Improvisation at its finest

I love Mushrooms

2 portobello mushrooms, destemed and cleaned (save stems for filling

4 tbsp cream cheese

2-3 tbsp Boursin herbs cheese

One small onion, diced

1/4 c shredded mozz

1/8 c panko

Handful of spinach

Shredded cheese to top

There is an Amish farmer’s market near where my parents live and this morning, as in 7:30 am, we got into a car and drove 30 minutes to this beautiful little indoor market. You walk in, and are immediately hit with the smell of fresh pretzels and then the bakery section wafts over to you. Basically if you enjoy the smell of carbs, this is the place for you. We checked out the produce section first, and as I was browsing, I saw they had portobello mushrooms. And… they were ridiculously inexpensive. Now, on any given day, I could be convinced to be a vegetarian (if I didn’t love bacon or burgers or cheesesteaks so much). And I love mushrooms in any form, but the fact that these portobello mushrooms were so affordable, I had to get them. I just got a package of two, since it would just be my mother and me eating them. I didn’t know exactly what I would do with them, but I could get creative.

We got home and I immediately went on a scavenger hunt through the fridge. I basically decided that we were going to stuff these mushrooms with as many forms of dairy as possible–completely rational, right?

I found cream cheese, Boursin herbs and chives cheese, shredded mozzarella, horseradish and bacon cheddar, onion, spinach, garlic, butter, and microwave bacon. So go on this journey of me recreating Remy’s chef process from Ratatouille: just throw stuff together until it smells and tastes like a symphony in your mouth. I sautéed the onions and garlic with a little butter until the onions were translucent, then added the mushroom stems from the portobellos (chopped). Once that was softened, I threw in the fresh spinach and let it wilt down. I removed that from the heat and let it cool down a little before throwing it into my mixing bowl that had the cream cheese and boursin in it already. As soon as that was thoroughly mixed through, I added in some shredded mozzarella and some panko breadcrumbs to help bind it all together. I cooked the bacon according to package directions, then took my kitchen scissors and snipped it into small crumbles. Mixed it all together into the filling, then topped my portobello mushroom caps (which had been washed and cleaned out). Finally, I shredded the horseradish bacon cheddar cheese and topped the mushrooms with this to help seal the cheese filling on the mushroom.

These mushroom caps went onto a lined baking sheet at 350 for 15 minutes. In the last 3 minutes, I turned on the broiler to help get a little browning action on the cheese.  

I kid you not, these mushrooms were the most delicious thing I’ve had in a long time.  Now, for added bonus, my mom had the crazy but brilliant idea to try a little of the Jalapeno Raspberry jam we’d picked up at the markets back at Christmas.  It’s sweet and has a little heat at the end and just putting a little dab on a bite of that mushroom was this gorgeous effect of sweet heat cutting through the rich creaminess of the cheese filling.  

There would be so many variations you could do on this–if you’re vegetarian, take out the bacon and add maybe another veggie like broccoli or bell peppers or even fresh jalapeno peppers. If you’re lactose sensitive or vegan, there are so many delicious dairy free cheese substitutes you could try out here. If you’re gluten sensitive, remove the panko from the filling. Maybe add a rice or couscous kind of starch. And, heaven forbid you don’t love mushrooms, you could totally do this to a twice baked potato! The possibilities are endless!

Finished product!
Gorgeous cross section
That jam was a culinary revelation!

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