The new year ushers in with it a prolonged period where my diet shifts heavily to bar food—in January, February, and March, I'm king of the wings, spuds, and poppers as I loaf around the house, transfixed by the television. While I have my normal rotation of finger foods, I'm always looking to add, and tried out these crab and fontina stuffed mushrooms recently.
Foregoing the usual cream cheese and bread crumb mushroom stuffing in exchange for higher-end lump crabmeat and Italian Fontina, I wanted to ensure those two ingredients were front and center. I did use some panko to bind the stuffing, but crab dominated, while the cheese provided the creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor that mingled well with the other members of the stuffing, including white wine and lemon. The spongy and earthy vessel that the stuffing sat in rounded out the whole deal.
It only takes one taste to know that these are something special—a more decadent take on the stuffed mushroom that's a nice way to start off a new year filled with delicious small bites.
- Yield:makes 24 mushrooms, serving 4 to 6 as an appetizer
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:1 hour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (About 1 medium)
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1/2 cup panko-style bread crumbs
- 1/3 pound fresh lump crabmeat
- 1/2 cup shredded Italian fontina cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 24 medium crimini mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Type of fire: two-zone indirect
- Grill heat: high
Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in panko bread crumbs, remove from heat, let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in crabmeat, 1/3 cup fontina cheese, lemon juice, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, gently toss mushroom caps in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Remove mushrooms to plate and stuff each with crab stuffing mixture. Top mushrooms with remaining cheese.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Arrange mushrooms over cool side of the grill. Cover and cook until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from grill, let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.