Camille’s Cooking: Topping off the Thanksgiving table

November 14, 2013 Editorial Staff
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BY CAMILLE ORRICHIO LOCCISANO

Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and it is during this time that we all start making our list  for this most meaningful meal that demonstrates a gratitude for our blessings in life.

I believe most people have their very set and traditional way of preparing their turkey along with a tasty stuffing.  Then there are the “trimmings.” This is truly my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, and the most favored trimming among my family is my signature mushroom caps.

When purchasing and preparing your mushrooms for this recipe, always be sure to check that the stems and caps are attached snugly. This ensures that the mushrooms are fresh.

When you clean the mushrooms simply wipe them down with a wet cloth in the same fashion that you would gently clean a baby’s face. If you clean them by submerging them in water or running them under the faucet, it will yield a very soggy and limp mushroom.

There are many creative ways to fill mushroom caps. While sausage is a popular filling, one can also create a cheese filling or a vegetable filling. I have even filled mine with a succulent crab mixture.

However, the very best recipe I have ever developed for my mushrooms is one that begins at Mona Lisa Bakery right here in Dyker Heights on 86th Street. They make scrumptious lard bread, and I use this as the foundation for my filling.

May your Thanksgiving be a happy and blessed one for you and your family, and please enjoy the mushrooms!

 

CAMILLE’S SIGNATURE MUSHROOM CAPS

 

30 large white mushrooms

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 shallot, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 loaf of day-old prosciutto or lard bread (can be found in any Italian gourmet market)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Flat-leaf parsley

 

With a damp cloth, wipe mushrooms clean. Remove stems, chop and set aside. Roughly chop prosciutto  or lard bread and place in a food processor. Pulse a few short times, until bread crumbs are coarse.

In a large sauté pan, warm vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Stir in mushroom stems and garlic and cook until tender. Pour white wine and allow to evaporate as the flavors combine. Add the bread crumbs to the pan. Stir very well, incorporating ingredients and allowing bread crumbs to become lightly moist.

Transfer filling to a shallow dish and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Coat a large baking sheet with half the olive oil. Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up. Lightly drizzle remaining olive oil over each mushroom. Bake in preheated oven at 375°F for 25 minutes, until mushrooms are toasted golden on top. Garnish with parsley.


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