Friday, September 6, 2013

"Italian Stuffed Mushrooms" On The Menu For September

Join with me and let’s celebrate “National Mushroom Month.” which is observed every September. Since I can remember, growing up in my Italian American family, my mom would always use mushrooms in her recipes. There are many varieties of mushrooms, such as the white button, crimini, portabella, shiitake and oyster to name a few. The button mushroom is the most widely used. My mom would use a number of varieties for different dishes, but she preferred to use the white button mushrooms more than the others. 

To have a better understanding about where mushrooms originated from and some interesting facts, we have to travel back to ancient folklore. Egyptians believed that mushrooms were the plant of immortality. The flavors captivated the Pharaohs so much that mushrooms were decreed food for the royalty. Common people were not allowed to even touch them. According to some people Louis XIV was one of the first growers of mushrooms in France. Mushrooms were grown in caves. France showed England how simple a crop of mushrooms were to cultivate, so England began to produce them as well. The first American to cultivate mushrooms here in the United States was Louis F. Lambert from Minnesota. Many people found that mushrooms were easy to grow and cheap to buy. Pennsylvania is the lead in mushroom production. Speaking of Pennsylvania, if you are a fan of all things mushroom or just want to enjoy a fun (gi) time, go to Kennett Square in PA and join in the Mushroom Capital of the World for the annual Mushroom Festival. 

Edible mushrooms are known as “the meat” of the vegetable world. Most mushrooms are sold in supermarkets which have been grown in mushroom farms and are used in cooking many different cuisines of the world. Here are some tips as to selecting and cleaning mushrooms.

1. Purchase mushrooms that are firm with a fresh, smooth appearance
2. Surfaces should be dry, but not dried out and appear plump
3. Some mushrooms may keep for up to one week in the refrigerator
4. Fresh mushrooms should never be frozen, but frozen sautéed mushrooms will keep for up to one month 
1. Brush off any dirt with your fingers or a damp paper towel, or rinse the mushrooms briefly under running water and pat dry with a paper towel
2. Do not soak mushrooms in water as they easily absorb moisture

Dried mushrooms are often excellent substitutes for fresh. You can reconstitute dried mushrooms by soaking or simmering them. Don’t throw away the soaking liquid, as it can add flavor to your sauce. They're low in calories and sodium, so they add flavor to meals without adding too much of the things you don't want. They contain no fat or cholesterol and are full of Vitamin D.

My Mom
Now that you know all about mushrooms, you can try my mom’s recipe called “Italian Stuffed Mushrooms.” This dish has been in my family for years, and everyone loves it. My mom used to make this flavorful recipe mainly for holidays, until it was requested by family members for her to prepare this dish for a nonholiday as well. You can use this as a side dish or even as an appetizer. As you place a mushroom into your mouth, you have to close your eyes and taste the savory flavor of the spices, and cheese in the breadcrumb stuffing mix. All of these ingredients enhance the richness of the mushroom. Absolutely “yummy” and I’m sure it will be a favorite in your family as well as in mine.

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms” 

48 oz large white button mushrooms
2 cups of plain dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup of Pecorino Romano grated cheese
3 teaspoons of minced garlic fresh or jar
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup of olive or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Clean mushrooms and take the stem off. Mix the bread crumbs with the parsley, garlic, Pecorino Romano, salt and peeper in a small bowl. Now add some oil (about 2 tablespoons) and mix with hands. If you need more oil put in small amount each time until you are mixing the right consistency. When it feels like a sandy consistency then you are ready to stuff the mushroom caps and place on a large cookie pan/sheet. Now, drizzle a small amount of the remaining oil over the top of each mushroom. (This is so they do not dry out, but do not soak) Bake until mushrooms are browned and tender about 25-30 minutes. 

Till Next Time……
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***This Wednesday is the 12th Anniversary of 9/11, a day most Americans and the world will never forget. An attack on America took place that day in 2001, and thousands of people lost their lives. The entire country was impacted by this tragic day’s events. I would like to say that my heart and prayers go out to the families that have lost loved ones in the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Plus, my prayers also go to the First Responders, because of their bravery; many have also lost their lives. May our country and the world be safe and God Bless America.*** 


  1. Dear Dottie, This is a perfect dish for appetizers or a side. Delicious!!
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  2. Thank you Catherine. Always good to hear from you. Blessings and Enjoy!
    Dottie :)

  3. Hi Dottie , this ia a wonderful recipe for 'Mushroom Month', have to pull out my recipes and make a dish to celebrate . I use mushrooms a lot and make portabella burgers, family love them . My father-in-law (which lives with us) says Italians invented mushrooms and pasta among a few other ingredients {giggling} have a bless weekend :).

  4. Thank you Nee. This post was fun to write. I love stuffed mushrooms. I have used the portabella ones as well instead of burgers. They are very meaty. Your father-in-law sounds like a funny and interesting man. God Bless him. I do think the Italian people have invented many things, but I think pasta was created from the Chinese. Go figure! Glad that you had a good giggle. Have a great weekend, Blessings. Dottie :)

  5. Happy Mushroom Month, Dottie! You did a fabulous job covering all things mushrooms. I've been trying to get to the Mushroom Festival here in PA 4-EVER! I even did a post about it last year. Perhaps this year:)

    I LOVE italian stuffed mushrooms. We make them exactly the same way! Although, my sister Maria, the "now" cook of the family, sometimes adds finely chopped salami if she has it on hand. I prefer it the "old fashioned" way. Speaking of Salami, today is National Salami Day!

    Thanks for sharing, Dottie. I sure wish I had a couple of stuffed mushrooms right now. I may just need to make some for dinner!

  6. Thank you Louise,

    Happy Happy Salami Day! Didn't even know that one. I agree with you I love those stuffed mushrooms! I have heard of people putting salami in the stuffing like your sister Maria, but I am with you totally, I love them just the way my mom made them. I sometimes eat them cold if they are left over and that is amazing too! Glad that you enjoyed the post, now go make those mushrooms!!!

    Blessings, have a good weekend! :o)