Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

The sausage and crab meat in the filling of these stuffed mushrooms combine for a rich and delicious appetizer perfect for any party or get-together. 

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

When it comes to party appetizers, some people will tell you that stuffed mushrooms are old-fashioned. I am not one of those people. Truth be told, stuffed mushrooms rank high of my list of favorite party foods because they're easy to eat in one bite or two, usually filled with something rich and delicious, and, in my opinion, way more exciting than whatever's going on with the veggie tray.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

Of course, there's a more personal reason as to why I love stuffed mushrooms -- my mother served stuffed mushrooms at nearly all of her parties and get-togethers in honor of special occasions. Her version called for a curious filling mixture consisting of Cheez Whiz and pastrami (and other secret ingredients), and once guests discovered how delicious those mushrooms were, a small crowd would gather around that end of the table so they could be the first to grab the second batch fresh from the oven.

Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Crumbles | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Crumbles

Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Crumbles | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Crumbles

Although I didn't use Cheez Whiz for these stuffed mushrooms, I'd like to think that my mother would like them just as much as hers. My version gets its "something special" from a filling made with Neufchâtel cheese, Jimmy Dean Original Pork Sausage Crumbles, and lump crab meat. Because the sausage crumbles are fully cooked, the filling comes together in no time... and if you stuff the mushrooms ahead of time, you can slide them into the oven to bake just before your guests start to arrive, leaving you more time to spend with them instead of in the kitchen!

Mushroom Caps | Taste As You Go
Mushroom Caps

One thing that my version has in common with my mother's is the use of the whole mushroom Obviously, you're going to want to use the mushroom caps as the vehicle for the stuffing.

Mushroom Stems | Taste As You Go
Mushroom Stems

Mushroom Stems | Taste As You Go
Mushroom Stems

Chopped Mushroom Stems | Taste As You Go
Chopped Mushroom Stems

But you're also going to want to reserve the mushroom stems. Trim a little bit off the ends that weren't attached to the mushroom caps and then chop them up.

Unsalted Butter in Skillet | Taste As You Go
Unsalted Butter in Skillet

Melt some unsalted butter over medium heat in a large skillet.

Chopped Mushroom Stems in Melted Unsalted Butter | Taste As You Go
Chopped Mushroom Stems in Melted Unsalted Butter

Once the butter has melted, add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for a few minutes before adding some minced shallot. While you could skip the shallot altogether, they do add a subtle onion flavor to the background.

Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Crumbles | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Crumbles

Filling for Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Filling for Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

Next, add the Jimmy Dean Original Pork Sausage Crumbles. Even though they're fully cooked, you're going to want to heat the crumbles up to develop the overall flavor of the filling. Just before pulling the filling off the heat, add a large clove of minced garlic and cook everything together for one more minute.

Filling for Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Filling for Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

Doesn't that look fabulous?

Just wait... It gets better.

Neufchâtel Cheese | Taste As You Go
Neufchâtel Cheese

Grated Parmesan Cheese | Taste As You Go
Grated Parmesan Cheese

To finish the filling, place room-temperature Neufchâtel cheese in a large bowl with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You could use cream cheese here, but I prefer Neufchâtel because it's slightly milder in flavor and contains approximately 33% less fat than cream cheese. Plus, the Neufchâtel really compliments the flavor of the mushrooms. You should be able to find it in your regular grocery store next to the cream cheese.

Filling for Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Filling for Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat
  
Add the sausage mixture to the cheese mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Then gently fold in one can of lump crab meat (drain it first) and you're ready to stuff the mushroom caps.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

You should have enough filling to stuff 20-24 mushrooms. Be generous with the filling but keep in mind that there is potential for some bubbling over as the mushrooms release their moisture while baking.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat | Taste As You Go #JDCrumbles
Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat

Now, you're going to be tempted to sneak one of these stuffed mushrooms from right off the baking sheet as soon as you take them out of the oven because they're going to smell amazing. But do yourself a huge favor and let them sit for a few minutes before you do that. Otherwise, you're going to burn the roof of your mouth on the hot cheesy filling and you're going to curse yourself for being so impatient.

Not like I'm speaking from experience or anything...

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Crab Meat
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes | Cook Time: 20-25 minutes | Total Time: 30-40 minutes | Yield: 20-24 mushrooms | Printable Recipe

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 8-ounce packages button mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 6 ounces Jimmy Dean Original Pork Sausage Crumbles
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 6-ounce can lump crab meat, drained

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Separate the mushroom stems from the mushroom caps. Place the caps cavity-side up on the baking sheet. Chop the stems and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the minced shallot and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the Jimmy Dean Original Pork Sausage Crumbles and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the sausage mixture from the heat and allow to sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients of the filling.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the Neufchâtel and Parmesan cheese. Add the sausage mixture and stir well to combine.
  7. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the lump crab meat until incorporated.
  8. Using a tablespoon, fill each mushroom cap with the sausage and crab meat mixture. Because the mixture will likely bubble while the mushrooms bake, try not to overfill the mushroom caps.
  9. Bake the mushrooms for 20-25 minutes depending on their size. If your mushroom caps are on the large size, then they'll take longer to bake.
  10. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before plating. If the mushrooms released a lot of water during baking, then use a paper towel to blot the bottom of each mushroom cap before placing on a serving platter. Serve warm.
Recipe by Michelle Rittler | Taste As You Go

Taste As You Go Disclaimer: I am a proud member of the Jimmy Dean Blogger Community. The terms of this sponsored relationship may vary but may include Jimmy Dean providing me with free product or other forms of monetary or non-monetary compensation. Regardless of compensation, all opinions expressed here are my own.

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