Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

There is so much that can be said about this recipe that I don't totally know where to start.  I have been making this (and versions of this) for years; it is requested at almost all holiday functions I attend (both sides of the family); it is an amazing appetizer to fit any number of occasions  it has lots of ingredients, but isn't hard to make.... and I could go on, but I'll stop because I think you get my point.

This recipe (or what I remember of the original recipe) dates back to my waitressing days in a small northern Wisconsin hamlet we know as Tomahawk.  Most shifts were full of busy service, comical regulars and a crazy cook, who would fall down on occasion...and I mean, literally fall down, until one year when we got different matts by the fryers.

That crazy cook could really pump out some good food, and one of the things she made was crab stuffed mushrooms.  A few days a week, she would bust out the cream cheese and a ton of spices and go to work on compiling some of the tastiest stuff mushrooms ever!  I don't know if there was an actual recipe because there were never measurements of ingredients, just eye-balling and taste testing until it was right.

My recipe is an adaptation of what I remember from those days (more years ago now than I would like to admit) and trial and error over the years.  Like the restaurant folk, I do not measure, but will give you as close to accurate as possible for checking this out.  As, this wonderfully creamy stuffing can be used not only for mushrooms, but for stuffing a thick piece of cod fish and broiling in butter with herbed breadcrumbs on top....

OK!  That's it!  I'm officially hungry!  ENJOY!!!

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:
  • 24 large button mushrooms or baby portabella mushrooms, rinsed, and de-stemmed.  Save half of the stems.  Make sure to grab packages that have larger mushrooms, they will shrink up while baking.
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup flaked cooked crab meat or imitation crab
  • 2 stalks finely chopped green onion
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp lemon pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp dried Basil or 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 Tbls fresh squeezed lemon, separated
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup grated cheddar cheese
  • butter
  • white wine
  • Pinch Salt

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Using a damp flour sack towel or paper towel, de-stem and clean the mushrooms.  As you are cleaning, arrange them in a 9x13 glass or ceramic casserole dish (do not use metal).  Reserve 1/2 of the stems and throw the rest away. 
  • Prep your ingredients: Chop the mushroom stems, flake crab meat, and chop green onion.
  • Combine cream cheese, crab meat, chopped green onion, Worcestershire sauce, all of the spices and 1/2 Tbls fresh squeezed lemon juice, in a large bowl and stir together until everything is well blended together.  Taste and add salt or pepper if necessary.
  • Generously spoon crab meat/cream cheese mixture into mushroom tops until all are filled.  Combine Parmesan and cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the top of the stuffing.
  • Sliver little bits of butter in about 4 spots around the mushrooms.  Pour rest of lemon juice in the bottom and add a little bit of white wine to bottom, being careful not to add too much because the mushrooms will sweat out plenty of moisture while they cook.
  • Bake in the 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until tops are golden.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly and serve!

Happy Stuffing!!!

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