For Food Star Friday this week I decided to go a bit small, as in appetizer small. With my household being huge football and Nascar fans, it is nice to whip up a few nibbles to have around so when the mood strikes you there is something tasty to put in your tummy. Football + beer + good food = the perfect Sunday right? To all my non football friends out there, don’t worry I am not obsessed with any other sport so once football season is done I will be back to normal, well normal for ME hehe.
There are so many great appetizer recipes out there by all of our favorite food stars I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to make. Then I ran across these babies by Ina Garten. I love stuffed mushrooms and haven’t had them in forever. The last couple of times I made them with crab and cream cheese. I liked the whole sausage idea and the fact that she used mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese. I am really becoming quite the fan of mascarpone cheese VS cream cheese. Oh I am not hating on the cream cheese or anything, I just like the change of pace. It is lighter and a bit sweet, can be used in sweet and savory dishes, just a nice new taste.
The only downside is that you get to taste that yummy stuffing and then it goes into the mushrooms and has to bake for 50 minutes! Aaahhh I must have been in the bathroom when they were handing out patience when it comes to food I swear. But they are worth the wait. Kevin and I went to work on them as soon as they were cool enough to bite, actually even before then. I burned my tongue a bit, like I said, no patience.
The only thing I would change about this recipe is the olive oil. Of course mushrooms themselves carry a lot of moisture, but I felt it really didn’t add anything to the recipe and made the mushrooms kind of wet. I would however still drizzle the mushroom caps with the Marsala wine. You don’t want to cut out ANY of the flavor for these bad boys!
- 16 extra-large white mushrooms ( I used creminis)
- 5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine or medium sherry
- 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings
- 6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2/3 cup panko crumbs
- 5 ounces mascarpone cheese, preferably from Italy
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper