freshly chopped herbs contribute a touch of greenery. 

Serve 2-3 medium large mushroom to each diner as a main course with a side of pasta or pair the mushrooms with green beans and mashed turnips.  Make smaller ones to put out a bountiful platterful to sample with a limited edition, specialty winter beer shared with friends.

You can make Snow-Capped Stuffed Mushrooms ahead and store them uncooked or cooked for 2-3 days. Either way, the sausage filling is cooked before it is goes into the mushroom so you have a safe, easily transported dish.  Keep the dish cold if traveling (to a ski house, for example) and refrigerate until ready to bake and serve piping hot.

Snow Capped Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 4 (or 12 as hot hors d'ouvres)

Ingredients
12 medium mushroom (1 1/2 to 2 inch diameter) or 1 pound small Bella mushrooms
1 pound breakfast sausage
4 ounces cheddar cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano

Sour Cream 'Snow' Topping
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1 jalepeño, seeded and diced or fresh herbs (marjoram, chives, parsley)

Method
  1. If baking mushrooms now, preheat oven to 400˚F. 
  2. Saute breakfast sausage in a wide skillet over medium heat.  Drain any fat.  Place drained, cooked sausage meat in a medium sized bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  3. While sausage cooks, prepare mushroom caps.  Wipe away any dirt on the mushrooms.  remove stem and if using larger mushrooms, use a spoon to scrape out the gills.  Place mushroom caps in a lightly oiled foil-covered baking pan and set aside.
  4. Grate cheddar cheese.  When meat is cool enough to touch it without burning yourself but it is still warm, add cheeses and oregano.  Stir with a wide spoon or spatula to mix thoroughly. 
  5. Fill mushrooms caps generously using a spoon and/or your hands to form round tops. Place on prepared baking pan.  If making ahead, stop at this point and cover dish with aluminum foil.  refrigerate until ready to bake, up to 2 days.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400˚F.
  7. Bake mushrooms for 10-15 minutes, longer if mushrooms have been refrigerated.  
  8. While mushrooms bake, make sour cream 'snow' topping.  Mix sour cream and flour.  Add jalepeños or herbs.  Top each mushroom with a dollop of 'snow' and return to oven for another 6-8 minutes.  Let cool a minute before removing from baking dish to serve.
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