From the monthly archives:

June 2012

Smoked Stuffed Mushrooms

by Michael on June 29, 2012 · 1 comment

in Appetizers

I’ve stuffed mushrooms for years. Really anything will do – cheese, sausage, other veggies – anything. Just pull the stem out and fill, bake and eat. I have never had a recipe. It’s always been “Oh, I have mushrooms…” then I make them. Serendipity and chance often make great food.

But I really hit on something here. I made a few on a lark a while back and have since made about a 100 for parties. As I said, you can stuff them with anything but the recipe below is the best I have hit on yet.

One caveat, you need to have a smoker. These can be cooked over a wood fire or charcoal grill at a higher temp for about 30 minutes. Just add some soaked wood to the coals and cover.

Smoked Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

24 oz fresh mushrooms
1/2 pound sweet italian sausage
4 oz shredded Mexican cheese blend (it’s what I had)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 tablespoon jerk seasoning blend (see below or buy it)
1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients except the mushrooms together.
Pull the stems out of the mushrooms and set aside.
Pack the mixture into the mushrooms – there might be a little stuffing left.
Bring smoker to 200 and set the mushrooms inside on a rack. Add the wood and keep in a light wood smoke for 2 hours.
Serve.

Jerk seasoning:

2 to 3 teaspoons ground red pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

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Sous Viding Around.

by Michael on June 5, 2012 · 0 comments

in Technique

One of my online only friends has started a Facebook group for sous vide pasteurization, modern meat curing, smoking, grilling, and barbecuing. And while I have never met Norm, I joined the group. I like to cook and a challenge was offered.  I was particularly fascinated by sous vide. You see it now and again on the cooking shows and your mom probably did it in the 70’s with vacuum sealed bags in hot water. In this case, the food is sealed up in a bag and cooked at a low temp  for a long time. The idea is that over time the heat pasteurizes the food and kills the bacteria. What also happens is that the food really becomes tender. A london broil cut can get as tender as a filet. It just takes time for the enzymes in the meat to break down the toughness in the meat.

Last week I used the method to make a great sandwich. It’s magic. Cheap cuts of meat transformed into succulent bites.

Really, this works. I have started to incorporate the method into everyday cooking. Weekends mostly. It’s about as hard as crock pot cooking but with better results. Join Norm’s group on Facebook. I’ll post a short primer on the method soon.

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