Friday, January 8, 2010

'Shroom Terrorism

If you've been reading my blog and comments, you know that I LOVE mushrooms and my Bestie, Mama M, hates them. This has been a long time food issue in our friendship. Mama M and her son and me and my son all lived together in college* when our boys were around 2 years old. Tigger (my son) had a fantastic gag reflex with certain textures--mainly melted cheese, creamy peanut butter, tater tot hotdish . . . you get the picture (actually I wish I HAD a picture).

I say "fantastic" because when he would eat something like that and gag, he'd make this loud gag-burp-blech sound accompanied by a kind of hilarious facial expression and . . .well . . . Mama M found it hilarious. She'd laugh so hard she'd cry. I know this sounds awful and as Tigger's Mom, I should've been offended that she was laughing at my son. . . but it WAS kind of hilarious and I laughed to. And then I'd laugh out of sheer mortification that I was laughing at my son . . .having a gag reflex to cheese. Seriously, please don't call child protection services. He's 14 now and I have a therapy fund started for him. and I'm making Mama M contribute to said fund.

But Mama M has texture issues of her own--mainly she cannot stand the "squeaky" texture of mushrooms (nor does she like mariachino cherries or donuts). I'd LOVE to be there when she tried one though and see if her gag face was as hilarious as Tiggers. I'm guessing it is. hmm . . . I wonder . . .

Anyway, back to how this relates. I LOVE mushrooms but while we lived together every time I'd eat them or cook with them or give them to Tigger, Mama M would be warning him that he'd hate them and making gagging faces. She did this to torture me and my love of mushrooms; or because she seriously thought she was saving him from an awful mushroom experience--hard to tell. Either way it was 'Shroom Terrorism. And it worked. Tigger wouldn't touch them for fear of the gag reflex and because Mama M told him not to (and he really liked Mama M when she wasn't laughing at him while he choked :)

After graduation, we moved into seperate places and I was able to put Tigger into mushroom rehab . . . slowly working on getting him to try them again. I'd chop them up and put them in things and tell him after he ate it that they were in there. Around age 5 he ate one on a dare . . raw . . . and loved it. He began eating whole packages of mushrooms raw. Wierd I know. I mean I like mushrooms, but I'm not likely to eat them raw and plain for a snack. But, this is the same kid who adores sushi--ya, loves sushi but hates melted cheese--go figure. And he's loved mushrooms ever since.

*Mama M and I have an amazing story of how we met and ended up living together in college with our boys. Maybe someday soon we'll share it via bloggy world :)

But the 'Shroom rivalry between Bestie Mama M is still alive and kickin'. Payback's a . . . pain. Maybe I could instill a love of mushrooms with Mama M's kids! Yeah!
And I would use this is the recipe to do it:

The Unkept Cook's "Stuffin' Shrooms"

You'll need:
2 packages of Stuffing Mushrooms, stems removed (caps only)
1 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 onion, chopped
1 lb. Italian flavored ground Turkey**
1 clove minced garlic (or a cube of frozen garlic puree from TJ's)
2 tsp Smoked Sweet Red Pepper seasoning (or smoked paprika)--optional
Italian Style Breadcrumbs (about 2 handfuls)
Flavored cream cheese or Rondele Garlic Artichoke Cheese spread
Shaved Parmesan--optional

**I use ground Turkey instead of pork or pork sausage because it's less fat, less greasy and less salty than the pork sausage--this way you can control the fat and salt. I also like the taste better, but if you're a pork sausage kinda family, go for it!

How to:

While sauteeing the chopped onion in the oil until onions are soft, remove the stems from the mushrooms. If mushrooms are dirty, wipe them clean with a damp cloth. Once the onions are soft, add the Italian ground Turkey and brown the turkey. While the turkey is browning, add the garlic, Paprika and salt to taste. Once the turkey is brown, but still "juicy", add in about 2 palmfuls of the breadcrumbs--the breadcrumbs will soak up the leftover oil and juices from the browning turkey. It'll look a little like stuffing and be a bit mushy. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs begin to kind of brown.

Then take a small spoon and put about 1-2 tsp of the Rondele cheese or flavored cream cheese in the bottom of every mushroom cap. Unless you're Tigger's mom --then you'd only fill half with cheese and leave the other half plain unless you'd like to hear "Mom!? did you put CHEESE on this!" Oh, how I wish someone would terrorize the boy into liking cheese--but I realize he's healthier for it . . .

After the cheese, spoon a mound of the Turkey Stuffing mixture into each 'Shroom. and then, again only on the half Tigger isn't eating, place a few shavings of parmesan. I used "shaved" parmesan instead of shreds because it stays atop the mounds much easier.

Put in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until those parmesan shavings are browned nicely:
The meat is already cooked through so your really just warming up the mushrooms and getting the cheesy melty. I like my mushrooms a bit "al dente" so that they aren't all watering and falling apart. If you like yours more done, just leave them in longer.

Enjoy! Tigger ate 12 of the cheese-free shrooms! I enjoyed mine with cheese--yum!

Shroom' Free Remix: (just for Mama M) this turkey stuffing mixture is DELICIOUS and would be great to stuff anything with (peppers, tomatoes, etc).

Leftover Makeover: The next day, make a little pasta, melt the Rondele cheese spread (thin with chicken broth) and chop up the leftover shrooms (I had 3 leftovers and some of the turkey stuffing leftover) and toss together for a yummy leftover makeover!

Eat well! and watch out for 'Shroom Terrorists . . .


  1. I heart mushrooms..those look soo yummy..and I've been doin a dumb diet and I'm hungry so it's not nice to show hungry peeps yummy food ;-)

  2. sans cheese, these are pretty darned healthy, Keely :)

  3. How dare Mama M do that to your son!! :) Seriously, I love mushrooms, although they definitely need to be cooked, but I am definitely trying this one out someday!

  4. I love mushrooms and my children (all 3) ate them raw for snacks when they were young. Of course they also ate broccoli, cauliflower, avocados and artichokes, so they were not normal children. The only veggie I could not get them to eat was green beans, all three would gag if they got a green bean in their mouth. Love the recipe.

  5. Ewwww...what a way to ruin some good turkey stuffing!!! ;) Actually...I wish I liked mushrooms. Okay...I lied. I don't.

  6. YUMMMMMMYYYY!!!! This looks so good! I will definitely be trying this one! I have one mushroom lover & one mushroom hater.....he'll just have to have pb&j when I make this! lol. :)