Chèvre & Cranberry Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms

Little Peruvian “Beak Peppers,” also known as Sweetie Drops, are making their way to our dinner plates adding a little punch of acid and mild heat.

While roaming through the market this week, I came across two unusual ingredients and knew I had to create a dish that would use them both.

The first was not as much unusual but outsized. I found shiitake mushrooms that at first glance appeared to be portabella mushrooms. They were much larger than usual, but nice and fresh and firm and I thought they would be lovely stuffed.

IMG_2914
Peruvian Little Beak Peppers, also called “sweetie drops” are shaped like a beaked bird, or little tiny pears. Look for them in the deli section of your market.

The second item I had seen only once before – a tiny little Peruvian pepper, shaped with a beak, and packed in brine. These “binquinho” peppers referred to as sweet drops, or sweetie drops,  are also called little beak peppers because of their shape. They are indeed sweet, with just a touch of heat. I had them previously at a restaurant up North served along with calamari and onions, and I was anxious to try using them myself.

Substitutions abound

If you cannot find large shiitake, substitute portabella mushrooms, gills removed. The recipe won’t make as many, and one will institute a meal! You can also use the large white stuffing mushrooms.

The little beaks might be hard to find, but you can substitute any pickled pepper you like, sweet or hot in this recipe.

For the chèvre, I used the Vermont Creamery Classic Goat Cheese https://www.vermontcreamery.com/products/fresh-goat-cheese/classic-goat-cheese-log/ because that is what I had on hand, but on another day I might have used any other local goat cheese I liked!

A favorite combination

I used a cranberry chutney here because I had it on hand, and because I love the combination of creamy goat cheese with tangy cranberries – I make a simple cheese log out of goat cheese, cranberry chutney, minced parsley, and lime zest, mixed together and formed into a ball, and rolled in toasted pine nuts. This gave me the initial idea for the stuffing.

However, you can certainly use whatever your favorite chutney and make it yours.

The breadcrumbs were from fresh bread that I whirled through the mini food processor. You can also use a hand grater. If you don’t have left-over quinoa, you can always use rice or other grain.

Chèvre & Cranberry stuffed Shiitake Mushroom

8 large shiitake mushrooms, OR 4 portabella

½ onion, minced

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs

½ tsp. Paprika

4 oz. chèvre, softened at room temperature

¼ cup cranberry chutney, or other favorite chutney

¼ cup parsley, minced

1 cup quinoa, cooked

2 tbsp. sweetie drop peppers, diced

Arugula and more peppers to serve

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Sauté the onion in a little olive oil until soft and starting to brown on the edges. Add the garlic, breadcrumbs and paprika and continue to cook for a few minutes. Remove to a bowl.

Mix together gently but not completely the goat cheese and chutney. You want them combined, but with still visible identities.

To the onion bowl, add the parsley, chutney, quinoa, diced peppers, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.

IMG_2918
These shiitake mushrooms were much larger than usual and just begged to be stuffed!

Divide the mixture and stuff the mushrooms. Divide the chèvre/cranberry mixture into 8 and top each mushroom, pressing down a bit. You can also add toasted pine nuts or other nut to the top at this point for a little crunch.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and the tops have firmed.

Serve on a bed of mixed greens. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, a splash of the pepper brine, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

This makes a lovely lunch, or serve just one prettied up as a starter for a dinner party. You can make it all in advance earlier in the day, and pop it in the oven to cook while you’re pouring the wine! A friend just told me this looks like a Christmas brunch idea…

© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen

 

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I love the Peruvian sweet peppers. I use them a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love them now too! It was the first time I’d seen them for sale at the market, and I hope they keep stocking them. A lovely little explosion of flavor.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, right?! They can be hard to find, but they are definitely worth it once you do.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never seen Peruvian sweet peppers in Sydney & would love to try them. Where as I do enjoy a stuffed mushroom I always smile when I see it written as I am reminded of the Shirley Conran quote, “Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom”. I actually wrote a blog on it and think that yours prove it isn’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll bet that now you are looking for them, you will find them. I had never heard of them until a few months ago, and had not seen them in a store until last week. Love the quote! There are times when I’ve spent way too much on stuffing really small mushrooms, and if I do that again, I’ll think of the quote!

      Like

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