Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms

In my previous organic produce share, I received Shiitakes mushrooms. These exotic mushrooms are delicate with a rich and smokey taste. They are found in many Asian dishes and have been used in Chinese medicines for over 6,000 years.

As I am always on the search for new, fun, and healthy dishes; I went to my backlog of recipes to try, and found this one. These stuffed mushrooms are a scrumpticious and quick appetizer or side dish. Justin and I thought these were absolutely delicious; the perfect combination of smoky and sweet & tangy and creamy with the hazelnuts adding that extra bit of crunchy texture. We wished we had more shiitakes because these did not last long at all. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Shiitakes with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Pecans
Adapted from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet by Didi Emmons

15 medium fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
1/4 cup of port or reduced red wine
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
3 slices of stale french bread
3 ounces of soft goat cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground white or black pepper to taste
1/4 cup skinned hazelnuts, untoasted


1. Preheat oven to 400'. Oil a roasting pan large enough to hold the mushrooms in a single layer. In the roasting pan, toss the shiitakes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread the shiitakes stem side down in a single layer and roast until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Set the shiitakes aside to cool.

2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and lightly brown, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the cranberries and port or reduced red wine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid is evaporated and the cranberries have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.

3. Break the bread into a food processor and process them into crumbs. Transfer to crumbs to a large bowl and stir in the onion mixture and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Oil a baking sheet and arrange the shiitakes stem side up on it. Divide the stuffing evenly among the mushrooms, about 1 teaspoon for each. Use your fingers to press the stuffing into the shiitake caps. Top each with hazelnut.

5. Bake the stuffed shiitakes until piping hot, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.