Sunday, January 23, 2011

Suzee's Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

It's not often I make these mushrooms. I came up with the recipe back in college, when I started cooking because I LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat - good food, not yukky food. I used this stuffing for both mushroom and baked stuffed shrimp (which were all the rage back in the day). As a college chick, I could make dinner for 6, with cocktails and wine, for less than the cost of 2 entrees at a reasonable restaurant. And I admit - mine was better! Hehehehe :) Well, I thought so, and that meant I enjoyed cooking for my friends, and they didn't seem to mind eating what I made :)

For these stuffed crabs, you need:
A can of crab, drained and squeezed well - get that juice out of there, and discard (the 6 oz size is good for 2 lbs of mushrooms)
A stick of salted butter
A sleeve of saltines (this time I used stone ground crackers)
2 lbs of mushrooms

Since I was the only one eating these cutie patooties, I only made a few, but these are the proportions.

Mince the garlic.
Melt the butter over low, and add the garlic.
Crush the crackers - not with a rolling pin so they are too fine, but just with your hands. If  you only use your hands, you won't have to worry about crushing them too finely, and they should be very, very small pieces.
Mix the crab, crackers and butter mixture.

Brush the mushrooms so they are free of dirt, and pop the mushroom stems from the mushroom cups. You can save the stems for anything calling for sliced or minced mushrooms, or if you are feeling exeedingly ambitious, make some duxelles and freeze it for later. Its an ingredient that will add richness to almost any meal including beef.

You can, at this point, pre-bake the cups for 20 minutes or so. Some people do this so that the stuffing doesn't easily fall out of the mushroom, but after trying it, I don't think it's really worth the trouble. You can decide for yourself - if you do pre-bake, you can cut the total baking time.

At this point, whether you have pre-baked or not, it's time to stuff the cups. Honestly, I always have extra stuffing left over, so pile it high :)

Snuggle all the mushrooms in a single layer in a baking dish, and bake at 350 until you smell the mushrooms, and then add 0 or 15 minutes more. This will be about 25 minutes or so for pre-baked mushrooms and about 45 for raw.

Now, if you have other things baking at 400 or 325 or whatever, this recipe is very forgiving. Adjust the cooking time and be sure to cook them until the mushrooms are fully cooked. Then enjoy!