Friday, February 25, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms

While searching for a good stuffed mushroom tapas recipe online, we stumbled across this recipe. Although they were nothing like the stuffed mushrooms we knew and loved from Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, they looked delicious! So we decided to try out the recipe, even though it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for.

When we ended up making these mushrooms, though, we originally thought they were a failure. They were as beautiful as they were in the picture, but honestly, the mushroom caps lacked flavor, and the stuffing felt like it belonged better on a bruschetta rather than stuffed inside a cooked mushroom. Nothing about the taste and texture worked.

However, we kept them overnight and served them at a Super Bowl party the next day. To our surprise, they tasted much better! Allowing the flavors to meld together overnight and soak into the mushroom caps really helped the dish immensely! In the end, I would call it mildly successful, though I did have several issues with the recipe.

First, the recipe had you chop the sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, the pine nuts, and the mushroom stems. This is actually much more work than necessary. The sundried tomatoes were particularly difficult, since the texture made them challenging to chop, and the oil made it a much messier task than it needed to be. If I try this recipe again in the future, I would definitely use a food processor to coarsely chop everything.

Another problem I had with the recipe was that it was poorly written. The ingredients were out of order, and the directions were all over the place. It’s really hard to follow, and I had to re-read it several times just to make sure I wasn’t forgetting any steps or ingredients.

The directions on the recipe were also written in a way that was hard to understand. For example, in many place, the directions say to “cook the mushrooms until they are dry”. In these instances, the only ingredients in the pan are mushrooms and oil, so it was unclear whether it meant to cook them until the mushrooms absorbed the oil, or until the mushrooms release water, then that dries up? I originally took it to mean that the oil was to be absorbed, but that may be why my mushroom caps ended up undercooked and underflavored. However, from experience, I know that once mushrooms release water, they are close to done cooking, and heating them further would risk overcooking them! So even now, I’m not sure what the directions had wanted me to do!

So, anyways, although the recipe ended up not being a complete disaster, I won’t re-post it here until I’ve resolved at least some of the issues I had with it. That is, if I decide it’s worth the effort!

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