Chili Stuffed Mushrooms (Vegetarian Appetizer 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!
Yields: 32 appetizers6 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
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.
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.
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.August 13, 2012.