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Crab-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Mary Anne here. From the time he was a little boy, my eldest son has been wild for Portobello mushrooms, whether they’re grilled, sauteed in oil and splashed with Balsamic vinegar, or just plain raw.

This past week ushered in a flurry of frantic activity in my nursing job, so my boy came home to help me trim our Christmas tree. Like so many doting moms, I was determined to create a festive spread to keep our spirits high while we decorated the homestead. Filled with gratitude, I decided to reward him for coming to my holiday rescue and conjured up these cheese-laced stuffed mushrooms just for him. He loves my crab cakes, so I used that basic recipe and then added a few twists, turns and a dash of this and that. The result was Feast-worthy, as Mariel and I have come to dub our latest creations. The mushrooms are so good, in fact, that I’ve decided to serve these bites as the first course at Christmas dinner in lieu of our traditional Lobster Bisque.

Swap out bigger ‘shrooms for baby ‘bellos and pass them as hors d’oeuvres on New Year’s Eve or any cocktail occasion. They’re guaranteed to satisfy the fungi lovers in your life!

If you’re looking for a last minute holiday gift that’s easy, inexpensive and doesn’t require the hair-tearing worry of last-minute shipping, check out our recipe for Double-Layered Peppermint Bark over at Patch.com.

Crab-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Serves 6 as a first course or 12 as passed appetizers

*Note: These can be prepared the day before. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. Use a soup spoon (or melon baller if preparing small mushrooms) to scoop out the gills and stems. Save the stems, sealed in a zip-lock bag in the freezer, to use in soup stock.

½ lb. canned crab claws, drained (Mariel here: in a pinch, I’d sub in about 8-oz canned lump crab, drained) – $6.99
1 lb. large portobello mushrooms – $3.99
1 egg, lightly beaten – stock
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard – stock
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce – stock
¼ cup mayonnaise – stock
1 Tablespoon lemon juice – stock
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning – stock
4 Tablespoons fresh, plain bread crumbs – stock
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro or 1 Teaspoon dried – stock
2 to 3 scallions (a.k.a. green onions), minced – $0.79
1/3 cup (generous) grated Swiss cheese (I had Jarlsberg on hand) – $2.79
salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan to garnish (optional)
Grand total assuming Well-Stocked pantry: $14.56
Total per first course serving: $2.43
Total per hors d’oeuvre serving: $1.21

1. Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Butter a 10 x 15 inch glass casserole dish. Scoop out the mushroom caps, as directed in the intro, and place in the prepared dish.

2. Combine the egg, mustard, lemon juice, Old Bay, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, bread crumbs, parsley, scallions, Swiss cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

3. Gently fold in the crab meat, combining thoroughly.

4. Stuff the mushroom caps with the crab mixture, forming a little mound in the center. Tamp down gently so that the mixture adheres to the sides.
*Note: these can be prepared up to this point, 1 day before as directed in the intro.

5. Bake the mushrooms for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and reposition the rack so that it is 4 inches away from the broiler flame. Preheat the broiler.

6. Meanwhile, sprinkle the mushrooms with shredded parmesan, if desired. Broil the ‘bellos for 2 minutes, just until pale gold on top. the mushrooms will begin to release their juices. Serve warm.