Appetizer Spotlight FBC2017: Double Stuffed Mushrooms by The Yum Yum Factor

It’s that time of year again! We’re gearing up for another Food Bloggers of Canada Conference and this year, we’re heading to Ottawa.

Another conference means another appetizer spotlight contest and another chance to win! FBC members are invited to join the contest, sharing their favourite mushroom appetizer. For those of you who are just here for delicious eats, watch the competition unfold, as we share each entry and help us decide!

We have our first entry into the contest today, from Carole of The Yum Yum Factor, sharing her delicious Double Stuffed Mushrooms.

Double Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes between 25 and 30 pieces

You will need:
*Meatballs
25 to 30 large mushroom caps
approx 75 grams (3oz) smoked cheddar (Balderson’s works great)
**Romesco Sauce
handful of chopped parsley

*Meatballs:
400 g (14oz) ground beef
150 g (5.3 oz) of button mushrooms, ground up in the food processor or chopped really finely (approx 5 or 6 large mushrooms)
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup milk
1 tbls olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
fresh black pepper

1. Pour the milk over the panko and stir to make sure its coated and set aside
2. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until softened, about 3 or 4 minutes and then set aside, off the heat, to cool down to room temp.
3. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment
4. Put the beef, ground mushrooms, onion and garlic, soaked panko, egg, smoked paprika, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a large bowl and mix, with your hand, until ingredients are well combined.
5. Carefully remove the stems from your large white mushroom caps and discard. Lay the caps, hollowed out centers facing up, on the baking sheet.
6. Grab a little bit of the mixture to roll a ball that is about 1″ in diameter – you will get the feeling for how much is needed quickly. Roll out a ball and then, using your thumb, make a deep indent and pop in a little square of cheese and then re-roll the ball around it, making sure it’s totally enclosed. Place a meatball inside a mushroom cap, pressing down lightly to make sure it fits in snugly.
7. When all of the mushroom caps have a meatball inside, carefully pop them in the oven (you don’t want them to tip over so handle the pan carefully) and cook for 20 minutes. Keep in mind, that if your meatballs are smaller than 1″, they will cook a little quicker so if you go smaller than 1″, cook for about 18 minutes.

*you can make the meatballs up to a day ahead and store them in a covered container in the fridge, being careful not to squish them. When it’s time to cook them, take it from the place where you prep the mushrooms place the meatballs inside of them and continue as above.

**if you want to freeze the meatballs, put the baking tray in the freezer and when they are frozen enough to be quite solid, you can throw them into a freezer bag and leave them for up to a month. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before cooking them.

**Romesco Sauce:
this is, by far, my favourite recipe for romesco so apart from adding harissa to make it spicy, I haven’t changed it
adapted from Saveur

1 dried Ancho chili, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup whole, unsalted almonds
1 slice of bread, cut into small cubes
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small onion, sliced thinly
4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp harissa paste (or to taste as the heat level varies depending on the brand)
1 1/2 cups chopped, jarred roasted red peppers
2 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
kosher salt and black pepper

1. Cover the ancho chili with 2 cups boiling water, let sit for 5 minutes before you drain it and chop it roughly.
2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat and cook the almonds and the bread for 4 minutes until golden. Remove the almonds and bread with a slotted spoon and put in the bowl of your food processor.
3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the chilis, onion and garlic and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the paprika and the harissa and cook for one more minute before scraping the mixture (olive oil too) into the food processor with the red peppers and sherry vinegar and then blend with the almonds and bread until the smooth
4. Taste, add salt and pepper to taste
5. You can make this in advance but make sure you take it out of the fridge an hour ahead of time so it can come down to room temperature. It keeps for a week in the fridge.
6. To serve, put a little dollop of romesco sauce on top of each meatball and you can either sprinkle some chopped parsley over the tops or just use a few sprigs to pretty up the platter.

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FBC Members are encouraged to join the competition with their own recipe! Click through for full contest details.

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