Any Kitchen Will Do

Give me a kitchen and I will cook.

Kelley’s Killer Stuffed Mushrooms

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Have you ever felt like you are being watched? I did just the other day. I was sitting on my mom’s patio and suddenly felt like I was being observed, with the strong need to figure out what was doing it. No people. No pets. A few birds were out there, but they were busy with the feeders. In the end I decided it was the basil. Tall, healthy stalks rising out of a huge pot, with big, bright green leaves soaking up the morning sun.¬†They were leaning slightly in my direction, so the little leaves at the very tips of the stalks worked like cyclop eyes…I decided the only way to rid myself of the paranoia was to use some basil. It wants me to, right? A functional plant that just happens to be pretty, too? I was sure mom’s well stocked fridge would reveal a wealth of ingredients to go with the stalking stalks. As you can see from the list of ingredients I was right. I called them Kelley’s Stuffed Mushrooms because Kelley likes all things Greek, and these have a leaning in the Greek direction, and they would be consumed at her house. Besides all that, she is one of the most awesome people on the planet. This is not my first Greek themed dish, but it is the first time I remember splitting kitchens when making a dish – prepared in one kitchen and cooked in another. These lovely ‘shrooms went stuffed but uncooked with us to a dinner party, and were baked in S&K’s kitchen right before serving. I do think transporting the broth separate from the dish was a good idea, though. Adding the little lime wedges helped add a bit of color, and squeezing a bit on right before enjoying them brought out the lovely flavors of the cheese and olives.
Kelley’s Killer Stuffed Mushrooms

12 baby Portabello mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/4 medium white onion, finely diced
12 kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
4 quarters marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 lime, juiced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt to taste
Lime, thinly cut into small slices (garnish)
Remove stems from mushrooms. With a small spoon scrape out brown gills from each mushroom cap, making more room for the stuffing. Finely chop the stems and scrapings. In a large skillet over medium high heat add the oil. When oil is hot add onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Before onions and garlic begins to brown add the chopped stems, olives, bacon, artichoke hearts, basil and oregano. Stir occasionally until stems are soft and combined with the other ingredients. Add feta to the pan and stir until it is melted and combined. Remove pan from heat, add juice from the half lime and stir. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide stuffing among the mushroom caps, placing them, spaced evenly, in a 9×12 inch baking dish. Slowly pour the broth in the pan, making a shallow pool under the caps. Place pan in oven and bake for 30 minutes, until mushrooms sweat and shrink. Remove from oven and let sit for about five minutes. Garnish with small lime slices and serve.

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