Warm, gooey, feta, sage sausage stuffed mushrooms happen to be one of my biggest down falls. Now if you don’t like fungus, as some people call mushrooms, make a creamy dip from the same recipe and serve with baguette slices. Don’t forget the olive tapenade on top. Goodness I could just swoon now…sigh.

I’m not allowed to show up at Thanksgiving or any other family event without these little babies in hand. I’m kind of proud of them seeing as how when I first met my surfer I evidently couldn’t cook. At all, what so ever. He still tells everyone to this day that he’s the reason I’m such a good cook and he’s right. I came up with this recipe because I adore stuffed mushrooms. Unfortunately most of the ones that I’ve tried have been dry or bland. These have flavor baby and by not frying the sausage before hand they stay moist. Also you’ll have plenty of the stuffing batch leftover from the recipe to make some dip if you choose to make both like I do. This of course appeases my love. He’s not a fan of mushrooms one little bit. He thinks that they taste like dirt gasp,blasphemy. Although he does love my stuffing recipe, so voila. Two recipes from one. The tapenade was one of those whims that I came up with one night. It’s ended up being the “cherries” on top so to speak.

These mushrooms are really simple to make, even if you go to the trouble to make them with homemade bread crumbs.

MUSHROOMS

3-8 oz containers of button mushrooms

1-package of Jimmy Dean Sage sausage

2 or 3-4 oz Tomato basil feta cheese (depends on how much you love feta)

1-12 oz bottle of Cardini’s Caesar dressing

Pepperinchini to taste (1/2 tsp)

2- French baguette (or 1/3 bag of Pepperidge Farms Italian bread crumbs)

First preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Tear up 3/4 of one of the baguette into small pieces and place in a baking pan. Toast for 10 minutes or just until crisp. Pulse in a blender until the pieces are crumbs.

Clean the mushrooms, then remove the stems & hollow them out (be careful not to go to deep). Arrange the mushroom caps in two glass rectangle baking dishes.

In a large mixing bowl mix sausage, 2 1/2 packages of feta cheese, the entire bottle of Cardini’s Caesar dressing and half of the toasted bread crumbs. Mix well. Add more bread crumbs as needed. The stuffing mix should resemble thick oatmeal.

Use a teaspoon to stuff your mushrooms, try to keep the stuffing around 1/2 an inch above the mushroom rim.

Cover the baking dishes with foil and bake the mushrooms at 350 degrees for 25- 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake a little longer until golden and bubbly (2 to 3 minutes max)

DIP

Left over stuffing

1-8 oz package of cream cheese

1-egg

Take the left over stuffing, add the remainder of feta (if you have any), cream cheese and egg. Mix well. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Cut the rest of your baguette into approx 1/2 in slices , rub a garlic clove across the slices (this gives just enough flavor). Toast the slices under the broiler on low until lightly toasted (don’t step away, they will burn)

Olive Tapenade

1 1/2 cups mix of Kalamata, black olives,green olives, pitted (rinsed)

3  roasted red peppers out of the jar (rinsed)

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher or sea)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Chop olives and peppers between a fine and rough chop. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in oil and vinegar. Add to your lovely Feta Dip baguette slices.

I hope that y’all enjoy these as much as my family and I do. If you happen to hate them, lie to me.  Just kidding, you guys know that I love your honest direct comments. By the way I’ve finally caught up on my responses, I know I’ve been a bad, bad Red :)

Remember to have fun in your kitchen this weekend. Go ahead and play with this recipe, tweak it with some of your favorite flavors.

Xoxo,

Tickled Red

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