Now, imagine a house with almost every surface covered by crock-pots, platters and trays. From dips to meatballs and cookies galore, it is hard to stand out with so many options to choose from.
One year I made the mistake of taking spinach balls to the party, I wanted to try out different holiday party recipes, but they weren't greeted with the same enthusiasm. No, I am known for my stuffed mushrooms and rarely does my tray even make it to a table. I usually hand it over to the host at the door, and by the time the tray makes it's way to the kitchen, it is usually empty. But after 5 years of stuffed mushrooms, I was ready to tweak the recipe and add just a little more flavor to those scrumptious little bites of sausage and cheese goodness.
So I headed to my local Walmart.
I ended up deciding to try out a few different flavors of Tabasco. I ended up getting Tabasco Original Red, Jalapeño, and Chipotle flavored sauces.
My husband is by far my biggest critic. Especially when it comes to revamping recipes. When I mentioned I was going to add Tabasco to my mushrooms to change up the flavor, he was skeptical. When I decided to go with the smokey and savory note of Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce, he was worried about how that would alter the rich cream cheese and Parmesan flavors.
Oh ye of little faith!
Truth be told, I love original Tabasco sauce and often add it to dishes that he doesn't even know about. It is a great way to bump up the flavor without adding a whole bunch of other ingredients or salt. It has become one of my favorite recipe secret weapons.
So I assembled my ingredients, adding in panko bread crumbs for texture.
This recipe starts by browning up 8 ounces of pork sausage.
While that browns up and makes me house smell amazing, I start prepping the mushrooms. I usually give them a quick rub to knock off any excess dirt and then gently remove the mushroom stems. I like to save these for cream of mushroom soup, but will put some back in with the onions, diced, to cook down for the filling.
Then I sweat down the yellow onion, minced garlic and those mushroom caps.
In a large bowl I mix together softened cream cheese, 1 egg yolk, Parmesan cheese and the slightly cooled sausage, and onion mixture.
Then comes the fun part. I don't need to season this dish much because the Tabasco brings all the flavor I need to the party. I put about 7 dashes in the filling mixture. You can smell the smokey Chipotle sauce.
Then take those beautiful mushroom caps in hand...
...and cram as much of that glorious filling inside that you possibly can.
Top with a little more finely shredded Parmesan cheese and place on a lined baking dish to bake for about 30 - 40 minutes depending on the size of your mushrooms.
They should be softened, warmed through and golden brown on top.
The real test was the first bite... and boy, oh boy! I am not sure how these stuffed mushrooms were ever complete without Tabasco sauce. My husband was shocked that they weren't "spicy".
Yes, now this recipe might just be a whole lot better than the original. This year I better make two trays to take to the party! Maybe that way I will get to eat one, myself.
Chipotle Stuffed Mushrooms
You Will Need:
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 8 oz. natural pork sausage
- 24 oz. of button mushrooms
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced finely
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese finely grated
- 8 dashes of Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce (or more depending on taste)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet. Brown the sausage and set aside to drain.
Clean the mushrooms with a dry towel. Remove stems and set aside.
In the same skillet, saute the garlic, onions and 1/4 cup chopped mushroom stems till soft. Cool slightly before adding to a large bowl with the sausage and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
Fill each mushroom cap with filling and top with a little more Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the mushrooms are softened and the filling has turned golden brown.
Plate and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Do you have any holiday parties coming up? Could Tabasco help add a twist to your seasonal favorites?