A Harmony of Flavors

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year and Glorious Mushrooms

Our New Year's Eve Table
I hope everyone enjoyed the turn of the year 2014. When I was a child  back in the 1950s, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of anything beyond 2000. And here I am, still young, and still enjoying each year as it passes. 


Some of my appetizers
Last evening was a very quiet one in our household. We are not great party-goers, my husband and I. It has been so frigidly cold here that it does not seem inviting to try and venture outside. Tonight it is supposed to get down to -24 yet again. Brrrrr! My sister-in-law would have been here to at least eat with us, but she had a tooth problem, got it fixed and stayed at home to let the numbness wear off. So, just the two of us, but I still made lots of little snack foods, as usual. I made more of the Smokies in Puff Pastry, Red Pepper Hummus with Caramelized Onion, another of those pre-made pizza shells with spinach dip, some sweet and sour meatballs (those made with chili sauce and grape jelly), a relish tray of sweet gherkins, hearts of palm and assorted olives, and one of those rolls of mozzarella with prosciutto. I had pita chips and carrot sticks for the hummus and some of my Herbed Onion Bread to go with the meatballs. It was all delightful, and we had more of the holiday cookies for dessert.

Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms before baking
One of the appetizers I made for last night was the Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms. I love mushrooms. I do not love them quite so much as my husband, who, it seems, loves them "the more the merrier." I love them IN things, but not so much alone. Stuffed mushrooms are good, but there is too much mushroom to filling ratio, so they just seem flat. Mushrooms all by themselves are pretty bland, and need things to spice them up. Boursin Cheese is a very high fat content cheese, smooth and creamy and most excellent flavor. There are various herb combinations available. In my town, the only one available is garlic and herb. One of my favorites (eaten elsewhere) is black pepper. Anyway. looking up the fat content in Boursin cheese, I noticed that someone (many someones) had used Boursin to stuff mushroom caps. I thought, hmmmmm....I have some Boursin in my refrigerator.... So this is what I did:

Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms


1 (5.2 ounce) container of Boursin (I had garlic and herb) 
Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms
1 pound "Baby Bellas" or Creminis
1/2 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 small cloves garlic
a few grinds of black pepper
1 teaspoon salt (I used Alder Smoked Salt)

Set the Boursin in a bowl to soften. Brush clean the mushrooms and remove the stems. Chop the stems finely and put them in a skillet with the butter to saute until lightly browned. While the mushroom stems are sauteing, mince the garlic and thyme. (I also ran my finger around the inside of the mushroom caps, removing gills, for no other reason than that it allowed more room for the filling!) When the mushroom stems are light brown, add in the thyme and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add this mixture to the Boursin in the bowl, along with the few grinds of pepper. With the salt in the palm of one hand, with the other hand take pinches of the salt and drop them into the dry mushroom caps, using a slightly larger pinch for the larger caps and smaller pinch for smaller caps. Mix the Boursin and mushroom stem mixture thoroughly and use all the mixture to fill the mushroom caps. Set them on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray and bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes. 

Yum!  These have to be the best stuffed mushrooms I have ever tried. The little pinch of salt in the mushroom cap seems to have helped with the blandness of the mushroom, too. It is an easy recipe and Gluten-Free too.

Today I am going to be making a dinner, and my sister-in-law will be attending, now that she is feeling better. I am making a Prime Rib Roast as the main event, with twice baked potatoes and Green Beans with Gorgonzola as the sides. I found online a few years back a high-roast method for making the roast and it works so perfectly, I will be using it again today. In essence, you set the oven to 500 degrees put the roast in and time it for 5 to 7 minutes per pound (5 minutes being rare, 6 being medium and 7 being well), then when the time is up, leave the roast in the oven, shut the oven off and do not open the oven door for 2 hours. The roast is so perfect so following that recipe is my go-to these days. For dessert I am serving the Dulce de Leche Turtle Cheesecake I described in my last post. I will be finishing the toppings on the cheesecake a little later today. 

Right now I have my potatoes baking. They need to be out of the oven before I need to have the roast going in, since I cannot use the oven for approximately 2 1/2 hours. I will scoop out the potato and mix it with fried bacon, sour cream, chopped scallions, and shredded cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, waiting to fill the potato skins until later in the afternoon. Once the roast comes out of the oven I can reheat the oven and bake the stuffed potatoes for a little bit to get them warm and delicious. Somewhere in between I will get the green beans prepared.

I give my very best wishes to all my readers for a most wonderful New Year's Day and a terrifically blessed year 2014.




My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and sign up for my Newsletter.

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