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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Mushrooms make great meal replacement

There are numerous varieties of mushrooms. I could take up at least a quarter of a page listing all the different ones. Fortunately, they are often interchangeable in most cooking applications. Since they are not meat, mushrooms, especially portabella, are often used as a meat replacement in many vegetarian dishes.

The most common is the Button mushroom, which you can find locally whole and sliced. I prepare the following recipes, Andouille Stuffed Mushrooms and Crawfish, Mushrooms & Eggplant Frittata, using button mushrooms. Just to be sure, I always wash my mushrooms before I cook them. There is usually some dirt still on them.

Stuffed mushrooms is one of my wife’s favorite appetizers. The best thing about stuffed mushrooms is that there are many different ways to make them. You can bake them, grill them or fry them. You also can stuff them with many different fillings. Today, I am sharing my Andouille stuffed mushroom recipe. You can substitute any type of sausage you like.

Andouille Stuffed Mushrooms

1- 8 ounce package Mushrooms

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

1/4 cup Celery, finely chopped

1/4 cup Onion, finely chopped

1 clove Garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano

1/4 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

1 Andouille Sausage link, finely chopped

2 tablespoons White Cheddar Cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons Italian Style Breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese, grated

2 tablespoons Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 ℉.

Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. Wash mushrooms. Remove stems from each mushroom; set caps aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, onions and garlic. Chop Mushroom stems and add to veggies. Season veggies with thyme, oregano and Creole seasoning; stir. Cook veggies for 6-8 minutes or just until tender. Add sausage and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Remove skillet from the stove. Place sausage and veggies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles crumbs. Fill each mushroom cap with a generous spoonful of stuffing. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Pour melted butter over breadcrumb mixture and stir to coat. Top each with shredded Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over each cap. Place mushrooms on a prepared baking sheet. Bake mushrooms for 10-12 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and breadcrumbs are golden brown.

This is a great recipe for after a crawfish boil. Many people I know put mushrooms into their boil. With the addition of eggplant and eggs, this dish is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. A frittata is Italy’s version of an open-faced omelet.

Crawfish, Mushroom & Eggplant Frittata

1 Eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 strips of Bacon

1 medium Onion, chopped

3 cloves Garlic, chopped

4 ounces fresh Mushrooms, sliced

1 pound Crawfish Tails

6 Eggs, lightly whisked

1/4 cup Half-and-Half

Creole Seasoning to taste

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Add eggplant to a large pot. Add enough water to cover. Boil until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

While eggplant is cooking, slice bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and fry in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towel, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet.

Sauté the onion and garlic in the bacon fat until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until caramelized. Add the crawfish and cook until heated through. Add the eggplant, bacon, egg, milk, Creole seasoning, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Stir gently to combine. Cook over medium-low heat, lifting with a rubber spatula to let the eggs flow underneath, until the edges are set but the middle is still loose, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Place in the oven until the eggs are slightly puffed and the cheese is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a serving platter, and cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.

Just one word of warning. Not all mushrooms are edible. Some are toxic. Do not eat mushrooms that you find in your yard. Always get them from a reputable source.

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