I hadn’t made the stuffed mushrooms in years. Since the stew needed mushrooms, I purchased a few extra. For the recipe you’ll need large white mushrooms, an onion, a clove of fresh garlic, vegetable oil, breadcrumbs, grated cheese (I used Pecorino Romano), fresh parsley, salt and oregano. The mushrooms caps are filled with the cooked chopped stems and the balance of the ingredient list. The filling is pre-cooked before being stuffed into the mushrooms. I used panko breadcrumbs and drizzled some olive oil on top before baking for 25 minutes. The mushrooms were as good as I remember them and they were a hit with our guests.
The Stilton and Pear Salad was published in Gourmet Magazine, December 1992. You’ll need white wine vinegar, Dijon-style mustard, olive oil, red or green leaf lettuce, red Bartlett pear, Stilton cheese and pecans. The salad had a lovely dressing which complimented the pear and cheese. Chopped, toasted pecans added some crunch. The pear, purchased a few days before, was perfectly ripe and sweet.
I’ve made the Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew before, but this time I made classic popovers to go along. The popover recipe was from Gourmet Magazine, January 1996, which I held onto. Besides the basic recipe, they included a few variations. You can find the recipe at www.epicurious.com. For the classic recipe you’ll need 2 large eggs, milk, water, unsalted butter and all-purpose flour. Many years ago, we had popovers at “The Treaty of Paris” restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland. After that, I found a popover pan at Williams-Sonoma. You can use regular muffin tins, but you’ll need to reduce the baking time. Although I used a popover pan, mine were done after 30 minutes. I turned off the oven and cut slit in the tops and left in the oven for additional 5 minutes, instead of 10 at full temperature as the recipe called for. The next time, I’ll check after 20 minutes so as to allow enough time to finish baking after making a slit in the top. Despite being a tad over baked, my guests enjoyed them.
As a matter of fact, the whole dinner was a success. I found my menu choices allowed me to prep everything before they arrived and just needed to dress the salad and mash the potatoes. From hors ‘oeuvres to dessert they thoroughly enjoyed the meal.
By Marie Piancone Sgroi
I’ve had this recipe in my possession for over 30 years. I’m assuming it came from my late cousin Marie who would make stuffed mushrooms for holiday dinners.
1-pound large white mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 clove garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Separate stems from caps. Chop stems finely with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Sauté stems with onions, garlic and oil until soft. Remove from heat; add
1/3 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Stuff caps. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
Stilton and Pear Salad
Gourmet Magazine, December 1992
Time: 45 minutes or less
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups red- or green- leaf lettuce (preferably young lettuce, available at specialty produce markets and some supermarkets), or a combination; of both, rinsed and spun dry
1 large red Bartlett pear
1/4-pound Stilton, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted lightly, cooled, and chopped
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified. In a bowl toss the lettuce with half the dressing and divide the salad among 4 plates. Halve and core the pear and cut it lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange one fourth of the pear slices decoratively on each plate, divide the Stilton and the pecans among the salads, and drizzle the remaining dressing on top.
Gourmet Magazine, January 1996
Yield: Makes 6 large or 9 medium popovers
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
I used an older version popover pan that is different than what currently available is at Williams-Sonoma . My popovers were done in 30 minutes. If you use a traditional muffin pan, yours may take less time too. You’ll want to pull your muffing just as they’re starting to brown, make the small slit and place back in the oven for just 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. You don’t want to overbake them.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.