Friday, June 15, 2012

Mushroom Stuff and Mojitos

I am going to start something new with my blog today. I am a foodie. I love a good place to eat, I love entertaining guests with food and I love a good cocktail to pull it all together. I've been a waitress for the last 7 years of my life so I am all about good service, reasonable prices and unique, out of the ordinary twists on traditional food. It feels SO great to be making this house a home. It feels even better to have a kitchen to cook for myself! The other night I had some leftover bread that I intended on using for croutons. Instead I used my food processor and chopped up the bread pieces and made crumbs, and added a few Italian seasonings. I had some mushrooms that I needed to use up so I decided to make my first EVER batch of stuffed mushrooms, something that my mom makes every holiday for an appetizer.

 I got to work De-stemming the shrooms, lightly coating them with olive oil and some spices. I added some minced garlic gloves and a tiny bit of olive oil to the bread crumbs. I was in experiment mode, so I decided to also stuff some cheese into the shrooms. I read a recipe that called for cream cheese which sounded fabulous, but we had none in the fridge. So I opted for a personal fave, pepperjack. So after I stuffed a few tiny cubes of cheese into the mushroom caps, I packed in the stuffing. You can get creative with this and add a variety of things; onions, carrots, clams, sausage; whatever you have that will compliment the mushrooms and breadcrumbs. I decided to toss in a few little bits of leftover hamburg, and a few minced carrots. Once they were all stuffed and ready to go I lightly coated a pan with olive oil. I actually ended up cooking these on my grill outside with a couple of personal size pizzas. I had about 10 mushrooms and let them sit on the grill for not long at all, maybe 5-10 minutes at a temp of about 400 degrees. Just be sure to keep and eye on these little guys, I imagine they would be easy to burn.

Tiny cubes of cheese fit perfectly into the mushroom caps


And as for the cocktail portion of the evening, I had bought some fresh, organic mint earlier in the day with a bottle of rum and some club soda. I already had some lime sitting in the fridge so I made a batch of mojitos. To make a basic mojito, you simple muddle some mint in a sturdy glass (basically use a pestle or some other heavy object to lightly crush the mint to release the oils) and squeeze in a fresh lime wedge or two. Add some ice to just about the top of the glass, add a shot (or two) of light rum and top with a bit of sugar and club soda. My first mojito was a success and tasted deliciously refreshing. Again, I went into experiment mode and decided to see what else would pair well with this drink. I tried some fresh ginger, as well as some strawberries, but I think the winner that takes the cake was the cucumber minto mojitos with lime. Simply follow the same directions for a classic mojito but add some cukes to the glass before the ice and muddle it together with the lime for a perfect summer cocktail. Enjoy!

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