SAUSAGE, SPINACH, AND CHEESE STUFFED PORTABELLA MUSHROOMS

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We were recently invited to the home of one of the famous “Jazz Gents” (7 wonderful musicians who get together weekly to play their favorite jazz pieces and not coincidentally laugh a lot and eat donuts as often as possible)! And of course, when you get a group of musicians together for a social event, there is going to be music happening. So while we wives and assorted guests sat around listening to our husbands and friends play some of their favorite tunes, we did what every group of women do when they get together. (No, we didn’t talk about our children! We are all of an age that even talking about our grandchildren is oh so yesterday.) We talked about food. Duh!! And while we were talking about food we love and in some cases miss, Nyla, one of the band wives, told me about the wonderful stuffed portabella mushrooms she used to order at a now closed restaurant in La Conner, WA. And since she knows that I love nothing better than trying to reproduce delicious food that I have eaten, she elucidated on the basic flavors she remembered. Based on the ingredients Nyla could recall tasting, I came up with this dish.

Now, I have no idea if this recipe produces anything like what Nyla enjoyed. Since I never experienced the dish myself, I had to go from her memory and my knowledge of what ingredients would work well together. So dear Nyla, I hope that even if this dish has no resemblance to what you remembered, you enjoy my “version”. I know Mr. C. could hardly contain himself he liked the stuffed portabellas so well. But then, he loves Italian sausage, feta, and portabella mushrooms; so I had him from the first bite!

And to all of my faithful readers, I apologize for not posting as often this summer as usual. But I have been out of town a lot, my computer was in the hospital, and my camera and my computer stopped talking to one another so I could not download my food pictures. And now that all things electronic seem to be back in working order, in some cases with band aides still attached however, 2 new loves have come into my life to monopolize my time. Their names are Miles and Max. Miles for Miles Davis; Max for Max Roach. (If you are unfamiliar with these names, please accept my sincerest sympathies. If you do know them, then of course you understand why we simply had to choose the names we did!)

So bare with me. Fall and winter are coming, and by then I will be cooking more, and of course posting more to my blog. And if the Gods of electronics consider me once again an acceptable recipient of their good favors, I won’t have any more computer problems. I’m crossing all my fingers as well as my coaxial cable with my USB cable just to make sure. That should work, right???

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(Just awake after a nap – Max on the left; Miles on the right. Born 5/21/2015)

  • 4 medium large sized portabella mushroom caps
  • ½ lb. bulk Italian sausage, either pork or chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • small pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T. dry white wine
  • 4 handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped (about 5 oz.)
  • ½ c. crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½-¾ c. chicken, vegetable, or mushroom broth

Using a slightly damp paper towel, wipe the mushroom caps removing any dirt. Cut the stems off and use a spoon to remove the dark gills on the underside of the mushroom caps. Discard gills and set mushrooms aside.

In a large fry pan, break up the sausage and cook just until no pink remains. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and wine; cook for one minute. Remove from heat and add the spinach, feta, and mozzarella cheese.

Place the mushrooms in a baking dish. Evenly divide the sausage mixture as you stuff the mushrooms. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and pour the broth around the mushrooms. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30-35 or until the mushrooms are soft and the Parmesan cheese is crisp on top. Serve immediately.

Please note: If you have a convection oven, turn it on the last 5 minutes or so of baking.

 

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks