About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Carciofi alla Giudia- Crisp Fried Whole Artichokes | Main | Bagna Caoda »

Baked Stuffed Mushroom Caps

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It's Cindy again, and it's now time for me to move on to hot appetizers. My appetizer for the day is Baked Stuffed Mushroom Caps. This recipe was different than any others I've made before-you know, bread crumbs, onions, spices, maybe sausage? In this recipe, you do have the bread crumbs and chopped mushroom stems, but there's lots of additional interesting ingredients. One such ingredient is dried porcini mushrooms. So can you imagine the taste of a baked mushroom which contains of stuffing of porcini mushrooms, pancetta, anchovy fillets, basil, garlic and marjoram? Very flavorful!

I do have one thing I would probably do different in this recipe when I make them again. The recipe calls for a fair amount of pancetta. I love the flavor of pancetta. If you don't know what pancetta is, Marcella gives a wonderful description in her book. Basically, it is the Italian version of bacon. I bought some while in Little Italy in San Diego, and was really looking forward to using it. It was the kind known as pancetta stesa, which is a cured, flat version still attached to it's rind. Anyway, the piece of pancetta I had was almost all fat. There was very little meat on it. In the recipe, you finely dice it and add it to the other raw ingredients, which are then stuffed in the mushroom and baked. Unfortunately, my pieces of pancetta didn't break down well during the cooking, and I was left with a lot of small pieces of flavorful fat in my mushrooms. While the flavor was good, the mouthfeel wasn't. So next time, if my pancetta contains a large amount of fat, I would pre-cook that pancetta to render out some of the fat first.

Comments (3)

I understand what you mean about the pancetta, Cindy. If you have access, it is better to ask the deli to slice it for you. You can specify how much meat vs fat you need for the particular dish you're doing.

sounds greats, all pancettas are made different i guess, some breakdown better than others. the flavor is always welcome in any dish!~

This recipe sounds great! I want to try one right now!

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