Pancetta Stuffed Mushrooms

If the plate is any indication, I whipped up these bad boys to bring to my friend’s Christmas party. I offered to bake a cake for her daughter’s birthday but somehow I got tasked with making her favorite, stuffed mushrooms, as well. Good thing since the cake was a DISASTER (I never said I was a baker). Feel free to omit the pork if that’s not your thing.

SHOPPING LIST: 3 packages button mushrooms (for stuffing), prosciutto, white onion, chopped garlic, frozen spinach (defrosted), 1 egg, thyme, cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese, olive oil, butter, truffle oil, garlic salt, pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 and then let’s start with the mushrooms – WHICH YOU NEVER WANT TO WASH – so remove the stems, reserve the stems, and then clean your mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Mushrooms are way too absorbent for a rinse in the sink. Once you get your mushrooms prepped, lay them backside-up on your sheet tray, and use a pastry brush to brush olive oil onto the backs of your mushrooms and then season with salt and paper. Flip your mushrooms over and repeat the process so your mushrooms are prepped and seasoned and ready to go! Chop your stems very finely and reserve.

Take 1/2 of your white onion and give it a really nice, fine dice. Because this is a stuffing you really want to make sure your ingredients are all small and uniform so one item doesn’t stand out more than another. Chop an entire package of pancetta into small pieces. Add 1 tB. of olive oil to your saucepan and then fry your chopped pancetta over medium-high heat. When your pancetta is browned and crisp, add 1/4 cup of butter and add 2 tB. of chopped garlic, the diced onion, 2 tB. of chopped thyme. Allow the onions to become translucent and then add 1 cup of your diced mushrooms stems. Once your mushrooms begin to soften, season with garlic salt and pepper. While your mushroom mixture is cooking, take 1 cup of your pre-thawed frozen spinach and give it a rough chop. Add the spinach to the mushrooms and again, season lightly with garlic salt and pepper. When all the liquid is gone from your pan and your vegetables look nice and caramelized, empty your pan into a mixing bowl.

In a cup, mix up one egg with garlic salt and pepper. When I am adding an egg to a dish like this I like to make sure that my egg is seasoned as well – it’s just another way to ensure that your dish is flavorful throughout. Add the seasoned egg to your mixing bowl along with 12 oz. of cream cheese and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. Mix very well and then you can begin stuffing your mushrooms. I like to use the small soup spoons from my everyday kitchen utensils to do this. I also like to add enough stuffing to each mushroom so they are really piled high and ALMOST over-flowing like the photo above. Once all of your mushrooms are stuffed, I like to give a final drizzle of truffle oil and then top each mushrooms with a generous MEGA-pinch of parmesan cheese. 15 minutes in your 400 degree oven and these stuffed mushrooms are ready for the party!

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