Guest Post: Holiday Stuffing-Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms by Devour & Conquer

We're excited to welcome Gwen of Devour & Conquer to our kitchen! Gwen is a first-time guest, but is certainly making her mark on holiday season with this delicious stuffed mushroom recipe. Impress your guests and let mushrooms be the star of your festive table. 

Happy Holidays, mushroom lovers! My name is Gwen Wright and I am a freelance writer from the west coast of British Columbia, sharing stories of my foodie adventures on my blog Devour & Conquer. I’m an avid cooking adventurer and newbie urban gardener, and enjoy creating new recipes from the harvest of my backyard and fresh ingredients grown across Canada. In my leisure time, I hike and forage for wild food in the Vancouver Island rainforests and play beach volleyball in the largest beach league in British Columbia on Parksville Beach.


I’m thrilled to be writing this guest post for Mushrooms Canada as my on-going affection for mushrooms started as a childhood curiosity and grew to a passionate cooking love affair. As a child, I lived close to one of the many cultivated mushroom growing farms in rural Ontario, and loved hearing the mushroom farmer’s stories about their work. As an adult, I taught myself how to cook the wide variety of cultivated Canadian mushrooms grown by those talented mushroom farmers, then learned to forage for wild edible mushrooms in the forests near my new west coast home.

When using cultivated mushrooms in my cooking, I often go for the biggest of the bunch, the meaty and luscious Portabella. This largest member of the brown mushroom family is a wonderful meat substitute or Blend & Extend recipe-stretching option, as low-calorie Portabellas fill out a meal with extra heartiness, texture and flavour and no added fat or cholesterol.


I wanted to find a fun and different way to bring Portabella mushrooms into the coming season of good eating, and have created an eye-catching Holiday Stuffing-Stuffed Portabella recipe to bring some mushroom goodness to your festive table. This recipe calls for dry-cured chorizo sausage and fresh sage and bakes crispy and golden brown on top, while the Portabella mushroom keeps the stuffing moist and flavours it from below. The baked mushrooms become an edible serving ‘cup’ which can be left whole, or sliced into halves or quarters for larger groups and buffet-style dinners.


Holiday Stuffing-Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 45 minutes | Makes 8 stuffed mushrooms

Ingredients
8 large Portabella mushrooms, stems on
8 cups bread, cubed into small squares
1 dry-cured chorizo sausage link, casing removed and fine chopped
1 onion, fine diced
1 celery stalk, fine diced
2 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh sage, fine chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt & ½ teaspoon black pepper
Optional garnish ingredients: sage leaves, fresh cranberries and toothpicks.

Method
Begin by toasting your bread cubes in the oven on a baking sheet at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl to cool. After toasting, turn oven up to 350 to preheat for baking. While bread cubes are toasting, fine dice the onion, celery and chorizo sausage. Clean the portabellas caps with a paper towel, then remove the stems and fine dice them along with the fresh sage leaves. Set aside.

Sauté the diced chorizo in a dry pan on medium heat until it begins to crisp and release its delicious, paprika-scented oil. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool, leaving the oil in the pan. Add the onion, celery, salt and pepper to the pan and cook in the chorizo oil until softened. Add the diced mushroom stems and chopped sage and sauté until cooked.

Add the vegetables and sausage to the bread cubes bowl. Whisk the two eggs and ½ cup of milk together in a small bowl, then pour over the stuffing mixture and stir until fully combined. Add the chicken stock slowly and use only enough to fully moisten the bread cubes.

Set the portabella caps on a greased baking sheet, tops down, and sprinkle the insides with a dash of sea salt. Scoop out balls of the stuffing mixture and fill the mushroom caps, smoothing the tops of the stuffing into rounded domes. Spray or brush stuffing with a little vegetable oil to encourage browning and crisping.

Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm. If dividing into halves or quarters, let the stuffing cool and set for 10 minutes before slicing.

Garnish: To make a festive garnish to top your stuffing-stuffed portabellas, skewer two sage leaves with a toothpick, then add a fresh cranberry.

To create a meat-free version of this stuffing, omit the chorizo and add one extra cup of fine-chopped Portabella, Crimini or Button mushrooms to your vegetable mix. Sauté vegetables in 1 tablespoon canola oil and use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.

To create a gluten-free version of this stuffing, replace bread with pre-cooked basmati or jasmine rice. Add liquids slowly, you’ll use a little less than the bread stuffing calls for.

To create a dairy-free version of this stuffing, omit milk and replace with chicken or vegetable stock
.

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What a creative holiday recipe! It's a great way to make use of all of your festive favourites- all in one dish! Thanks Gwen for being a first-time guest... we can't wait to have you back.

Don't forget to follow Gwen on her blog Devour & Conquer, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Has this recipe got you thinking about other ways to put mushrooms on the table this festive season? Check out these great holiday recipe ideas for stuffed mushroom appetizers:
Tarragon Pickled Mushrooms & Shallots
Cranberry-stuffed Mushrooms from Living Lou 
Rosemary, Brie and Hazelnut-Stuffed Mushrooms from Kath Eats Real Food

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