Mushroom Misfortune

My semi-ambitious Super Bowl BBQ Menu included a stuffed mushroom appetizer. I was psyched to try this recipe.

A 10 oz. package of baby portabella mushrooms gives you about 14 bellas. It’s easy enough to pry out the stems with a little finger pressure to the side, done while washing them under some running water.

Clean and ready to get stuffed

You only need half of a 4 oz container of crumbled gorgonzola. Each baby bella will only take 3-5 big crumbles. You need room for the muffaletta salad.

Salty hash

Muffaletta salad is basically a chopped mixture of olives and other antipasto. This one had a couple types of olives, artichoke hearts, pimento, among other things. It makes a great sandwich spread with salami. Each mushroom got a heaping tablespoon of the salad. Then I wrapped everybody in bacon.

About to meet a tragic end...

I have made this recipe before in the oven with no bacon, mozzarella in place of gorgonzola, and olive tapenade instead of muffaletta. It’s a quick, simple appetizer that’s rich in flavor (and sodium).

The BBQ plan was to put these on a wood soaked cedar plank and give them 15 minutes or so on indirect heat. I assembled all of the mushrooms on the plank, set it on the counter, and went outside to check on the other food already on the grill.

Unfortunately, the family dog had acquired a taste for bacon after eating her Super Bowl BBQ doggie treats. While I was tending to the Weber 22″, Sam got on her hind legs and ate 12 of the 14 raw bacon-stuffed mushrooms. I caught her in the act and blurted out something along the lines of “Holy shit, Sam, what the hell are you doing?” or perhaps something far more profane.

Prime Suspect, caught in the act (File Photo)

I tossed the dog slobber-covered cedar plank. I cooked the survivors indirectly with some hickory smoke for about 10 minutes. They were great.

The thing to remember about this appetizer is its saltiness. Bacon, muffaletta salad, gorgonzola cheese … all salty. This is a high sodium appetizer, so have a beer in hand to wash things down accordingly. And keep the damn dog in the basement.

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