Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crab Stuffed Mushroom

There's nothing more enjoyable than cracking and eating crabs off a table covered with newspaper. Cold beer and those few hours becomes an experience.Within that experience are the memories.

It takes me back to the times we spent in Florida with my sister, Tess, and her family. Steam pots hissed on the stove and the aroma of Old Bay scented the southern air.
My son and I continue this tradition with one day each summer dubbed Our Crab Fest. We always steam too many crabs, so I devote the following day to extracting the sweet meat from the left over crustaceans. 
There is a treasure trove of recipes that require fresh favorite is stuffed Portobello Mushrooms topped with cheese. 3-4 large crabs will yield enough meat for this recipe. Use smaller mushrooms for appetizers. A larger mushroom is a full meal. A cup of cream soup like Hungarian Mushroom soup or She Crab soup and a small salad completes the meal. My daughter-in-law, Kelly, says, "These mushrooms are awesome, Ma." Hope you think so, too.    Enjoy!

3 Tablespoons butter, melted
4 Large Portobello mushrooms, washed, dried
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons onion, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup fresh crab meat
1/2 cup flavored bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup white wine (not sweet)
1 Tablespoon parsley
Olive oil
garlic & onion powders

Rub the cleaned caps lightly with olive oil. Season mushroom caps with salt, garlic & onion powder. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Use a baking dish large enough to hold four large mushroom caps (or two dishes) with melted butter in it.

Remove the stems from clean mushrooms and chop them. Set aside.

Melt 2 T butter in a medium skillet. Cook stems and onion until soft about 4 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, crab meat, bread crumbs, egg, parsley and 1/4 cup of cheese. Mix well.

Place mushrooms in buttered pan(s) and coat with butter.  Generously fill caps with crab meat mixture. Top each with remaining cheese. Pour wine into the pan around the mushrooms.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes until cheese is golden brown and mushroom is tender. Serve warm.
Remember To Make Memories At The Table

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pumpkin Pierogies In Cream Sauce

Our community has a cooking demo class each month. Chef Renee chose Pumpkin Pierogies to celebrate Autumn. Okay, so it's still 90 degrees in Florida, but just the thought of pumpkins and gourds makes me feel cooler. This is not a difficult recipe. If you don't have the desire to make your own dough....use pre-made wonton or empanada wrappers. I'm not a big fan of sage, but this has a mild sage taste which I will admit added another dimension to the sauce.  The pumpkin spices esp. cinnamon boosts the autumnal flavors. Pumpkin puree in itself is rather bland, so the pumpkin spices enhances this farm fruit's taste. The toasted pecans in the cream sauce is amazing....silky and crunchy....mmmmm, good.

For Dough:
2 cups AP flour (extra for rolling)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 stick butter, softened in pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg


1 cup ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of nutmeg & cinnamon or pumpkin spices

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tablespoon dried sage
dash of cinnamon
1 cup of cream (yes, real cream)

To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add to the flour mixture. Add the sour cream and the softened butter pieces and knead until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Each batch of dough makes about 15 pierogies.

While dough is resting, combine ricotta cheese, pumpkin puree, salt and pumpkin spices in a medium bowl and mix well.

Place a section of dough onto a well floured surface and roll out until 1/8 inch (very thin). If dough is too thick the pierogies will be tough and difficult to cook. OR use the darn wonton wrappers!
Cut circles of dough with a biscuit cutter (2 inch circle) and fill each with a plump teaspoon of pumpkin mixture. Fold dough over and and crimp edges with a fork until sealed. A bit of water on edges might help the seal. Recipe yields about 16 pierogies.

Fill a large pot with water and a small amount of salt. Bring to a boil. Place about half the pierogies in boiling water until they float to the top. Gently remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Toasting the pecans releases the natural oils and reinvigorated the taste.  To toast nuts, preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread out the nuts in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet. Place in the middle rack of the oven and toast for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through the cooking time so the ones in the middle toast as quickly as the ones on the outside of the pan.  Set aside to cool.

In a skillet, melt 4 T of butter. Add a single layer of cooked pierogies and brown on each side. Remove from pan. Don't burn the butter. Add butter as needed until all pierogies are lightly browned.
Add 2 T of butter in skillet. Add pecans, cinnamon and sage and saute for a minute then add cream and bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Serve sauce over pierogies.

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