Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Festive Feast for 10: Portobello Mushroom Cups

I think it's an intrinsic quality of any foodie to love to entertain guests. Finally settled in my own place again, I've invited Jim's brothers and my siblings up for a Festive Gathering. While Jim cleans the apartment, I've been preparing the menu, cooking, and decorating. Many of the recipes I use are great year 'round, so I'd love to share a few of my favorites with you.

Events like this are like projects, and it takes a good amount of careful time management. Having some foods that you can prepare ahead of time is crucial. This recipe for Portabello Mushroom Stuffed Phyllo Cups is a go-to recipe for me. It's comes from my mom and has been a fail-safe for every big dinner I've prepared. They look nice, they make a great appetizer, and you can prep them as far in advance as you want, because you can freeze before baking. Oh, they taste awesome, too!

Portobello Mushroom Stuffed Phyllo Cups
2 10 oz. containers Baby Bella Mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 boxes "Athens Mini Fillo Shells" (found in the frozen food section, near pie crusts)

1) In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute the garlic in oil until it begins to soften.

2) Add the mushrooms to the skillet. Saute them, stirring constantly. They should reduce by half, becoming very soft. This takes about 10 minutes.

3) Once mushrooms become soft, mix in the parsley and saute for another minute.

4) In a medium sized bowl, combine the mushrooms, ricotta cheese and grated Parmesan. Stir together until the mixture appears to be thoroughly combined.

5) Fill the Fillo Cups (each one can hold about a teaspoon of mushrooms).

(At this point, after filling the cups, you can place them back in the box and freeze them until you want to use them.)

6. Place the cups on a baking sheet, bake at 350*f until the filled cup begins to brown and sizzle (about 20 minutes).

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