Monday, March 30, 2009

Everything stuffed!

Cooking is an amazing and creative outlet!!!!
I never seem to start out to the grocery store with a menu in mind. In choosing what I will cook, I rely more on what I find at the farm stands & grocery store that is seasonal, priced well and most of all looks fresh and good. I actually enjoy sifting through the tomatoes to find just the right ones!
Last week I was able to find just perfect green peppers for stuffing. And the portobella mushrooms at the "warehouse", as usual, were beautiful, fresh and a great price. So there it was in my cart the makings of my dinner party coming together. I added stuffed manicotti with a chicken stuffing to complement my other recipe choices.

You need to understand all this came together in my head as I shopped. On the way home I made several calls to some girl friends to come to my "everything stuffed" dinner. Since I do love to cook, it is also fun to share my masterpieces........and sometimes "not so masterpieces" with friends.

Add a couple of bottles of wine which the girls bring and voila a great evening among friends is created. My favorite dish was the "Imitation" Crab stuffed Portabella Mushrooms below.

Crab Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
1Cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 Egg
1 cup Chopped Onion
1/3 cup Chopped Celery
1 Bell Pepper Chopped
1 lb. Flaked imitation Crab
½ tablespoons fresh Tarragon Leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Cloves Garlic Crushed
4 Portabella Mushrooms, Stems Removed, chopped and sauteed with Vegetables
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons Melted Butter (Unsalted)
4 slices Provolone cheese
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:In a Large pan combine celery, onions, mushroom stems peppers, garlic and butter, cook until vegetables are just soft, combine with breadcrumbs , add salt and pepper to taste and the tarragon leaves, add Parmesan cheese and egg, add seafood, mix well. Mixture should be easily pressed into "Stuffing consistency" if too dry add melted butter. Set aside. Combine the olive oil and vinegar and brush on both sides of mushrooms. Divide stuffing mixture into 4 equal portions and stuff caps of mushrooms, top with Provolone cheese sprinkle tops with additional Parmesan cheese, and bake at 375 degrees F until cheese is bubbly and stuffing is "Set"

Yummy First Course or Cut into 1/4 for Appetizers.
Bon Appetite!!!!

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