Chili Stuffed Mushrooms (Vegetarian Appetizer Recipe)

Chili Stuffed Mushrooms (Vegetarian Appetizer Recipe) Recipe

If you thought chili couldn't be the basis for an elegant appetizer, give this recipe a try! I had leftover vegetarian chili, so I scooped it into stemmed crimini mushrooms. I baked them for 20 minutes, sprinkled on a combination of queso manchego and Oaxaca cheese and then baked them again until the cheeses melted.

After placing them on the table, I just turned my back for a few minutes and the appetizers were all gone. Everyone asked for more, and since these little bites are pretty nutritious, I had no problem obliging!

Ingredients

Yields: 32 appetizers

6 ounces soy chorizo (click on the link for the homemade recipe)
1 cup cooked green lentils
1½ cups homemade tomato sauce (store-bought, or click on the link for the homemade recipe)
4 tablespoons canola oil, as needed
1 yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Bhut Jolokia Ghost Pepper Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce), to taste
1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound crimini mushrooms
¼ cup Queso Manchego, shredded
¼ cup Oaxaca cheese, shredded


Directions

Preparing the spices: Dry-toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorns. Place them in a spice grinder with oregano, chili powder and paprika (I use a coffee mill that I keep exclusively for grinding spices) until it becomes a fine powder. Set the seasoning mix aside.

Preparing the mushrooms: Stem ⅔ pound of the crimini mushrooms and coarsely chop the rest with all the stems, reserving the mushroom "hats".

Making vegetarian chili:

In a pan, heat the oil. Cook the onions for about 8 minutes until soft and nicely golden. Leaving as much oil as possible in the pan, transfer the onions to a platter. Set aside.

In the same pan, add the minced garlic. Cook until slightly golden. Add the soy chorizo. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped mushrooms and green onions. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and the seasoning mix. Add the reserved onions, lentils and tomato sauce. Cover with vegetable broth. Cover with a lid and cook for 30-40 minutes over high heat. Let the liquid thicken. Check seasoning. Season with more salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Let cool for 15-20 minutes, then add hot sauce. Stir well.

Assembly time: 

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spray a baking pan with oil. Drizzle the mushroom "hats" with a bit olive oil. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Stuff each mushroom with about 2-3 teaspoons of the veggie chili mixture, creating a small mound.

Place the mushrooms onto the baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Open the oven, sprinkle the mushrooms with both cheeses and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until the cheeses melt.

Bon appétit!


Tips

Make sure the cocoa powder is unsweetened; it adds an extra rich flavor to the seasoning.

16 crimini mushrooms weigh ⅓ pound. For this appetizer recipe, count about 50 mushrooms for 1 pounds. You could also use white button mushrooms.

You can find All Spice Cafe online and discover their wide variety of hot sauces. I also recommend their chipotle tapenade, which tastes amazing. 

The vegetarian chorizo has a similar texture to ground beef. Soy chorizo is available in regular stores such as Safeway and Trader Joe's.

For more salad and finger food recipes, check out these links.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 13, 2012.


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