Mushrooms hold a certain mystery. Earthy, magical and delicious.
In my younger years, my parents often took 2 vacations a year. It was the beach during the summer months and mountains in the fall. Since I have an utter obsession with water, the beach was always my preferred place. While it was packed with people, laughter and excitement exploding all around, the mountains offered the opposite. I viewed them as an enigma - intimidating and humbling.
Our vacations generally involved a lot of hiking; long days filled with my searching for edible clover, drinking fresh water from tiny creeks and stopping to investigate every mushroom I spotted.
Mushrooms fascinated me. I never was allowed to touch them. As relaxed as my parents were about things, that was the one thing they wouldn't budge on. And naturally, being told that I couldn't do something made me want it all the more. I would get on the ground, admire the shapes, the earthy colors, the drops of dew slowly making their way off the cap. My parents waited. They understood. Kids need the time to explore.
But let's fast forward to today. I don't forage for mushrooms, though maybe some day I will. I pick them up at the farmers market or grocery store and sauté them with ghee and herbs.
Today I wanted to try something a little different. An appetizer that's easy to make, with simple ingredients that are accessible to everyone. Whether you're hosting a March Madness party, making them for Easter or just entertaining friends and family, this is an easy one to throw together. I'm using one of my pantry staples and create this delicious appetizer that's sure to please a crowd.
I've been using Mahatma rice for some time now. It's flavorful, versatile, delicious and affordable. You can check out Mahatma rice here. For this dish, I decided to infuse the rice with green tea, golden raisins and toss it together with a combination of sautéed shallots, reduced white wine and bacon and top it with some fresh parsley. Then I take the mixture and stuff it in baby Portabella mushrooms and bake it for 15 minutes. An easy appetizer you can toss together even as your hungry guests arrive. Happy March everyone!
stuffed mushrooms with rice, walnuts, bacon and raisins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time 30-35 minutes
1/2 cup Mahatma rice thoroughly rinsed
1 green tea bag (optional)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 pints baby Portabella mushrooms, stems removed and hollowed out
2 slices of uncured, nitrate free bacon chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup white wine (optional use broth)
2 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
medium sauce pan
large frying pan
In sauce pan combine rice, water, tea bag and raisins. Bring to a boil, remove tea bag, cover and turn heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In frying pan, add bacon and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring continuously. Remove bacon pieces with slotted spoon and rest on paper towel lined plate, leaving bacon drippings in pan.
Add shallots and pinch of salt and sauté on low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring continuously, until shallots caramelize. Deglaze with wine and increase heat for 1-2 minutes until wine reduces. Turn off heat.
Once rice is cooked, add to frying pan, along with walnuts, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp parsley. Add most of the bacon back in reserving a little to top mushrooms once they finish baking. Stir to combine.
Place mushroom caps on parchment paper lined backing sheet and top with as much of the rice filling as you'd like. Bake for 15 minutes. Once mushrooms are baked, top with leftover bacon and additional parsley.
(This post is sponsored by Mahatma Rice)