Wednesday, July 25, 2012
this is the stuff
Can I keep talking about my new kitchen? I mean, I am just so happy with the improvement from my last one, that I just want to share it with you, but then again, I don't want to be that grinning asshole who's too happy, y'know?
Thank you for bearing with me. Today's contentment is derived from the amazing amount of cabinet and pantry space that I get to have. I'm being super precious about it now that it's new, so it's all showroom-ready, all the labels are facing front, and everything is within arm's reach. Once I get over that and start getting utilitarian with it, I can stash enough canned foods to last through any apocalypse. There is so much space that I want to go to Costco and over-buy just because I can.
All kidding aside, I do want to have a well-stocked pantry now that I have the space, instead of having to go buy new things every time I want to make a new recipe. I love grocery stores (although I don't love Trader Joe's parking lots), so it's not really an issue to go, but it's sometimes nice to look around the house and create from what's already there.
I had that kind of feeling this morning, so I started by going through the freezer, aka Where Good Intentions Go to Die. Nestled at the bottom were packs of sausages that have been eagerly awaiting those barbecues we've not been able to schedule because the house isn't quite ready for guests yet. I figure 4 sausages wouldn't decrease the quality of the barbecue by that much, so I set them out to thaw, intending to make sausage and peppers for dinner.
Now, it's not that I don't like sausage and peppers, but I don't love sausage and peppers. And the Interwebs have such a way of leading me to stuff I do love that I couldn't help but do a little search. What I came up with may be a new staple - Sausage-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.
Now, a lot of of these recipes call for cooking loose sausage first and then just essentially reheating them in the oven in your vehicle of choice, whether it be peppers or portobellos. I was looking for more of a meatloaf-style stuffing, so I caramelized a couple veggies (I imagine it would be stellar with fennel come fall), and stuffed the mushrooms with raw patties that just took a little longer to cook in the oven.
So, so good. The sausage cooked just perfectly. The veggies added a little bit of sweetness to the wonderful savoriness of the sausage. I like to think the one egg I added also added to the fluffiness of the stuffing. I can imagine this would be awesome used to stuff baby bellas or even regular white mushrooms for a nice appetizer, or formed into small meatballs and simmered with a nice tomato sauce to go over top of pasta. You know, if one were to eat pasta (one day, my friend).
Sausage-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
inspired by Food 52
1 c. finely diced eggplant
2 artichoke hearts, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 bell pepper, finely diced
4 large portobello mushrooms, gills removed, stems reserved and diced
salt and pepper to taste
4 sweet Italian sausages
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. When shimmery, add the eggplant, artichoke, carrot, pepper and mushroom stems. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, uncase the sausages. Add the cooked veggies and the egg, and mix together gently, but thoroughly with your hands.
4. Divide the sausage mixture into 4 patties and stuff the mushrooms. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the sausage reads 165 degrees. Serve immediately with a side salad.