Oyster-Stuffed Mushrooms on a Florentine Bed

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 22, 2011 at 2:58 PM

 

 

How to Make the Mushrooms:

4 Tbsp. melted butter +4 Tbsp. olive oil
16-20 jumbo white or Italian Crimini mushrooms, stems left on
1 tsp. Frank Davis Sprinkling Spice
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ stick butter
1 small white onion, minced
2 ribs celery, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. Italian parsley, minced
3 green onion tops, minced
2/3 cup Louisiana andouille, finely chopped
1 qt. finely chopped Louisiana oysters + oyster liquor
½ pint heavy cream
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs, as needed
2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded, as desired
           
In a heavy non-stick anodized skillet, stir together the butter and the olive oil over high heat.  When the temperature gets up to cooking level the mixture will sizzle.  At that point, a few at a time toss the whole mushrooms into the skillet and sauté them briskly.

Note: Depending upon the size of the mushrooms you may have to do this step in several batches.

           
Immediately when they’re done, remove them from the pan, place them in a large bowl, and dust them lightly with the sprinkling spice and a half of the grated Parmesan.  Then set them aside for a while.
           
Next, in the very same skillet, melt the half stick of butter to sizzling.  Then drop in the white onion, celery, garlic, parsley, green onions, and andouille and sauté them—stirring continuously—until the veggies wilt. 

Meanwhile, place the chopped oysters in a colander and strain away most of the liquor (but reserve it for later).  Then when the oysters are just moist slowly begin adding them to the skillet with a large chef’s spoon, stirring the whole time they are being added.
           
At this stage, still over high heat, pan-fry the oysters until they constrict to about half their original size.  When that occurs, which should take but a few minutes, turn off the fire but leave the skillet on the burner. 

Then stir into the oysters the half pint of heavy cream, the flour, the seafood seasoning, the remaining Parmesan cheese, and as much of the breadcrumbs as needed to transform the simple mixture into a rich oyster stuffing.
 
Now remove the skillet from the burner and allow its contents to cool almost to room temperature.  If, while it rests on the countertop, the stuffing becomes slightly dry, go ahead and re-moisten it with scant amounts of the oyster liquor. . .but don’t make the stuffing soggy!

All that’s left at this point is to stuff (actually, to overstuff!) the individual mushroom caps (the stems will anchor the stuffing) and set them aside until you make the Florentine bed.  

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Florentine Bed:

½ stick unsalted butter
1 tsp. garlic, minced
½ lb. fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
4 bags fresh spinach, washed and spun-dry
Salt and black pepper (or Frank Davis Vegetable Seasoning) to taste
1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
           
In a 3-quart Dutch oven or high-sided fry pan, melt the unsalted butter and sauté the garlic and the chopped mushrooms—stirring constantly—until they soften and most of the mushroom liquids evaporate. 

Then add the spinach to the pan, a handful at a time, and cook it—stirring continuously—until it totally wilts.  At that point immediately remove the mixture from the pan with a slotted spoon so that you leave most of the remaining liquids behind.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, season the spinach and withered ‘shrooms with salt and black pepper, toss in and uniformly distribute the Feta cheese, and evenly spread the spinach mixture across a shallow sheet pan.  Then gently place the mushrooms you previously stuffed on top the spinach bed. 

All that’s left is to generously crown each stuffed mushroom cap with the shredded Swiss cheese, slide the sheet pan into a hot oven, and bake the dish at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes (or until the cheese topping on the ‘shrooms melts and turns a beautiful crusty brown).

When you’re ready to eat—and I recommend you eat them piping hot right from the oven—take a spatula (egg turner) and serve up about 3 mushrooms per person plus a portion of the spinach bed.  The coup de grace of this recipe is when you liberally drizzle the browned butter over each plate as it’s served.
 
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How to make the browned butter sauce:

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 cups red wine
¼ stick unsalted butter

Very simply, combine the sugar and the red wine in a small saucepan and simmer the mixture over medium-low heat until it reduces by about 2/3rds its original volume. 

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt and heat the butter—swirling it around and around in the pan—until it “browns” (but do not let it scorch and burn!). 

Finally, to get it all to combine, briskly whisk together the wine reduction and the browned butter in a small glass bowl and drizzle it over the mushrooms and the spinach bed when you’re ready to eat. (Oh—and don’t worry if the finished sauce appears to have separated—it’s supposed to look like that)

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