Mark McDermott

Chef Jack Witherspoon’s Stuffed Mushrooms

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Jack's stuffed mushrooms. Photo by Sheri Giblin/Chronicle Books

You won’t be able to resist these stuffed mushrooms. I made them for both of my Cooking Up Dreams fund-raising events, and each bite is a morsel of cheesy, garlicky, herby bread crumbs in a baked mushroom cap. This might be my all-time favorite appetizer.

Makes about 35 stuffed mushrooms; serves 10 as an appetizer

1 pound cremini mushrooms

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2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large shallot, minced

7 cloves garlic, minced

3⁄4 cup freshly grated

Parmesan cheese, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish

3⁄4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1⁄4 cup dried bread crumbs

1⁄4 cup minced fresh

flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish

1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms, set the caps aside, and finely chop the stems. In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, chopped mushroom stems, and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine the 3⁄4 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, bread crumbs, 1⁄4 cup parsley, salt, and cooked mushroom mixture. Stir well with a fork. Using your hands or a small spoon, put about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each mushroom cap. Place the stuffed mushroom caps on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the filling is lightly browned. Sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve warm.

twist it up

Chef Jack Witherspoon preparing for the launch of his book Twist It Up. Photo by Cheri Giblin

Twist It UP

The best thing about making stuffed mushrooms is that you can add your favorite flavors to the mix. Try using 1⁄3 cup minced fresh spinach instead of the parsley and subbing feta for the Parmesan cheese.

From Jack Witherspoon’ s Twist it Up. Reprinted by permission from Chronicle Books

Learn more about 11-year-old Chef Jack and his successful battle against leukemia — he has fought it three times — in Beach magazine.

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