Scope out a giant picnic table, order an insane amount of sausages and kraut, along with a giant beer. Watch out for the mustards that will clear your sinuses in a hot minute. And did I mention the stuffed mushrooms? Damn these things are good! Covered with such gooey, melty cheese and filled with bacon; you could probably stretch a string of cheese from them the length of the table. This is what any Friday night at the Rathskeller’s biergarten in Indianapolis was for me when I lived there for about four years. I would do just about anything for these shrooms now, but… Being a common sense oriented person, I realized that when I moved to D.C. it would not be very economical to fly or drive 600 miles every time I wanted these mushrooms. So I decided to try my best at recreating them. After much trial and error, these are pretty darn close. Maybe I just need to get one of those giant picnic tables…
A perfect game day snack (as in futbol or football) at your house or on the go. I have pre-made these up to a day ahead and just borrowed the oven wherever the party is.
30-40 baby portabella mushrooms, stems popped out and rinsed clean 2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese at room temperature 2 shallots diced finely 3 cloves of garlic minced 1 4 ounce package cubed pancetta or 3 slices of good, thick bacon 1/2 tsp chipotle powder 1/2 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp pepper 1 tsp dried oregano plus extra for garnish salt to taste 1/2 pound sliced provolone, fresh sliced from the deli is ideal 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (better not come out of a green can)
In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer), throw in cream cheese, parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle, oregano and pepper. Meanwhile, in a small non-stick skillet over medium low heat, cook pancetta until it browns and the fat renders out. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and toss in the mixing bowl with the rest of your ingredients. Now, with the leftover fat from the pancetta, cook the shallots until barely softened (3 minutes), add in garlic and cook for one more minute. Remove shallots and garlic to a paper towel to get the excess grease out and then add them to the mixing bowl. Stir together well to incorporate the ingredients and taste for saltiness (the pancetta is very salty, so be careful). You can leave this filling as is, in the fridge for a couple of days if you’d like. Pop out stems and clean your mushrooms. Spoon your filling in until it is slightly mounded over the tops of them and place in a baking dish. Once your shrooms are all filled, cover them with overlapping pieces of the provolone (we want the cheese to melt down the sides too!). This would be where I’d stop and take them to a friend’s place. Preheat oven and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then broil until the cheese browns (watch this part VERY carefully, really, don’t leave the oven). Once nicely browned, sprinkle a little extra oregano on top and let cool for 10 minutes. Guten Appetit!