Recently I made stuffed mushrooms for a dinner party and I’d forgotten how quickly they disappear at the appetizer table. For this particular dinner I made the mushrooms without crab because I was serving a rich, heavy meal. My guests said the mushrooms were so flavorful they didn’t miss the crab, which I thought to be the case but I was pleased to hear it from my guests! Serve these “shrooms” with forks and small plates because they deliver far more in melted cheese, bacon and herbs than the average finger food tidbit.
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
20 fresh mushrooms, large size
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
12 to 14 saltine crackers, finely crushed (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons crumbled bacon
1/2 cup fresh crab meat, coarsely chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°. Remove stems from mushroom caps. Finely chop enough stems to measure 1/3 to 1/2 cup; set aside.
Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add chopped mushroom stems, onions, red pepper flakes, Italian herbs and garlic powder. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Mix cracker crumbs, Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon together in a large bowl; add sautéed mixture and thoroughly toss. Stir in crab meat or shrimp, if desired.
Spoon filling mixture into mushroom caps mounding as high as possible. Garnish with a small piece of parsley before or after baking. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until completely cooked. Yield: 20 stuffed mushrooms
Cook’s Note: These mushrooms are equally as tasty without the crab. As a time-saver, mushrooms can be stuffed in advance, covered and refrigerated until ready to bake.