Appetizers: Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Grilled stuffed mushrooms make the perfect appetizer for any occasion.

 

Using the grill to prepare familiar foods such as burgers, hot dogs or brats is well within most people’s comfort zone.  While the backyard barbecue offers some tantalizing main course meals in a bun, it can also offer amazing first-course morsels, such as this easy to prepare recipe for grilled sausage-stuffed mushrooms.  Preparing appetizers on the grill is not only a unique and fun method for cooking, but the addition of smoke and flames imparts the delicious flavors to your bite-sized creations that you won’t achieve without the grill.

 

The following recipe is perfect as an appetizer for cocktail parties, backyard barbecues or game day tailgating soirees.    If you haven’t the fortitude for winter grilling, these delectable hors d’oeuvres can be effortlessly prepared in a 350° oven any time of the year.  To prepare, you will need the following:

 

  • 2 pounds White Button Mushrooms or Baby Bellas
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage (or try Wild Boar Italian Sausage – delicious!)
  • 2 cups Stuffing Mix (prepared according to box directions)
  • ½ cup Fresh Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cup Croix Valley Garlic ‘n Herb

 

Begin by rinsing mushrooms under cold running water, dry on paper towel.  Carefully remove stems from mushrooms by gently rocking back and forth.  The stems will pop out of mushroom caps, leaving a perfect crater for stuffing.  Dice mushroom stems and place in skillet on the stove with Italian sausage.   Fry the sausage and mushroom stems together until sausage is cooked thoroughly.  Drain excess liquid from the pan.  Prepare stuffing mix according to directions on the box (using the microwave method is quick and easy and takes only 5 minutes).   Combine sausage/mushroom mixture with prepared stuffing, Croix Valley sauce and ½ of the Parmesan cheese to create the stuffing mixture.

 

Stuff mushrooms with mixture (heaping out the top of the mushroom caps) and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Prepare your grill to a medium-high heat of approximately 350° and place mushrooms on the grill.  If your grill is not well seasoned, oiling your grill grates with a little vegetable oil will help to prevent the mushrooms from sticking.  Grill the mushrooms, with the cover in place, over indirect heat for about 10 minutes.  Transfer mushrooms to direct heat (not directly over high flames) for an additional 5-10 minutes.  Mushrooms will be done when they are soft to the touch.  Transfer to serving dish and watch them disappear!

 

These little appetizers are a fantastic way to utilize the grill for any occasion and pair perfectly with a glass of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or a frosty mug of Pale Ale.  The preparation is minimal, clean-up’s a breeze and they lend themselves wonderfully to being prepared ahead of time or brought along to a potluck and finished at your host’s house.  The sausage mixture, sans mushrooms, also makes a superb stuffing for green peppers for those with an aversion to fungi.  Try grilling appetizers at your next get together and you’ll show your guests that your culinary repertoire includes more than the just the mundane.

 

Keep on grillin’!

Damon Holter

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