Mrs. Waterman’s Stuffed Mushrooms

I can’t believe that it’s already been seven years since one of my best friends got married. I’m not sure if that’s an indication that time flies, or that I’m getting old ;-) When she had her bridal shower, guests were asked to bring a copy of their favorite recipe; I’ve seen this done before, and I love this tradition, it’s such a fun way to collect unique, old family recipes. Once she had all of her recipes gathered, we sat down one day for lunch and went through all of the recipes. She had me flag the ones I liked, and she made copies for me. Seriously, best friend stuff right there. These stuffed mushrooms were one of the ones that I had to have after looking at the recipe. I’ve always been a big fan of stuffed mushrooms, but so many times they can turn out pretty bland. That’s absolutely not the case here. I was drawn to the wonderful combination of ingredients in this recipe, and they lived up to my expectations. I’ve made these stuffed mushrooms for multiple holidays now; they’re always one of the crowd’s favorite and there’s never a leftover mushroom in sight!

I have no idea who Mrs. Waterman is, as that is the way the recipe that was given to my friend reads. It could be an aunt, an old friend, a mother-in-law, or a six degrees of separation situation. Whoever she is, the woman knew what she was doing when she decided to throw pepperoni, Romano cheese, green peppers and crushed Ritz crackers into a traditional stuffed mushroom filling. I love the Italian flair that these mushrooms possess, although it would be very easy to adapt the recipe to your specific tastes. If you don’t care for pepperoni, you could substitute chopped ham, or even throw in black olives. Use Parmesan cheese in place of Romano, change up the herbs… you get the picture. Just don’t mess with the Ritz crackers; I consider those a must! They add such a buttery, crunchy component to the mushrooms; you don’t want to miss it :)

Do you have any special traditions for sharing or passing along recipes? I’d love to figure out a way to get some friends together to share recipes without needing to throw a shower!

One year ago: Pumpkin Ice Cream
Two years ago: Pecan Pie
Three years ago: Lebkuchen (German Christmas Cookies)

Mrs. Waterman's Stuffed Mushrooms

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A recipe for Italian-style stuffed mushrooms.

Ingredients:

20 to 24 large white mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel, stems removed and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ green pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers
½ cup finely chopped pepperoni
½ cup grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Melt the butter in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet over medium heat, then add the chopped mushroom stems, onion, pepper and garlic. Saute until the mixture is softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.

3. Fill each mushroom cap with the stuffing and bake until the mushrooms are dark and the stuffing is golden, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Note: The stuffing can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. The mushrooms can be assembled, placed in a baking dish, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day before baking.