Feta Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
This time they’re even betta, ‘cause I made ‘em with Feta!
I LOVE stuffed mushrooms. Seriously, you could stuff a mushroom cap with anything short of a Buick and I’d eat it. When you’re looking for something hot, salty and filling, it’s hard to go wrong with mushrooms. They can be stuffed with almost anything that will satisfy, seafood, cheese, meat, veggies, it’s based solely on what you like, whatever you’re into. Lately, I’ve been into Feta Cheese.
I’ve made this recipe with large Portobello’s as well as small Button Mushrooms. As always, size is relevant to whatever turns you on. If you’re looking for a small tasty tidbit to pick up with your fingers and shove in your mouth, go Button, if you’ve got a hankering to dive deep into a real meal, go Portobello. If you’re looking for something a little in between, you can always select your mushrooms by hand from the open bin at the supermarket. I look at it as a question of whether I want to use a fork or not.
Mushrooms can be tricky when buying and storing. When I shop for Button mushrooms, I look for ones that are firm, white and sealed shut underneath. When a Button or Crimini mushroom is fresh, the underside is completely closed to the stem, it’s only once the fungi has aged, does it open up and show you its dark, gilled underbelly. Not to say that open is bad, it’s just older. I would surely use an opened Button mushroom if it was creamy white, unblemished and firm on the top. Any mushroom showing signs of moisture, marks or mushiness, and back to the bin it goes.
Portobello’s are different; they’re usually sold wide open with a thick stem or as caps only. While their gills are showing, you will know they are fresh by their firm texture and lack of moisture.
Mushrooms store best in the container they come home from the supermarket in. If you buy them from the open bin, store the mushrooms in a loosely crumpled brown paper bag in the coolest part of your refrigerator. They will keep up to 3 or 4 days.
Once you’re ready to begin, cleaning is an issue. These days, growers are more aware of the consumers need for speed and irritation with grit, but that doesn’t mean you should use them straight from the crate. I gently wash them one at a time under cool running water. There are those who would argue with me. They think that where mushrooms are concerned, water is the devil. They also probably have guests who politely smile while crunching down on something hard and sand-like as they eat their mushroom risotto.
There are those who would like you to believe that the only proper way to clean a mushroom is with a soft brush or dry paper towel and wipe each one down. They will tell you that mushrooms soak up extra water and will become soggy. I will tell you that the for-mentioned method takes lots of time, the brush bruises the mushrooms and even if you try your very best, there is still most likely going to be that moment when your soft, tender mushroom dish goes ‘crunch’ when it shouldn’t. And Man, lemme tell Ya, that can really ruin a meal.
When you rinse the mushrooms, you can remove ALL the little bits of gritty compost with one fail swoop – or should I say swoosh? Just don’t soak them, rinse them one at a time under cool, running water and drain them on a paper towel. I promise, they won’t swim away.
Remove the stems by just popping them out with your fingers. If the stem is trimmed close to the mushroom, you can use either a melon baler or grapefruit spoon to remove it. You want there to be enough room for the filling. Keep the stems and chop them up medium – they will go into the filling later. In the event that there are no stems, just sacrifice any broken, too big or too small mushrooms towards the filling.
Feta Cheese, for those of you who are not familiar, is a white, moist cheese usually associated with Greek cooking. It is commonly found topping Greek salads in diners across America as well as a frequent omelet addition. It has a sharp, tangy, salty taste and a semi-hard, crumbly consistency. It doesn’t really melt, but it browns. Now days, there are many varieties available. I like original, but there are ones that have herbs, lemon flavorings, spices, etc. Obviously, if you have found a variety that you like, it would be a compliment to this dish. Feta is a great way to add a great deal of flavor without a large amount of fat. As far as cheeses go, feta is naturally lower in fat than most.
Frozen Chopped Broccoli is a great staple and easy to find in your grocer’s freezer. I prefer to buy my frozen veggies in box form instead of the bag, they are easier to store in the freezer that way. To defrost a pack, all I have to do is put the closed package in a bowl and stick it in the fridge overnight. You can also run it under cool running water in a colander if you need to do it more quickly.
Frozen Chopped Spinach has a great deal of water in it, be sure to squeeze the spinach tightly after it has thawed completely. When it looks like an imprint of the inside of your fist, it’s dry enough. Roll the funky log of dried spinach around between your palms to break it up before adding it to the ingredients. That way, it will combine easier.
Need to grab some Magic Oil and a bit of Parmesan Cheese and I think we’re good to go.
Ivey’s Magic Mushrooms
Choice of Mushroom: Portobello, Crimini, Button
(Stems and rejects chopped to medium size)
1 Pkg. Frozen Chopped Spinach - thawed and squeezed dry
1 Pkg. Frozen Chopped Broccoli - thawed and drained
1 Block Feta Cheese – crumbled
1 Tbs. Magic Oil – for sautéing
3 Tbs. Magic Oil – to coat the Mushrooms
½ Cp. Parmesan Cheese
( ¼ Cp. for filling + ¼ Cp. for sprinkling)
Combine spinach, broccoli and chopped mushroom stems in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
Heat in a med-hi skillet with 1 Tbs. of Magic Oil for 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Set aside in a large mixing bowl until cooled down, approx 10 minutes.
Put the cored mushroom caps into a large Glad zip baggie (or bowl) and toss them with 3 Tbs. Magic Oil. Then place the mushroom caps in a shallow baking dish.
Cover the mushroom caps with foil and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the baking dish, and place them on paper towels to drain. There will be a lot of liquid on the bottom, discard it, but don’t wipe out the pan. A little left on the bottom is good.
Once the filling and the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, add the crumbled Feta Cheese and a ¼ cup of Parmesan Cheese to the mixture and combine thoroughly. You can use a spoon if you like but if you have rubber gloves, this is the perfect opportunity to use them. Stuffing mushrooms, like most fun things in life – it best done with your hands.
You want the mixture and the mushrooms to still be warm but cool enough to handle. I usually keep the oven on while I am arranging and stuffing. That way, when they go back into the oven they kinda hit the ground running. Or, I should say sizzling?
If you are stuffing smaller mushrooms, First place a small ball of filling in the center and compress it down firmly with your thumb. Then add a larger serving to the top and compress it down with the palm of your hand. You can stack as high as you like when you compress them that way.
Place the mushrooms filling side up, back into the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan Cheese.
Put them back into the 420° oven for 15 – 20 minutes until they look golden brown and bubbly.
Let them cool for at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving, they will be like hot lava on the inside when they first come out of the oven so leave ‘em alone, a burned tongue doesn’t do it’s job very well.
They will last in the fridge for about 5 days if you keep them in an airtight container and they reheat great in the microwave.
If you wanted to use the small size for hors d’ oeuvres, the mushrooms can easily be made a day or two in advance.
Would you like to make this recipe but you don’t have any Magic Oil? Well all you have to do is email us at Cook@Iveysinmykitchen.com with your name and address.