Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanksgiving appetizer

Thanksgiving can be a tough time for vegetarians – some people are so focused on the turkey that they don’t give enough thought to the side dishes.

But if you are a guest at a Thanksgiving dinner with lots of good side dishes, you can usually make a meal of sides, as long as the stuffing isn’t cooked inside the turkey, the Brussels sprouts don’t have bacon and the re is soup and salad.
If you are hosting the meal, though, and you don’t want to serve turkey, you may get complaints. I used to make a turkey for my family, but it started grossing me out, so we did without the turkey for a few years. When my sister-in-law started hosting the meal, she made turkey, and I contribute chestnut or squash soup, chocolate pecan pie and regular pecan pie, and maybe an appetizer.

I have this habit of always making a complicated new dish and springing it on guests. But Bobby Flay, chef and owner of Mesa Grill and Bar Americain, recommends sticking with staples, making the same dish a couple of times to make entertaining easier.

But because we have my daughter’s bat mitzvah Thanksgiving weekend, 35 out of town guests, high school applications due for the same daughter and college apps due for another, I decided to try out Bobby’s easy balsamic-glazed stuffed mushrooms. They are easy to whip up, don’t require any hard to find ingredients and they taste great.

A Bobby Flay Recipe

6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes

20 cremini mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
Pinch crushed hot pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise, divided
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided
4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs, toasted

Preheat oven 400°.

Toss mushroom caps with 1 tablespoon oil in large bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Arrange mushroom caps in 13 x 9-inch baking dish, stem-side-down. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove mushrooms; drain liquid. Return mushrooms to baking dish, stem-side-up.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook shallots, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Stir in mushroom stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in hot pepper flakes, parsley and thyme. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Turn into medium bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 tablespoons cheese and bread crumbs. Evenly spoon mixture into mushrooms.
Combine remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise with remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar in small bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Drizzle over mushrooms, then sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until mushrooms are golden and heated through.

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