Dec. 15, 2010 Whip It Up Wednesday

Whip It Up Wednesday: Barefoot Contessa's Stuffed Mushrooms

It's been a while since we posted our last Whip It Up Wednesday, so I thought I would get a head start on some Holiday goodness and share these awesome mushrooms we made for Jen when she came over last weekend. First, I highly recommend that when you invite people over to your home for dinner, be sure to find out if there is anything they may not prefer to eat, like mushrooms, or so much garlic that you need to order a case of Altoids on your way out. I felt awful when I found out that Jen really didn't like mushrooms, and I had already purchased everything at the store. I asked her to trust me, and I promised her that she would like them. C'mon, anything with garlic will taste good. A few weeks back, we watched Ina aka The Barefoot Contessa make these little beauties and thought we would try them on our own. Can I just say, HEAVEN?  
* 16 extra-large white mushrooms (Costco has the best large mushrooms) 
* 5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided 
* 2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine or medium sherry (only place I could find this was Vons) 
* 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings 
* 6 scallions, white and green parts, minced 
* 2 garlic cloves minced 
* 2/3 cup panko crumbs 
* 5 ounces mascarpone cheese, preferably from Italy (According to my Italian husband and my Italian neighbor, you can substitute this cheese with cream cheese). It worked out perfectly.  
* 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
* 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves 
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala. Set aside. 
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it's completely browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone/cream cheese and continue cooking until the mascarpone/cream cheese has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly. 
Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Bake until the stuffing for 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.
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