How to properly prepare mushrooms for stuffing

Whether you call them appetizers or hors d'oeuvres, these small finger foods have been around for quite a while. It is reported that the ancient Greeks and Romans both had their own takes on finger foods dating back as early as the third century B.C. (via tlecommercialcooking and 158 Main). Whereas the ancient Greeks had things like sea urchins, cockles, sturgeons, and garlic, today we have things like cucumber canapes, baby potato bites, and Super Bowl-ready fare, like beer cheese dip. One such dish that also has a long and delicious history as well? The iconic stuffed mushroom appetizer (easily found at a party near you). 

Days of the Year reports that stuffed mushrooms have existed since the late 19th century or early 20th century, and were probably created by Italians, as they have a similar stuffed zucchini recipe. But the idea to actually eat the fungi likely came from the French, who took mushroom cultivation to new heights. Bread Booze Bacon considers stuffed mushrooms one of the best appetizers out there. Here's how you can create that greatness at home.

It all starts with the mushrooms

Although making stuffed mushrooms isn't as easy as eating them (then again, what is easier than eating?), they are not very difficult to make, especially when you have the right ingredients. You might think that picking any ol' run-of-the-mill mushroom will suffice, but The Kitchn says otherwise. The publication reports that the best mushrooms to use for the base of your delicious appetizer are cremini mushrooms or white button mushrooms. 

Another thing you need to know before embarking on this delectable journey? Size matters. My Domaine explains that it is important to pick mushrooms that are the right size and slightly bigger as you will need enough space to spoon in your filling. Delish also explains how it is fairly important for you to properly clean your mushrooms. At-home cooks can either rinse their mushrooms thoroughly or gently wipe them down with a paper towel.

How to make the proper stuffing

Now that you've cleaned your mushrooms, it's time to make the stuffing. My Domaine explains that the next step is to gently pull out the stems – but don't throw these out. Pulling out the stems is fairly simple and all you need to do is wiggle the stem out and voila! Once all the stems have been pulled out, you will chop them up into smaller pieces that will go into your final stuffing. The Kitchn recommends salting both the stems and the mushrooms before moving onto your stuffing. 

Using the mushroom stems is also a great way to minimize food waste and add a great texture to your stuffing. Cooks can proceed to saute their mushroom stems in a simple manner, like Delish demonstrates, with butter and garlic. Or you can follow whatever instructions your chosen recipe suggests. Once your filling is complete and your mushrooms are stuffed, go ahead and bake, preferably on a baking sheet, until they look delicious, brown, and gooey.