Cheese Ball Stuffed Mushrooms

I’m a sucker for appetizers. How can you not like appetizers? They’re an entire entree packed into a bite-size morsel. So, you can have, like, a dozen meals at a single party. And no one will think you’re crazy. Mini crab cakes. Bacon-wrapped scallops. Blue cheese stuffed olives. The world is your oyster, one bite at a time.

I’ve been on the hunt for a really standout recipe for stuffed mushrooms. I looked high. I looked low. Nothing tickled my fancy. And then I remembered the beef ball. My delicious old friend, the beef ball. With a few minor changes—including additional cheese, officially kicking the ingredient balance in favor of cheese—I thought my search might have finally come to an end. And, oh boy, did it ever. These are, well, fancy-ticklin’. (Not to be confused with fanny ticklin’, which would be a whole different kind of party you might serve these at.)

beefballmushrooms1_110609Tasty beef. Adds just the right oomph. The jar art of this brand always cracks me up: there’s a beef ball right on the front. Acknowledge your niche, that’s what I always say.
beefballmushrooms4_110709Flavor, flavor, flavor!
beefballmushrooms2_110709They say, don’t wash mushrooms. Pfft. Mushrooms live in dirt. You don’t. But do you wash yourself with just a damp paper towel? (That was rhetorical. Please don’t share your bathing methodology. That would fall under TMI.) I have a nifty little mini-salad-spinner, perfect size for giving veggies (or fungi) a shower and a quick spin dry. And then I wipe them extra clean and dry with a paper towel.
beefballmushrooms5_110709I couldn’t help myself. I had to see how cute they’d be stuffed, before the butter bath (don’t worry, he got his).
beefballmushrooms6_110709On a slightly related note, given that we’re barreling down towards the holiday party season, this is the stack of catalogs that I pulled out of my post office box this morning. Dude. The Environment. Clean out your customer lists, marketers. I’m just sayin’.
beefballmushrooms7_110709Mmmm, butter bath. Buttahbuttahbuuhhttah. Buttah.
beefballmushrooms8_110709Hooo hoooo were these good. I thought the cheese ball mixture might overwhelm the flavor of the mushroom, but it totally doesn’t. The butter-swathed crimini mushroom adds a delicious savory note that’s just perfect. If I do say so myself.
Cheese Ball Stuffed Mushrooms
  8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  2 1/2 oz dried beef, rinsed, patted dry and finely chopped
  2   green onions, chopped (or substitute a sweet onion)
  1 pinch onion powder
  1 pinch garlic powder
  1 tablespoon mayo
  1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated
  1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  1 tablespoon Crimini or white button mushrooms, well-cleaned with stems removed
  3 tablespoons butter (optional)

1.  In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, dried beef, green onions, onion powder, garlic powder, asiago cheese, mayo and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and refrigerate until chilled (overnight, if possible, but at least a couple of hours. It gives the flavors a chance to mix and mingle. Hubba hubba.)

2.  OPTIONAL REQUIRED: Give the mushrooms a butter bath. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms, and stir and flip and swirl until well coated. Sprinkle lightly with salt, if desired. Mmm, salty goodness. Cook for a minute or two, and remove to a plate to cool for a bit.

3.  Preheat the oven to 350°. To stuff the mushrooms, gently warm the filling in the microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring in between, until the mixture is very pliable (you may not need to do this, but if you can’t easily get a spoon into the mixture, odds are, you’re gonna crack a mushroom). Spoon a mound of filling on the cavity side of each mushroom, pressing down lightly to get all the tasty yumminess in the nooks and crannies.

4.  Arrange stuffed mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Keep your hands to yourself. It’s not safe yet.

5.  REQUIRED: When cool (or at least, cooled to warmishness), pop one in your mouth. You deserve it.


Comments

  1. Sounds soo good!!!! All is on my grocery list!

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