I have a total love for mushrooms…all varieties. I love using them in recipes, and even created a recipe for Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (the smaller, appetizer or party version)…click here to check out the recipe. These portabellas were screaming to me the other day. Unlike my other recipe, I did not want to use breadcrumbs…I wanted a super soft inside and creamy texture on the outside. So, my mind went to my meatball recipe…yes…don’t ask me why. I thought the texture I was going for was hidden in that recipe…and it definitely was. These were incredible…so tender…so rich. A few more steps than some of my recipes…but you will appreciate the effort. I did use a bit of sausage. Want to make them vegan or meatless? Just cut up a bit more of the insides and stems, and substitute for the sausage.
Oh…and I know I say this often, but get yourself a cast iron pan…you do not need for this recipe, but it baked these beauties up perfectly…click here for the one I used!
Heat up one tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan. Add the sausage and break apart. As the sausage is browning, add the heavy whipping cream to a bowl. Tear apart the bread into tiny pieces and add to the cream. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Allow the bread to soak while you work on the remaining ingredients.
Prepare the mushrooms by gently wiping them with a paper towel to remove any dirt. Take a spoon and remove the inside gills and stem. I also remove a bit of the flesh just to create a deeper well. Just be careful not to dig too deep. Reserve the insides and stems. You will be chopping this up and adding to the sausage.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. When the sausage is almost browned, add in the minced shallot and the chopped mushroom stems and pieces. Allow to cook for a few minutes. Season with a touch of red pepper flakes, kosher salt and pepper.
Add the chopped spinach to the pan. Mix well. Remove pan from heat.
Add the whipped Philadelphia cream cheese and Parmesan cheese to the bread/cream mixture. Combine well. Stir the sausage mixture into the bowl. Mix until you get a uniform filling.
Line the cast iron pan with a touch of olive oil. Rub olive oil over the bottom of each mushroom and place (top down) into pan. Generously fill each mushroom with the stuffing mixture. You will use it all. Top each with a fair amount of the fontina cheese pieces. Place pan in oven for about 20 minutes. Turn the broiler on for a few extra minutes to brown the cheese.
Remove from oven. Garnish with the fresh chopped parsley. These are super hearty and rich, so you can definitely serve them as a meal! ENJOY!!!