Fat gives things flavor
– Julia Child
Not long now! I can’t believe how close Christmas and my birthday are!
I will keep this short this week as I know Christmas is coming and everyone (myself included) is busy finishing year-end projects and goals as well as trying to get everything ready for the festivities.
This recipe came to me in a moment of inspiration the week of Thanksgiving. I was really sick, but trying to think of things I wanted to bring to our Thanksgiving dinner when this popped into my head. I ended up not having time to make it then, but I’ve been working on them since and I’m quite pleased with the result.
These are easy to put together, and are based on the flavours and scents of this time of year—much like the Tomato, Orange and Lentil Soup from last week. I love the combination of rasher and apple mixed with nuts Every bite makes me reminisce of Christmas at my Mom’s with her mouthwatering stuffing. The apple, in it’s turn, evokes memories of Waldorf Salad, which we traditionally eat at this time of year as well. So, go on, try them! I hope you like them, too!
Apple and Bacon/Rasher Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves around 10
- Around 30 button mushrooms
- 5 slices of rasher/bacon, chopped
- ¼ tsp parsley, dried
- ¼ tsp sage, dried
- ¼ tsp rosemary, dried
- ¼ tsp thyme, dried
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 stick celery, finely diced
- 1 cup apple, finely diced (I used red apple)
- ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
- around 2⁄3 cup dried breadcrumbs (I used the Ottogi brand), optional
- around ½ cup grated sharp cheddar
- Olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 175°C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Meanwhile, remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard.* Wipe each cap down with a paper towel, and then, using a pastry brush, cover the outside gently in oil. Set aside on the baking sheet.
- Heat a pan between medium and medium-high heat. Once hot, add the rasher and let it cook for around 3 minutes until the fat has melted. Stir occasionally.
- Add the herbs, onion, and celery. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the apple and walnuts and then cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thoroughly cooked and the meat is lightly browned.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat, place in a separate bowl and let it cool completely.**
- Once cooled, stir in the breadcrumbs, if using.
- Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet, fill each cap with some of the mixture, and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Don’t let the bacon burn!
- Remove from heat and sprinkle the cheddar on top.
- Place back in the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve hot.
*I discard the mushroom stems because most of the mushroom stems here are pretty mank/bad. However, if you want, you can choose to add them to the mixture.
**At this point you can then put the mixture in the fridge to use the next day. I have done this twice when making these and they turned out great. I will also do this for Christmas.
For Best Results: I would suggest, as much as possible, to put the rasher pieces nearer the bottom of the mushroom cap. This will help to prevent them from burning.
Leftover mixture: If you have any leftover mixture, like I did, I would suggest eating it on toast with a side of baked beans. You could also leave out the breadcrumbs and use it to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
Make it your own: I used walnuts but you could substitute pecans or do a mix of both. I used pecans the first time I made them but then I ran out. It was a delightful combination. Don’t like cheddar? Substitute another hard cheese.
Gluten-Free: Leave out the breadcrumbs for a gluten-free option.