Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blast From My Past

Sometimes, when I'm hard up for an idea about what to fix for dinner, I fall back on old friends - my cookbooks from many years ago. I find recipes I have made and then forgotten in the pages of books such as the Joy of Cooking, the Pepperidge Farm Cookbook or the Moosewood Cookbook. One such perennial favorite is Sunset magazine's Cooking for Two - Or Just For You. Published in 1980 in the third printing, my copy is dogeared and food spattered, with pages falling out of the much-used binding. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, it is worn and dirtied and much loved. On page 65, under a smear of green, is the recipe for these Spinach Souffle┬┤ Stuffed Mushrooms, a favorite of mine ever since I was a young cook.

They are pretty easy to make considering the visual punch they give and the lovely flavors. These days, I use fresh garlic and freshly grated cheese in the recipe, but otherwise, I don't tamper with a longtime winner.

Spinach Souffle┬┤ Stuffed Mushrooms

6 mushrooms, each at least 2 inches in diameter (I sometimes use smaller ones and they work fine, they are just more of a challenge to fill)
2 Tablespoons butter (or 1 Tbs bacon fat and 1 Tbs butter)
1/2 pound spinach
Dash of garlic powder (or minced or pressed fresh garlic)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
About 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Remove stems from mushrooms; reserve for other uses. Melt 1 Tbs of the butter
(I sometimes substitute bacon fat for additional flavor) in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Turn mushroom caps over in butter and arrange in a greased baking dish, cup side up; set aside.

Remove stems from spinach (not necessary when using baby spinach - such conveniences were not available when my copy of this book was published!); wash leaves well. Add spinach, with water that clings to the leaves, to frying pan; cook over medium heat until wilted (about 3 minutes). Press out all the liquid. Whirl garlic and egg in a blender until egg is frothy; add spinach and whirl until smooth.

Melt remaining 1 Tbs butter in the frying pan, add flour and cook, stirring, until bubbly; remove from heat and stir in the spinach mixture.

Spoon equal amounts of spinach mixture into each mushroom cap. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is golden and souffle is puffy. Serve immediately.

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Blogger Anna Haight said...

These look so colorful and delicious!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009  
Anonymous said...

yes you are lucky! I just returned from San Francisco a week ago, & I lived there in the 1970's...I loved it! Still do & try to get back at least once a year. Just happened across your blog, it is beautiful, thank you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Anna, give 'em a try - I think you'll like them.

Floating, glad you made it back to SF for a little reminiscing. Hope you'll drop back by this blog, too, from time to time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

It's so retro, it's retro to the nth degree. Not only are they stuffed mushrooms, they're stuffed with spinach souffle. Shades of Stouffer's! And yum.

Thursday, May 14, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, retro is what happens when you get to be our age.

Friday, May 15, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Guilty as charged. Burp! So tasty.

Friday, May 15, 2009  

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