Sunday, May 8, 2011

7-Ingredient, 3-Step Mushroom Balls with Simple Gravy

In the spirit of full disclosure: These are loaded with butter, they're a little bit fragile, and I made mine much too big. None of these things are bad, per se, but your experience with making these little guys might be kinda different from mine.

They are also delicious. I mean really delicious. We both thought they tasted a bit like Swedish meatballs, which we are a little crazy for.

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder, or 2 cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups seasoned dry breadcrumbs - I used plain whole wheat breadcrumbs with a 1 tsp dried oregano

[Preheat your oven to 350 Farenheit]
1. Mix together the first 6 ingredients. Gradually mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is just stiff enough to shape into balls. (You may not need the full 2 cups).

2. Form the mixture into 2 inch balls, and place on greased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Or until they smell so delicious that you have the be held back from sticking your head in the oven.

I think I only ended up using about a cup and a half of breadcrumbs, because I was determined that nothing would overwhelm the mushroomy goodness. They were the slightest bit fragile, and they flattened out the tiniest bit when baking, but I still recommend playing around with what amount of breadcrumbs is right for you. If I wanted to eat bread balls I'd eat bread, but that's me.

Mushroom balls
Yeah, mine were too big. This recipe is supposed to make about 22 mushroom balls, and I made 15. Whoops! They cooked for more like 26 to 28 minutes.

We had them with whole wheat pasta in a quick gravy I made by sauteeing a small handful of chopped mushrooms, and the same amount of chopped onion with 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme in yep, you guessed it, butter - about 1 1/2 tablespoons. I added just under 2 cups of chicken stock, then gradually added about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, whisking while adding to prevent lumps. If you don't have cornstarch on hand (I can't believe I did), white flour works, too, you'll just have to add it a little bit at a time to see how the gravy responds. Stir the gravy frequently until thickened, then toss with pasta. These would also be great with egg noodles, or alone as an appetizer. These can be made ahead of time and heated up in the oven.

If you know of a suitable substitute for eggs, you could make these vegan, but I don't know what you'd do about the butter. These need butter. I have never tried vegan butter so I can't recommend it.

Quote of the Day: Love is like a poisonous mushroom - you don't know if it is the real thing until it is too late." ~ Unknown

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