Sunday, March 14, 2010
Here’s how I make them (figure five or six ounces of medium-sized mushrooms per person). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
For a pound of mushrooms mince a large shallot and sweat it in olive oil with salt and chopped thyme leaves. At this point you can also add some finely diced prosciutto or speck.
Meanwhile, remove the stems from the mushrooms by pushing them one way then the other: they should pop out fairly cleanly, but if a lot is left behind you can pick it out with a finger or a little spoon. Mince these fairly fine, either with a knife or in a food processor — but do not make a puree, just tiny pieces.
Once the shallots are soft, add the chopped mushroom stems and cook over medium-low heat until much of their liquid has disappeared. Let the mushroom mixture cool, add a small handful of grated parmesan (optional) and a larger handful of dryish breadcrumbs: if yours are too fresh, you can toast them in an oiled skillet, being careful not to let them burn. At this point you can add pepper and perhaps chopped parsley or a little more thyme. Check for salt.
Put olive oil into a baking dish and roll the mushroom caps in it to grease them. Using a teaspoon, fill the caps with stuffing, not too tightly. The amazing thing is that there will always be just the right amount, with maybe half a teaspoonful left over for the cook. Sometimes, I make a small (1/8-inch) dice of good bread and sauté it in olive oil until crisp, then top each filled mushroom with a few of these, for crunch.
Bake for 30 minutes or so, and serve tepid.
Adapted from The New York Times