Monday, 14 November 2011

Chestnut Stuffed Mushroom Caps

It's chestnut season and I love chestnuts, but plain old chestnuts roasting on an open fire can get a bit boring at times.  Stuffed vegetables on the other hand, are always exciting.

Vegetables stuffed and rolled are just so pretty.  Excuse the photos because they do these stuffed mushrooms no justice, they actually looked lovely.  Chestnuts and mushrooms have a wonderful partnership.  They both have this beautiful earthy note, and chestnuts have that extra flavor, that mellow sweetness, that it so kindly lends to the mushrooms as they slowly roast together in the oven.  These make a great appetizer, but only after I ate it did I realize that they could've done well with a nice simple dressing, a salsa verde, to perk it up a bit. Whizz up some garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and grind. Season and drizzle on top.  

Prep time: 25 min Cook time: 10 min  Serves: 2  Suitable for: a simple romantic appetizer for two or a casual main for one 

2 big mushroom caps
1 small red onion, finely chopped
8 chestnuts, cooked and peeled
A splash of wine
A generous block of Grana Padano (or any other hard cheese you have at hand)
A generous nob of butter 
a handful of parsley 

Sautee the onions with some oil in a pan over medium heat for about 20 minutes until beautifully caramelized.  Remove the stems from the mushrooms, chop that up finely along with the chestnuts and add to the pan.  Add a splash of wine and fry for a couple of minutes more before seasoning. Place the mixture in the mushroom caps, let them get nice and cozy.  Cut up your nob of butter and slice your cheese, place them on top of the mushrooms.  Bake in a preheated oven of 180C for 10-12 minutes and serve with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.  

Well, there's that sauce that you can drizzle on top.  Again, it's whatever you have at hand.  

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