This recipe was created in partnership with the Idaho Potato Commission. Thank you for supporting the foods and brands that support The Wimpy Vegetarian.
It’s that time of year when party invitations show up, and we plan intimate get-togethers of our own.
It’s interesting to me that as we march into the darkest days of the year, we become our most festive. We are at our most sparkly glitteriness, and over-the-top socially engaged at a time that historically – thousands of years ago – we may have been at our quietest. Or so I imagine.
With the passage of eons, perhaps it evolved into a time we reached out to each other in the extended darkness, for reassurance and communion. Maybe the gradual re-lengthening of the days, symbolizing hope, was the magic that spurred celebrations. We made it through another dark season.
As I leaf through cookbooks and piles of cooking magazines, google recipe ideas, and re-visit some of my favorite blogs for party recipes, I wonder what it was like in those earliest gatherings. Was there a bonfire that people gathered around, piled high for both warmth and light? Did they visit each other in thatched homes in the evenings after a day of toil, or was that more common for wealthier families with larger, sturdier structures? I don’t know. The only thing I’m certain of is that any gathering likely involved food. There’s nothing like sharing a meal together to create a feeling of community and connectedness.
This holiday season, when friends come to visit, this little appetizer will welcome them to our home and our table. We don’t need to build a fire to light the room, but this honest, earthy offering of warmth and comfort will connect us for a moment. I made it a few months ago for my friends at the Idaho® Potato Commission, but held off a bit to share it with everyone until now. It suddenly seemed so perfect for a wintry holiday party with friends and family.
To make this super easy recipe, just roast up some button mushrooms with a little balsamic vinegar and fill them with a morsel of Idaho® potatoes whipped up with white miso paste, butter, shallots, and a little Half & Half. And yes, please use the real deal Idaho potatoes – they add a wonderful fluffy texture to the potato stuffing. As a note, I typically recommend Yukon golds for mashed potatoes, but the russets in this recipe offer some nice structure for a filling.
- 30 white button mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large Idaho® russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons white miso paste
- ⅓ cup finely chopped shallot
- 2 tablespoons half & half
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
- Preheat the oven to 375˚ F, and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Twist the mushroom stems to remove them, or use a paring knife. Reserve for another use. Gently scrape the dark gills with the tip of a paring knife to remove as many as possible without damaging the mushrooms. They hold a lot of moisture. Turn the mushrooms upside down and gently tap, to allow the scrapings to fall out. Gently rub each mushroom with a towel to remove any dirt and debris.
- Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Carefully toss the mushrooms in the dressing to completely coat, and place them upright on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the mushrooms upside down halfway through.
- Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with well-salted water. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until tender. Peel them when they’re cool enough to handle. Slice into thick slabs.
- Either mash or rice the potatoes using a potato ricer. Add the butter and miso and thoroughly mash. Stir in the chopped shallot, Half & Half, salt, and pepper.
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of miso potatoes into each mushroom cap (or whatever amount makes sense for the size of the caps). Keep warm in the oven on a low temperature, or in a warming drawer until serving.
- Sprinkle a few chives over the tops of each appetizer just before serving.
If you’re looking for more holiday appetizers for this festive season, go check out this round up for FN Dish, the Food Network blog! We’re wrapping up this program with Food Network with holiday food ideas for the next two weeks, so be sure to stop back by the next two Wednesdays! We’re using the hashtag #FallFest if you want to follow us on twitter, and don’t forget to visit our Pinterest board, which is chock-full of first-rate food ideas for your table!
Devour: Spread Holiday Cheer with These Cheesy Appetizers
The Lemon Bowl: Baba Ganoush Recipe
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Miso Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms
The Mom 100: Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
A Mind “Full” Mom: Christmas Tree Deviled Eggs
The Fed Up Foodie: Italian Cheesy Bites
Healthy Eats: 7 Lighter Ways to Kick Off Your Holiday Meal
Taste with the Eyes: Holiday Entertaining: Oysters with Caviar
Swing Eats: Turkey Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cheese, Marcona Almonds, and Herbs
Creative Culinary: Pecan, Pineapple and Gorgonzola Cheese Ball with Dried Cranberries
FN Dish: Easy, Cheesy Appetizers Your Holiday Guests Will Hover Around