Have you ever eaten a stuffed mushroom cap and found the mushroom to be watery and almost mushy?
I am obsessed with mushrooms in just about every form. They are amazing when raw in salads, and I love them sautéed in some butter until brown, as well as pureed into a creamy mushroom soup .
There was always one particular way of eating mushrooms that I did not enjoy: stuffed mushroom caps.
I have ordered them at restaurants as an appetizer, excited to try their mushroom caps stuffed with crab, or cheeses, or something that sounds scrumptious. Unfortunately I was always very disappointed in how mushy and watery the mushrooms were.
Mushrooms, as delicious as they are, tend to release a lot of water into whatever you cook them with. This is why stuffed mushrooms tend to be such a watery, mushy mess.
About a year ago I made Gluten-free Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Fennel and Sage. They were everything I always dreamed a stuffed mushroom should be.
The filling was rich and creamy while the mushroom cap was tender, hearty, and anything but mushy and watery.
So, how do we achieve these non-watery, non-mushy mushroom caps, you ask?
Simple: you pre-roast the mushrooms in the oven before stuffing them. This extra little step makes all the difference in the world because it releases a ton of the moisture from the mushroom caps.
So much liquid is released that the mushroom caps almost look like mini-swimming pools.
The result is what I consider to be the base of the perfect mushroom cap. From here you could stuff it with anything that you fancy.
This time I stuffed these little dudes with earthy, poppy quinoa and creamy, salty melted goat cheese. I topped them with some sweet, sticky caramelized shallots.
I ask you, is there any better combo in the world than mushrooms, goat cheese, and caramelized shallots? I think not!
Simple, yet elegant. These little dudes are perfect for an appetizer at any party or gathering!
Here’s to bidding adieu to watery mushroom caps, for good!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 shallots, cut into thin rings and separated
- Sea salt
- 18 to 20 medium to large mushrooms, wiped clean (I used baby Bellas)
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- ¼ teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper
- ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium low heat. Melt butter and add the shallots. Sprinkle with salt and stir occasionally. Cook on low heat until the shallots have browned, are caramelized, and have reduced by half their size. This process will take about 20 to 30 minutes. Don’t try to rush them by turning up the heat or they will burn. They are well worth the wait. When the shallots are caramelized, remove them from the heat immediately and set aside.
- Meanwhile while the shallots are cooking, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the stems from each mushroom by wiggling the stem until the mushroom pops out. Place all of the mushroom caps onto the baking sheet. Add the 2 tablespoons grape seed oil and ¼ teaspoon each of sea salt and pepper. Stir until seasonings are well combined and the mushrooms coated.
- Arrange all of the mushrooms gill side up. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. You will notice that a lot of liquid has released into the mushroom cavity. Getting the liquid to release now prevents the mushrooms from becoming mushy and watery when they are stuffed.
- Flip the mushroom caps over, gill side down and roast for another 10 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, combine the quinoa and water into a small saucepot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. The water should be mostly absorbed and the quinoa should still have a nice bite to it.
- Reduce the heat to low and melt the teaspoon of butter. Add the goat cheese and stir to thoroughly melt it. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Fill the cavities of the mushrooms with about a teaspoon of the quinoa and goat cheese mixture. Return the mushrooms to the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are heated through.
- Top the each stuffed mushroom with a few caramelized shallots. Serve Immediately.