Although chips and dip are a perfectly acceptable way to hold you and your friends over before dinner, sometimes it’s fun to whip up something impressive.
The problem is, appetizers can be tricky. You want to serve your guests something that will entice their appetite, but won’t fill them up. Crab-stuffed mushrooms look like a lot of work, but they are quite easy.
If you’re not a crab or seafood person, sausage is a good substitute. For vegetarians, diced zucchini works, too. Also, I like Parmesan cheese for this because I like the saltiness with the seafood, but mozzarella, Monterey Jack or Fontina would also work.
12-15 white button mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Wipe off any dirt from your mushrooms with a damp kitchen towel. Do not run them under water, because they will absorb it and become soggy once you cook them. Then, pull out the stems and set aside. You can also dig out a little bit more room in the mushrooms with a spoon if you want your mushrooms to have more filling, because sometimes the stem cavity is a little small.
2. Chop the mushroom stems finely, since they are a bit tough and need to be broken down a bit more than the regular mushroom flesh. Saute the onion and mushrooms in the olive oil over medium-high heat. After the onion is translucent and the mushroom stems are lightly browned (about ten minutes) add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for two more minutes. Turn the heat off.
3. While the mixture is cooling, combine the crab meat, parsley, and the lemon zest and juice. Add the onion and mushroom mixture once it has cooled and combine all the ingredients together.
4. Put a small spoonful of filling inside each mushroom. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
When making these appetizers, buy enough mushrooms so that each guest can have three. This recipe can be doubled—just remember to check the filling for seasonings before you stuff your mushrooms.