SHARON’S ‘PEARL OYSTER’ STUFFED MUSHROOMS
Gourmet Pearl Oyster mushrooms combined with sauteed onion, celery, garlic and steamed eggplant. Mixed with fresh potato breadcrumbs, fine cashew crumbles, white wine and saffron. Stuffed into crimini and white button mushroom caps, baked till hot, then served with a saffron remoulade sauce!
Makes approx. 42 stuffed mushrooms – approx. 6 servings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 lb. fresh white button mushrooms, sm. – med. for stuffing, washed well
1 lb. fresh crimini (or baby Portobello) mushrooms, sm. – med. for stuffing, washed well
2 c. 1/2 inch peeled eggplant cubes, (cut a small eggplant approx. in half around the equator (reserve 1/2 for other use), cut end off the one you’re cubing, stand on end, cut down from top to bottom, between peel and meat of eggplant – going around the eggplant – discard peels, cut remaining into 1/2 inch slices, stack, cut into 1/2 inch wide sticks, then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch cubes)
1/4 c. finely diced celery, 1/8 inch cubes
1/4 c. finely diced onion, 1/8 inch squares
3 peeled garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 oz. fresh Pearl Oyster mushrooms, stems removed at core, cut into 1/2 inch squares
5 slices fresh potato bread, processed in food processor into fine crumbs (cut crusts from slices, break into pieces, then tear centers into pieces – process centers and crusts separately then combine in bowl – this provides for more uniform breadcrumbs)
2/3 c. cashew crumbles (place 2 c. cashews into processing bowl, then process till crumbly – scrape down insides with spatula, then process into fine crumbs – do not over-process into nut butter)
Do your prep work first:
Place whole, washed mushrooms (crimini and button) in saucepan with about 3 cups water. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to produce slow boil, then cook about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Lift mushrooms from pot to colander, reserving liquid in pot. Or, cook the ciminis and white button mushrooms separately. It doesn’t matter.
When warm enough to handle, using sharp tip of knife, remove stems from mushroom caps (reserve stems for other use). Place caps hollow side up in 9 x 13 inch baking dish or on baking sheet that has an edge on it.
Steam eggplant cubes. Place eggplant cubes in a wire mesh strainer that fits into the pot you boiled the mushrooms in. Add a little water for steaming if you need to. Bring to boil, cover and steam till very soft – mushy even. Check often to make sure all water hasn’t evaporated.
When done, hold strainer over pot and push mushy eggplant against sides of strainer with large spoon to extract excess liquid. Set eggplant and liquid in pot aside.
Prepare celery, onion, garlic and oyster mushrooms. Set aside.
Make your breadcrumbs and set aside, then without washing the processing bowl, process your cashews till fine. Measure out 2/3 c. for this recipe. Place remainder in jar with lid for another use.
Remoulade Sauce: Makes almost 1 cup
1/2 c. Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise), either Grapeseed or regular – I used Grapeseed
3 T. fresh squeeze of lemon juice, strained
pinch of saffron
3 T. ketchup
2 t. Poupon Dijon mustard
1/2 t. dried tarragon, crushed
1/2 t. garlic powder
light sprinkle of red cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Stir till smooth.
Now it’s time to cook. You’ll need these additional ingredients:
1/2 stick margarine
salt as you go along to taste
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 c. semi-sweet or dry white wine (your choice)
saffron (pistils or powdered)
1/2 – 3/4 c. mushroom broth from boiling the mushrooms
1/4 c. fresh coarsely chopped parsley
In large skillet, over low heat, place margarine, celery, onion and garlic. Add about 1/2 t. salt. Stir often, cooking till celery becomes soft.
Raise heat a little. Add oyster mushrooms, a little more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir and saute till mushrooms soften.
Add white wine and a pinch of saffron. Stir and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add breadcrumbs all at once, immediately followed by cashew crumbles. Stir to moisten with liquid, then add salt to taste. Continue to cook and stir till texture resembles a stuffing.
Now add a little mushroom broth, about 1/4 c., stirring till you achieve a creamy consistency. Continue to cook on medium-low heat as you experience the gluten in the crumbs binding the stuffing together. Again add 1/4 c. mushroom broth, cook till it binds, then add 1/4 c. more. Stir till creamy.
Add parsley, then salt and pepper to taste. Stir to incorporate. If you think it’s too thin for a stuffing, it’s probably just right. We’re going for a creamy textured stuffing, not your usual stuffed mushroom. If it drips, or falls from the spoon without urging, then it’s too thin. Wait till the gluten binds again or cook a little bit of the moisture off.
Be sure to add enough salt.
Now stuff the mushroom caps in the baking dish – it should feel a little gooey. If you have leftover stuffing, drop by teaspoonfuls around the border of the mushrooms near the inside edge of the dish. Cover with foil till you’re ready to bake and serve.
When ready to serve:
Place stuffed mushrooms, uncovered, in preheated 350 degree oven. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven. Lift with spoon from bottom of each mushroom (not with tongs) and place 5 or 6 on each serving plate.
Either spoon a little sauce first on the plate, then place mushrooms on top of the sauce. Or spoon sauce into a small souffle cup and place along side serving of mushrooms, or drizzle a little sauce over the mushrooms.
Garnish with additional parsley springs and a wedge of lemon per serving if desired.
Notes: The length of instructions of this recipe makes it appear more difficult and time-consuming that it really is. However, we are cooking gourmet here, so we want the complex combinations of flavors, and the way we introduce and work them in the sequence of directions, to be reflected in a superior end result.
These mushrooms can be served as a sit-down and eat appetizer before the salad/soup and main course, or as the main course with complimentary accompaniments. You need a knife and fork to eat them. In other words, they’re not finger food.
This is fine dining!
Re: removing stems from oyster mushrooms. It’s not enough that you break the stem off even with the cap. You need to cut out the core of the stem, the part that is actually inside the cap. Although these stems can be used to flavor stock, they are too spongy and the fibers too tightly bound to enjoy, so cut them out.