Along with the vast array of cookery books I own, I also thoroughly enjoy watching a good food programme on tv. One of my favourites is Nigel Slater’s newest series, Simple Cooking. Some people believe it to be rather over-produced, but I love the natural feel to it and the fact that all his produce lives wrapped in waxed paper, or is poured into thick glass bottles. I’d like my fridge to look like his but, unfortunately, mine is more usually a few leftover things hanging around in the salad compartment at the bottom feeling unloved and forgotten.
One of the recipes that looked really delicious was these stuffed mushrooms. Its a classic sausage-meat stuffing but with the crispiness on top and the chunks of chestnut therein. You can find the ‘proper’ recipe here, or follow my quantity-less version below.
Pop some large mushrooms in a roasting tin and a blob of butter in each. Pour over some olive oil and a splash of Madeira wine. Now, I had none, so used Port as Nigel suggested. I think, though, that Madeira wine would work better. Throw in a few sprigs of thyme too. (Again, I substituted for parsley as I didn’t have any.)
Bake in the oven for about 20 mins. Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Chop and fry gently some onions. Mix the inside of some tasty sausages, some breadcrumbs, chopped chestnuts, salt and pepper and add to the onions. Fry off for a short while.
Top the mushrooms with the stuffing mixture and return to the oven for about half an hour.
Now, I found that I could have added more oil, butter and Madeira at some point as the final mushrooms, although delicious, were on the dry side. I enjoyed the crispiness of the topping but maybe a lower oven and longer cooking time would have done the trick? I’ll leave you to play around with your own ideas for keeping them moist.