Wednesday, May 14, 2014

White Bean & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Wine-Cap Mushroom Recipe

I am not kidding. Go out and make this recipe. Right. Now. If you aren't lucky enough to find wild mushrooms, portobellos will be fine, but you need to try this. 

While out foraging last Saturday, my husband spotted some huge mushrooms growing in woodchips outside a park, as we raced to the morel spot. After hunting around for morels (and finding a nice haul), we stopped at the park to see what he spotted.

Sorry, no pictures in the "wild"
I don't know where the park got it's wood chips, but they were literally bursting with fungi. You could barely walk from one clump to another without trampling dozens. Most were non-edible, very possibly poisonous, but on one edge of the park we found the motherload of wine-caps (Stropharia rugosoannulata).

Within minutes we had over 10lbs of mushrooms. I failed to take pictures as we were in full sight of the road, and in a park full of people (who were giving me the stink eye), and my husband was hurrying me on--fearful of the police. The mushroom ranged from the smallest, firmest young buttons to older mushrooms, with caps the size of salad plates! Some of the older mushrooms had tops which dried out, and had cracked, but when I sliced through them, the interior flesh was still firm, white and moist. The entire collection was surprisingly bug-free, only one had to be thrown away.

Stropharia rugosoannulata aren't the most difficult to ID, but they aren't a beginners mushroom either; still I was confident in what I had, having been with several experienced mushroom hunters who had ID'd them for me before. I would not recommend you try to hunt these until you have several other species under your belt, and preferably get introduced to them by a local expert.

Wine Cap pasta with dehydrated ramp seasoning
Most of the haul was destined for the dehydrator--enough to fill all 6 trays twice over! Some were brought to my mother-in-laws as a topping for steak on mother's day. Those I sauteed lightly in a mix of ramp and regular butter, with sliced garlic, sea salt and a drizzle of pinot noir. I did the same treatment for a pasta lunch, and topped it with freshly grated parm.

Wine cap Stropharia are a good "all purpose" mushroom, you can use it anywhere you would use the brown button mushroom from the grocery. Wine-cap's texture is less meaty, and the flavor is less "mushroomy", but it has a subtle sweetness that I like very much.

The four largest caps I set aside, along with their stems and the stems of several others, to make a stuffed mushroom dish.
Cooked caps, ready to be drained from the wine

White Bean & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Wine-Cap Mushrooms

I used 4 large caps and served 4 as a main course, but use smaller caps as a side or as appetizers.

4 large mushroom caps, I used wine-cap Stropharia
1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed
2 cups chopped mushroom stems and caps
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cups strong-flavored, grated cheese, divided*
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 half of an onion, diced
3 cups of veggie stock or broth
1/2 cup of red wine
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs
4 tbs butter, I used 1 of ramp butter, and 3 of regular butter
  1. Add the stock, wine and sun-dried tomatoes to a large, oven-safe saute pan, and bring to a simmer.
  2. If you are using large caps, lightly score the cap side, (not gill side), and place cap-side down into the simmering wine mixture.
  3. Melt the butter in a separate fry-pan. Add the onion and cook till translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, mix and cook for another minute. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook till for another 3-4 minutes. Finally, add the white beans, and 3-4 tablespoons of water. Mix everything together, and allow to cook, undisturbed for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Once the simmering mushroom caps seem mostly cooked, use a spatula to remove them from the pan to a plate. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes from the wine mixture, reserving about 1/4 inch of liquid in the saute pan.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
    Ready for the oven
  6. Mix the sun-dried tomatoes into the bean, mushroom, onion and garlic mixture. Add more liquid and/or butter if needed. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.
  7. Mix half of the grated cheese into the bean mixture. Add bread crumbs as needed to give it juuust a little body -- probably about a 1/4 cup.
  8. Return the mushroom caps--gill side up--into the oven-safe saute pan, with the reserved 1/4 inch of liquid.
  9. Stuff the bean mixture back into/onto the mushroom caps, sprinkle with just a tiny bit of remaining cheese.
  10. Place the saute pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove, and set oven to broil on high.
  11. Top mushrooms with remaining cheese, and then panko. Drizzle with melted butter. Place under the broiler for about 4 minutes, until cheese is melted and panko is browned. 
Served with roasted brussel sprouts & couscous
* I used a mix of romano & feta, because it's what I had on-hand

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