Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Nick's Stuffed Mushrooms
That'll be stuffed deep-fried mushrooms, to you folks!
I used to go to a bar-restaurant called Pacific Fresh in Alameda, California, after my racquetball marathons (which now have given me arthritis in my right elbow) and I used to have what I think they called "poppers" -- breaded, deep-fried mushrooms with a buttermilk-based dip. Man, I could eat a thousand of them.
But now that I think about it, they weren't stuffed with anything. They were too small. But that's why they were called poppers -- you *carefully* popped them in your mouth after dipping them. You could get quite a scalded roof-of-mouth if you weren't careful.
But I decided to make these, except stuff them at the same time.
Don't go nuts. Plan for about three mushrooms for everyone there. It's not dinner. But no doubt there will be a pig present, so plan on an extra two for him.
LET'S SAY TWELVE medium cremini mushrooms, about 1.5 inches wide.
They pack them cunningly so you can't see the undersides, but ideally you'd get them with none of the inside brown ribs showing. No holes, just unbroken mushroom throughout.
Boursin cheese of choice (Rondele will work)
Ham, chopped fine
Shallots, chopped fine
Stems of mushrooms (see below) chopped fine
Japanese Panko (breadcrumbs)
Sauté the shallots, ham and the chopped stems in butter until done, approximately five minutes.
Mix in with entire container of Boursin to form a creamy paste.
Fill the empty mushrooms with the Boursin mix, level with the bottoms.
IMPORTANT: FREEZE MUSHROOMS FOR THREE HOURS at this stage. This will prevent the filling spewing forth the moment it's put in the hot oil.
Heat at least two inches of oil on medium/hot -- about 5 o'clock on most ovens, until a drop of water sizzles.
Enter frozen mushrooms slowly, maybe four at a time, turning occasionally. When they're golden brown, remove with spider and place in paper towels. Do next batch until finished. If not eating right away, place on baking tray at 150• uncovered,
Serve with dip of choice.