Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she's dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.
When I get into something, I get into it. I research and read articles that link to other articles and then I search my local library for books that correspond to the topic. This obsessive glitch to my personality carries over into food and I can find something I love, then eat it for weeks straight without ever tiring of it. I'll tweak and create until I've got it just right or filed 5 different variations away on my computer.
While I don't think everyone in the family loves this about me, the upside is that we save money because I keep combinations in the fridge that I can work into a handful of recipes and not waste fresh veggies and fruits. You know, those half onions in the storage bin or the leftover block of gruyere cheese. I'm really working on my waste print in 2016.
So mushrooms. I've been baking them into omelets with wilted spinach and egg whites in the morning, which turned into throwing them into shepherd's pies for dinner, and soups in the afternoon. The possibilities are really endless with a little bit of creativity.
Not wanting to waste these pretty pearls or the pricey cheese I've been harboring from another recipe, I decided to turn these mushrooms into little appetizers. With four kids at my feet, I always like to have a few pre-meal ideas I can serve to my guests when I'm still cooking dinner and everyone is starving. These gems are make-ahead (score!) and oh so fancy on a plate.
//CREAMY SAUSAGE-STUFFED MUSHROOMS
- 5 pints button mushrooms
- 4 Italian sausage links
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 yellow onions, minced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 ounces asiago cheese, shredded
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and pull out the stems and discard. Toss the cleaned de-stemmed mushrooms with 5 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Set aside and cool.
- Slit the Italian sausage and remove casing. Crumble in a heated pan and sauté until golden brown. Break up into small pieces while it is cooking. Set aside and cool.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onions. Cook until dark and caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Then add in the garlic and cook for a minute.
- Now add the cooked sausage, onions and garlic, cream cheese, salt and pepper, and 3 ounces of shredded Asiago cheese to a bowl and mix well with your hands. Break apart any large pieces of sausage.
- Heat your oven to 375° F. Line up your mushrooms in a greased baking dish with the core side facing up. Stuff each mushroom with a generous portion of the creamy sausage mixture. Top the mushrooms with the remaining Asiago cheese.
- Bake your mushrooms for roughly 45 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden brown. (This dish can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and put in the cooler until you are ready to put it in the oven.)