Monday, June 10, 2013

Bacon and Three Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

It's no secret that appetizers and cocktails have made the foodie world go gaga over itself.  I will readilly admit, I've gotten sucked into the cortex of pairing wines and the occasional cocktail with small plates and appetizers.  I even have tried my hand at tapas - time consuming, but worth every moment, to be honest.

One of my tried and true favorites is stuffed mushrooms.  One of the easiest and most versatile appetizers I've made, stuffed mushrooms lends itself well to a great many flavors and I like that I can make loads of variations depending on what I have on hand at the time.  This time, I had the usual cream cheese and sour cream to make the base of the stuffing, but was out of breadcrumbs....and a little too lazy to make them myself.  Oh, and I happened to have some extra Italian sausage and a few strips of cooked bacon on hand.  That's when things started to get interesting.  And my interesting, I mean yummy.  Very yummy.

When making stuffed mushrooms, feel free to use whatever you happen to have on hand.  Below the recipe are some easy variations you can try.

16-18 white button mushrooms, stems removed ($1.00)
3 oz.cream cheese (free after coupons)
3 T. sour cream ($.10)
2 cloves garlic, minced ($.05)
1 tsp. basil ($.05)
1 T. fat-free Italian salad dressing (free after coupons)
1/2 tsp. each: pepper, salt, and oregano ($.05)
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika ($.05)
1/2 link hot Italian sausage, chopped fine ($.25)
2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped fine ($.25)
3 T. parmesan cheese ($.15)
1/8 C. shredded brick cheese ($.25)

Combine all ingredients except mushrooms and brick cheese in a bowl - mixing until well combined.
Fill mushroom caps with cheese mixture and top with shredded brick cheese.

Place filled mushrooms in a medium sized baking dish, lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is golden and mushrooms are tender.

Yields: 16-18 appetizers
Cost: $2.20
Cost per appetizer: $.14

Possible substitutions:
For the herbs:
Use Italian seasoning, house seasoning blend, BBQ seasoning, garlic and herb seasoning blends, or even some minced fresh rosemary and basil.

For the cheese:
I like a cheese that melts well, so provolone, mozzarella, munster, colby jack and even gouda are fun pairings.  You can use an Italian cheese blend, Mexican cheese blend, or a mild cheddar, for some bold variations.

For the sausage and bacon:
Poultry works amazingly well here.  Think roasted chicken, chicken sausage, roasted turkey, or leftover grilled chicken.  If you like pork, using some leftover ham gives tons of smoky, sweet flavor and pork sausage (of any variety) can really punch up the dish.  If you are a seafood lover, feel free to add in whatever strikes yout fancy, from shrimp and scallops to crab - it's all good here.

No comments:

Post a Comment