Monday, June 7, 2010

Preppy Party Nosh

Like many children of the '80s, The Official Preppy Handbook was my Bible when it was released 30 years ago. I was not nearly cute enough to reflect the gentile WASPY spunk illustrated on its pages, but I tried to dress the part of a Prep (this was a good thing in those days). The fact that lime green, motif-embroidered pants and hot pink head bands did not complement my 12 year old brace face was not something I was willing to concede and I continued calling attention to myself with aforementioned brash colour choices well into my twenties.
So it is in honor of the anniversary of the book’s publication that I created this recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms; they are a classic throwback to 1980’s cocktail parties. Regardless of their retro nature, I think these mushrooms are swell… or, as my friend Muffy used to say, OOC!

Stuffed Mushrooms...They are so choice
8 rashers smoked, streaky bacon
1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or mashed
24 medium size button mushrooms (white or brown) stems trimmed, removed and chopped fine—caps wiped clean
One good glug of dry white wine
¼ teaspoon dry thyme
2 tablespoons (dessert spoons) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (dessert spoons) melted butter
1 cup (85 grams) shredded, mature cheddar cheese
½ cup (40 grams) good quality bread crumbs (Panko if you can get them)
Sea salt/black pepper to taste
2 heaping tablespoons (dessert spoons) low fat crème fraiche

1) Cook the bacon, crumble and set aside. Discard any rendered fat from the pan, spray with non-stick spray and sauté the chopped mushroom stems, shallots and garlic until the mushrooms pieces have released their juice and all vegetables have gone soft. Deglaze the pan with a good glug of white wine and season with thyme—allow the wine to just evaporate, then remove from the heat.

2) Pre-heat the oven to 375F (190C). Toss the mushroom caps with the olive oil and melted butter—set aside. Let the mushroom/shallot/garlic cool, then mix with half the cheddar cheese and bread crumbs, stir in the crème fraiche and season with salt and pepper. Now stuff the caps evenly. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray, stuff the mushroom caps and place into the dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top and bake uncovered, until melted and bubbly (25-45 minutes depending on oven).

Serve hot or warm.

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