STUFFED MUSHROOMS

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1 lb mushrooms (about 8 to 12 large or 12 to 14 small to medium)
1 bar butter or margarine
1 /2 onion (small), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 /2 teaspoon oregano
1 /4 flavored bread crumbs
1 /4 cup grated parmesan/Romano cheese

1. Scrap any dirt off the mushrooms. Remove the stems from
the caps of the mushrooms. Set aside the caps on a small
cookie sheet or baking dish. Chop mushroom stems finely and
set aside.
2. In a large frying pan, melt butter or margarine over medium
heat. Add chopped garlic and onion. Cook a few minutes.
Add chopped mushroom stems, and sauté until everything is
tender. Add basil, parsley and oregano, stirring occasionally.
3. Heat oven to high – (450 degrees or broil, depending on how
hot your oven runs).
4. Turn off heat and stir in grated cheese and bread crumbs.
Mix thoroughly. If too wet looking, sprinkle in a tablespoon
at a time, more grated cheese and/or bread crumbs.
5. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps and place stuffed side up
on an oven pan. Bake/broil for 3 to 8 minutes. Keep an eye on
the mushrooms, they brown quickly. Serve immediately.
6. ENJOY! – The Italian seasoning is the reasoning for delicious
stuffed mushrooms!

The best stuffed mushrooms are big, firm white beauties just waiting for the perfect filling. The filling is quite basic: chopped mushroom stems, breadcrumbs, and onions for starters. Of course, using butter or margarine for sautéing will keep them moist and tender.

However, what really sets all stuffed mushroom recipes apart from the rest are the additional secret ingredients. I have always made my stuffed mushrooms with parmesan and/or Romano cheese, chopped onions, chopped garlic, and basil. Most of the time, I add parsley and oregano, but will omit if I don’t have one or the other close at hand. Because I have a very stocked cabinet of ingredients, to the chagrin of my husband, I rarely run out of anything important. It’s the Italian accent or seasonings that make the stuffed mushrooms so delectable.

I have to admit, it’s my Italian seasoning that keeps friends and family coming back to my kitchen. Growing up in a household where my Italian father’s favorite foods dominated the table, there was no other choice than to cook Italian. My mother lived with her mother-in-law for the first four years of her marriage (while my dad was in WWII) and learned how to cook Italian food while my Dad served his country. Actually, my mom and two of her sisters (who were of Czechoslovakian decent) all married Italian men and all were well educated in Italian cooking by their mother-in-laws. My mom and aunts were all very good cooks. My dad and one of my uncles also cooked. My Italian grandmother lived with me also. So, how could I not be influenced by all this good Italian food all the time?

The cooks of your past are what make you the cook you are today! Enjoy and embrace it and most definitely cook with it!

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