Canape caps

When Maggie and I married in December 2006, we celebrated by sharing a seven-course degustation-style lunch with my parents and nine special friends. The meal was prepared and served in our home, with the assistance of three young friends and according to our recipes. Three light courses of seafood, accompanied by French bubbles and Australian white wines, were followed by a warm entree of stuffed mushrooms.

We had developed this dish earlier in 2006 by reworking a Bill Granger recipe for coating a lamb rack using breadcrumbs and various flavourings. Our recipe went unaltered until just before Christmas 2013, when we hosted a small finger-food gathering of the ‘lifestyle’ team I support as a volunteer at a nursing home. One of the workers is gluten-intolerant, so we decided to substitute well-cooked brown rice for the breadcrumbs and discovered that we preferred it made that way.

We use the mushroom variety known as Swiss Brown and the recipe can be used with small, medium or large mushrooms. My preference is the middle of the range, providing me with a quick-to-reheat snack to settle between-meals hunger pangs that might otherwise impel me towards sub-nutritious alternatives.

Ingredients

16-20 small mushrooms or 10-12 medium-sized mushrooms (approx 5-6cm in diameter) or 4 large mushrooms (aka portobello mushrooms)
1 cup well-cooked brown rice (or fresh breadcrumbs)
50g prosciutto, chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chives (or 2tsp each of chives and fresh sage)
1 clove garlic, crushed or grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
50g fetta
plenty of black pepper
extra olive oil

Method

  1. Place all stuffing ingredients except fetta and pepper in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  2. Crumble fetta by hand into the stuffing mix and stir well.
  3. Check for seasoning and add pepper to taste.
  4. Trim the stalk of each mushroom to a little higher than the mushroom rim.
  5. Line the base of a shallow baking dish with baking paper; the dish should be 50% larger than the space required for the mushrooms.
  6. If using small mushrooms, preheat oven to 150C.
  7. Pour some extra olive oil into a shallow bowl, dip each mushroom cap in the oil and place cap down in the baking dish.
  8. Gently pack each mushroom with the stuffing.
  9. If using small mushrooms, place dish of mushrooms in a cold oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until stuffing is golden brown and barely crisp. If using larger mushrooms, place them in a cold oven, bring the temperature up to 150C and bake for a further 15-20 minutes (this technique helps cook the thickest part of each mushroom).
  10. Cool slightly and serve

This batch of stuffed mushrooms was cooked in our Weber Q, set up for baking, and the mushrooms were placed directly onto the trivet.

Mushrooms 1   Mushrooms 2

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About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our early 60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. While we are young enough, our priority travel destinations are overseas, although we do spend a few weekends each year exploring south-eastern Australia. As travellers, we are most comfortable with a combination of organised and independent touring. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). All trips from 2014 onwards are documented in this blog.
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