I spent my rainy Saturday evening aboard the Mystery of the Seas, partaking in my first murder mystery dinner. I schmoozed with everyone on board under the guise as Penny Drop, one of three ambassadress contestants. Filtering through the crowd, I had to use my “beauty, charm and my connections to gain an advantage at any cost in the hopes of being awarded a spokesperson of the ship.” My performance was so spectacular, I would undeniably be the front runner for the best actress Oscar Razzie:) Sandra Bullock’s got nothing on me.
I took the invitation as the perfect reason to throw on a pretty dress and of course, cook. A quick search on foodandwine.com for appetizers produced this one for goat cheese-stuffed mushrooms. After scanning the ingredient list and seeing three of my absolute favorites (goat cheese, rosemary, mushrooms), I knew I had to make it.
The mushrooms, rosemary (mmm smells so good!), olive oil, bread crumbs and oh so wonderful goat cheese:
Crisping up the rosemary sprig:
A perfect example of “do as I say, not as I do.” This is what happens when you don’t watch your breadcrumbs:
Round 2 (i.e. MUCH BETTER):
A plate of perfect appetizers so good they could kill (a little murder mystery dinner humor):
Don’t let the tiny size of these mushrooms fool you. The creamy goat cheese atop a perfectly seasoned mushroom packs in beautiful complementary flavors in one savory bite. Be careful…because they’re so small, it’s hard to stop reaching for another!
The dishful thinker’s tips:
- Mushroom stems easily pop off. No need to slice them (and when you break them off, the mushroom top creates more of a bowl shape to hold even more goat cheese!)
- I tried to pick out the 24 largest mushrooms at the grocery store, but I’m not sure they were quite as big as they needed to be. When it came time to stuff them with cheese, I had about 5 extra pieces leftover. And that was even after overstuffing them.
- Watch your breadcrumbs very closely, or you’ll end up with a burned mess like me.
- 3 tbsp of breadcrumbs was overkill. I really only needed 1. But they keep well, so I’m saving them to throw on more goat cheese later.
- These taste best while still warm (I had 2 right after I finished making them). However, they still do the recipe justice at room temperature.
And finally, a picture of the “passengers” and “crew” of the Mystery of the Seas. So geeky, but so fun:)
24 large cremini mushrooms (1 1/2 pounds), stems discarded
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, plus one 3-inch sprig of rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fine bread crumbs
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into 24 pieces
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms with 3 tablespoons of the oil and the rosemary leaves and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking sheet, rounded side up. Roast for about 30 minutes, until tender and browned around the edges. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
In a skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the rosemary sprig and cook over moderately high heat until the leaves are crisp, 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels, then strip off the leaves. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the rosemary oil and reserve it for another use.
Add the bread crumbs to the skillet and toast over moderate heat until golden and crisp, 2 minutes. Stir in the fried rosemary leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Gently press a piece of goat cheese in the center of each mushroom, sprinkle with the bread crumbs and serve.
The goat cheese–filled mushrooms can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with the bread crumbs just before serving.
One Serving 138 cal, 11 gm fat, 3.9 gm sat fat, 5 gm carb, 0.6 gm fiber.