Southwestern Stuffed Mushrooms, Take One

The neighbors across the street are in full Harley party moron mode, so rather than lie in bed cussing I guess I’ll lay my newest culinary creation on you. I wouldn’t call it a finished and ready for prime time recipe, but it’s pretty close and surprisingly so for a first go. It’s a southwestern stuffed mushroom recipe:

  • One grilled chicken breast (both halves) shredded finely (hopefully it was skinless when you grilled it so it gets that charred flesh flavor. Ain’t nuthin’ like charred flesh.)
  • 12 enormous mushrooms
  • 2 green (Anaheim) chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and finely chopped (No, not the canned things. They are not the same. Do it right or don’t bother!)
  • 3/4 cup finely sliced scallion
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (No, not pressed. Trust me.)
  • 1 stalk celery, minced (without bits of sliced finger)
  • 1.5 cups queso fresco cut into very small dice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cube butter
  •  11 tablespoons 90 weight gear oil (optional)

Remove the stems of the shrooms being careful not to damage the caps, and cut off the dry ends of the stems. Finely mince the stems. Oh, and discard the dry ends. Not into the compost pile, trust me on this.

Melt half of the cube of butter in a skillet, then cook the minced mushroom stems, celery, and onion in the butter until the minced mushroom is golden brown. Add the scallion and green chile, cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken, queso fresco and heavy cream. Reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), or to some temperature in that vicinity. This ain’t science we’re doin’ here and we don’t really care if the oven runs a little hot or cold. And I especially don’t care because I’m not going to be stuck eating your mistakes!

In another skillet, melt the other half of the butter, and lightly brown the mushroom caps top and bottom. Remove caps to a baking dish, then pour remaining butter into the dish. Swish the caps around a bit to get some butter on the bottoms of them. Oh, yeah, the open part where the stem used to be should be pointing up, so it’s really the tops that we’re buttering here. Fill the caps with the filling, which is that stuff that’s still in the other skillet that has chicken and onion and such in it. You knew this already, right?

If not, throw the whole darn thing away and go to the Taco Bell drive-up window. Otherwise, continue.

Fill the caps to heaping with the filling. Stack it as high as it’ll go without falling over. I find it helps if I drink hard liquor, but smoking a little marijuana might help, too, if you have some on hand. Not that I know this from first-hand experience.

Uh, well, ‘scuse me. I’ve got to refill my glass and go have a smoke. Don’t run off.

Okay, I’m back now. If you’re going to hang out at the heathen house, you’re going to have to get used to the idea that nothing happens around here without interruption. We pause movies when someone wants to talk, we take smoke breaks, we drift off on conversational tangents from which there is no orderly return. But we’re happy, and we love to cook for guests. So where the hell was I? Oh yeah, that stuff over there next to the stove. Let’s wander back over that way after petting the cat.

Wash hands after petting cat. That’s important.

Okay, the mushrooms appear to have been stuffed already. The oven rack is not in the right place, so if you’ll hand me the oven mitts from the magnetic holder dealy-oh there on the fridge I’ll adjust it to the middle. Thanks.

Baking dish full of enormous and stuffed shrooms goes into the oven. Time for another smoke break out on the deck. We’ll admire the view of the Rockies, the gorgeous sunset, and hope that those passing clouds don’t fling any lightning to start another damned fire. It’s way too early in the season for us to have five or six going all at once. I read this afternoon that the fire crews are shorthanded so one of the fires is completely unmanned, but they figure it’ll get officially manned soon enough when it joins another nearby. Ain’t that somethin’, this early in the season?

Amethyst spotted some bats just to the north of our place. I didn’t see ’em. I was looking at the cucumbers growing in a huge pot on the deck. Lookin’ good, they are, with buds about to become blossoms.

How long to cook the mushrooms? Oh, hell, I don’t know. Until it’s time to go back into the house and eat, I guess. Twenty minutes, half an hour, about the time the doves roosting in the big poplar right off of the deck get settled, something like that. Everything was already cooked when they went into the oven so we’re really just getting everything heated through.

 

Hmm. Pairing these southwestern stuffed shrooms with something. That’s important, right? All the cool kids on TV do it, anyway. Tequila comes to mind. If I were more of a beer drinker I might suggest something like a Corona with jalapeño infused tequila. Holy cow, I haven’t told you about that yet. A subject for another blog post! Sangria? No, that wouldn’t go well at all. Mexican marijuana? Oh, hell, what doesn’t that go with?

I haven’t heard of them using paraquat down that way in decades. Still, if you’ve got reefer that’s brown or even black instead of greenish, just throw it away. That damned paraquat will foul you up.

 

Enough with the questions, man. Shut up and eat.

If you’re still wondering about the gear oil, you are officially a loyal reader. Drop on by the house and I’ll make something tasty for us all to eat. I’ll do my best to get you drunk first, too, because when you’re drunk you’ll think that wet sand is tasty so my job will be easier.

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