These mushrooms have been mentioned once before on this blog in a post about one of my holiday parties, but I made them again recently and decided that they definitely deserved an entry of their own. You see, these fabulous little bites have long been a favorite amongst my friends. I first brought them to a get-together during our first year of medical school and they were such a hit, they have been requested many times since. No matter how many I make, they are always rapidly devoured and I’m pretty sure people have argued over the last one :) The filling is creamy and delicious, and the addition of cayenne pepper gives these a surprising kick at the end of the taste. I also love these because they can be prepped and stuffed in advance, and then baked when needed, which makes them perfect for entertaining!
24 whole fresh button mushrooms
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Bread crumbs and minced fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully remove the stems from the mushroom caps, setting the caps aside for later. Add the stems to the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic to the food processor as well, and pulse in brief bursts until them mushroom stems and garlic are finely chopped.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems and garlic and cook until all the moisture has disappeared, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low. Stir in the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and spices. Stir together until the mixture is smooth and creamy; remove from the heat. Using a small spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of filling. Arrange the mushroom caps on the prepared baking sheet. Top with bread crumbs, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are hot and liquid starts to form under the caps. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with fresh herbs if using and serve immediately.