It’s my birthday today. Not just any birthday. I’m officially 30. Big one right? I find myself not caring. I would say that it’s because I’m too busy with a baby and business to care, but I don’t think that’s quite it. I think it’s denial. As if now that I’m starting my 30s, I feel a sense of filing away my 20s and accepting all that’s happened in the file as the past. And, that’s a lot of stuff . Namely, all that revolves around my dad. It’s hard to file away his passing as something that has happened. While others around me make a deal about my birthday, the one thing that stands out is that this year, my dad will not call me to say “happy birthday.” Although seemingly minute, birthdays are the one thing we grew up caring about. My dad would make it a point – no matter where we were in life – to always call on our birthdays. He didn’t care much for cards or presents (bummer when we were kids!), but the words were said. And, genuinely so. I fully intend on carrying this tradition forward.
These stuffed mushrooms were my dad’s favorite. People love them, but I loved that my dad loved them. He did not like cheese or cheese-y dishes. (One of the many ways we are different.) However, my stuffed mushrooms were the exception. Over time, I have perfected these to be a family favorite. I would venture to say that this recipe is sorta my thang. I make these mushrooms at all get-togethers where there are a manageable amount of people. What I mean by that is a feed-able amount of people. I wanted to make these at my baby shower, but the amount of people (50!) would not have made this dish feasible. Although the recipe creates 12 mushrooms, I expect everyone to eat at least 3. Case and point – I made 12 for a group of 4 and we had no left overs. While I stand behind all the recipes I post, this one is extra special. It’s out-of-this-world delicious and surrounded by meaningful memories. And, those kind of memories are not so easily forgotten.
– makes 12 mushrooms
- 12 whole white mushrooms
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced (about 3 cloves)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided in half
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs, divided in half (or fresh bread crumbs)
- Wash and remove the stems from the mushrooms. Finely dice the mushroom stems. Set aside.
- Heat pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat. Add the shallots, garlic and mushroom stems to the pan, and cook until the mixture is generally dry. You want the moisture from the mushrooms to evaporate.
- Add black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and remove from the heat.
- Once removed from the heat, add the cream cheese, half of the Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup), and half of the Panko bread crumbs (1/4 cup). Stir until everything is incorporated and combined.
- Pipe into the mushrooms. Arrange mushrooms on a baking tray. You can refrigerate or freeze the mushrooms at this point for later use at this point.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining Parmesan and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over mushrooms.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are browned.