You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird
A couple of weeks ago, there was a three-day weekend starting on the Friday. As a result, I invited some of my teacher school-friends to come for dinner on Thursday—no school the next day meant I could be lazy with the clean up! I decided to introduce them to some Irish food, and some Irish inspired food.
For starters, I had a cheese board with Edam, Smoked cheese and Brie (I know, I know none of those cheeses are Irish but we DO love cheese!). I made that quintessentially Irish dish, Shepherd’s pie, using beef as the main ingredient and I chose to serve some side dishes using traditional ingredients of rasher, kale, cabbage, celery, onion and leek. I made my Kale Baked Beans and Stuffed Mushrooms. Everything was a hit with my friends, but the Stuffed Mushrooms stood out as a clear favourite!
Mushrooms are one of those foods that people seem to either love or hate. As I’ve mentioned before I have sisters who don’t like mushrooms. Sharing images or recipes with them of mushrooms is futile (although I do keep trying in hopes that someday they will succumb to the deliciousness!). So, when I made this recipe, instead of running to my sisters, I told my friend Kate about them. We spent ages, at the time and since, talking about different types of stuffed mushrooms. We even planned a wine and stuffed mushroom making night. Unfortunately, the night in question, she hurt her foot so we had to postpone our cooking adventure for the time being. However, I went ahead and re-made the below recipe and shared them with her. Both she and her boyfriend really enjoyed them.
I would suggest using this as a starter or as a side dish at a potluck. They would work well for an Irish themed meal or with the Roasted Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes.
Kale and Rasher Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 5 – 10*
- Around 20 button mushrooms, stems discarded.
- 1 cup finely diced kale
- 1 tbsp olive oil.
- 1 cup finely diced white cabbage
- 1 leek, finely sliced into rings
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 stick celery finely diced** (optional)
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 5-6 rashers/slices of bacon, chopped***
- Olive oil for the mushrooms (optional)
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and then add the kale.
- Bring back to the boil and then reduce and simmer for around 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out any excess water and set aside until step 6.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan or frying pan on medium heat.
- Add the remaining vegetables minus the mushrooms with plenty of black pepper and some sea salt to the saucepan and saute gently.
- Once the vegetables are soft and the onions are starting to get translucent, add the kale. You could also add some more pepper at this stage.
- Continue to saute for a further 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through and soft. Do not let anything brown.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat a separate frying pan and, once hot, add the rashers. Cook for a few minutes until almost brown and there is plenty of oil in the pan.
- Add the vegetable mix and cook thoroughly until the meat is completely cooked and the vegetables are gently browned.
- Meanwhile, wipe each mushroom with a damp paper towel and place on a baking dish covered with parchment paper. If you want to, at this point, you can coat the outer mushroom with olive oil, but it’s not necessary.
- Heap the filling into each mushroom and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Don’t burn the rashers/bacon!
- Remove and serve immediately.
*If using as a starter, I’d use the amount in this recipe for a maximum of ten people, which would mean two mushrooms each.
**The celery is really nice in these mushrooms, however the second time I made them, I left it out.
***For Irish/British readers use streaky rashers.
You can cook all the vegetables up the night before. The first time I made these that’s what I did.
Make it your own: Substitute some shredded carrot, or finely diced broccoli for the cabbage and celery. Or add these vegetables to the mixture.
For lunch or breakfast: If you have any of the filling leftover, make with scrambled eggs and put it in a wrap.
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