I have to share my recipes from dinner on Sunday! I was going to write two separate posts. but now, trying to get to a little more wholesome of a place, I’m going to group the two under one parent-friendly, pants-loosening, delicious, cheesy, buttery post.
my parents have only been over my apartment twice now for dinner. (which I see increasing exponentially next month, if I get cable, and we can have jeopardy dates over here.) I wanted to make something to make them happy. and it was a huge success.
my dad and I used to share stuffed mushrooms at restaurants almost as often as french onion soup. they’re made with crabmeat, so that was one of the traditions he was still heartbroken over. until we found vegetarian stuffed mushrooms at maggiano’s last year for my birthday dinner (one of the only veg options on the menu).
butter spinach stuffed mushrooms.
adapted from food.com
- 2 containers of button mushrooms
- olive oil spray
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 10 oz frozen spinach (thaw in microwave; can be warm)
- 1 cup Fontina cheese, crumbled
- Discard stems from mushrooms and place mushrooms on pan. Spray with olive oil and roast in oven for 15 minutes. (I turned them upside-down halfway through.) Help them drain by putting them on paper towels or a cooling rack, or just blot the pan & move them around.
- In a large mixing bowl, softened butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and panko breadcrumbs. Mix by hand until incorporated. Form into discs, about 2 tbsp each.
- In a separate bowl, combine spinach and fontina cheese.
- Place some spinach fontina mixture into each mushroom cap. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. [Here, you can refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.] Bake at 350 F until golden brown. Enjoy!
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as for the main course… my mom will try anything i ask her to. but my dad is picky. as in, almost as picky as my sister when she was little and refused to eat anything that wasn’t “hot dogs, scrambled eggs, or spaghetti.”
we all agree on pasta. so I’m afraid any time they come over, that’s the genre I’m going with unless we order pizza or Chinese food. (so, in total, three agreements. four if you count sangria.)
sunday’s past dish did not disappoint. please be aware that this dish was “lightened up” by my inclusion of half-and-half. let’s just get it out of the way so I can go back to considering myself ever having been a healthy-ish food blogger. the dish was cheesy + creamy + very crowd-pleasing. and then everyone had a slight tummy ache. mostly my dad who had thirds of the stuffed mushrooms and seconds of the pasta. ;-)
pasta al forno.
adapted from big girls small kitchen
- 1 lb medium shells
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 15 oz. can seasoned diced tomatoes, drained
- 1.5 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
- 0.5 cup shredded pecorino romano (reserve some for garnish)
- 0.5 cup fontina cheese
- 0.25 cup crumbled gorgonzola
- 2 tsp dried basil
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Cook the pasta for 5 minutes. Drain.
- Add to the pasta: half-and-half, tomatoes, cheeses, and basil and stir to combine.
- Spread the pasta into a baking dish. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until the top is just browned. (I was worried it was overly dry because I waited to bake it. The top looked to cooked. It was perfect. So creamy just underneath.)
- Top with remaining pecorino romano cheese and serve.