When Nigella first described this recipe as a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup in cheesecake form, she had me at Reese. It’s a baked peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake. I don’t need to say any more.
The ingredients should be at room temperature before you start. Read the rest of this entry
The silly season is in full swing. Time to overeat, fight the masses to get your last minute shopping done and exercise your rage control as drivers everywhere forget the basic rules of the road. I say rather stock up your freezer and spend your precious time catching up with friends and family over glasses of chilled wine (or mulled, should it be winter where you find yourself) and tables full of good things to eat. If you need something quick and easy to serve as a snack when people are getting peckish, try this spread-slash-dip to serve with crackers or melba toast. I got the idea after trying a so-so-ish biltong spread bought at the shops. Upon inspecting the label I realised that there was, in fact, absolutely no biltong in it whatsoever. I was sure that adding biltong to a biltong dip would be the natural first step to improving it. Genius right? But please don’t entertain the idea of using that horrible powdered biltong instead of the good stuff. That’s only good when it’s dusted by a little grey-haired lady on to marmite slathered bread cubes and served on a paper doily with a nice cup of tea at the NG church’s bazaar where, let’s be honest, it is damn awesome. Adding blue cheese to anything, of course, makes it better. It also means that this dip packs a serious flavour punch. If Ye Old Ranch is the party dip equivalent of the mousy girl who sits timidly in the corner, looking a little lost and only spoken to when asked where the toilet is, then this dip is the loud guy adjusting his crotch, hocking one back and drawling “Are you talking to ME?”.
Ingredients Read the rest of this entry
I must confess, I’ve been shoving it in. Food that is. When my husband ecstatically declared after a foray to the mall near our soon to be new home in China that he “Could buy cheese and ham!” I started going into panic mode. He was getting excited about cheese and ham? What does this mean for the foodie in me?? I have visions of living in a foreign country for years, deprived of a lamb chop. Of months dragging by with not an oozing wedge of Camembert to be seen. Of days spent pining for a piece of bread that contains less sugar than the average Checkers Sunday Morning Cream Cake Special. So I’m getting it in while the getting is good. And even if it’s all my favourite stuff, a surprising number of these dishes really could not be included here. (Like Royco’s Dijon Chicken with homemade chips and All Gold tomato sauce. It is my secret shame that a packaged pronto dish would feature on my list of last meals.) But these really should be. These moreish little mushroom morsels are hugely popular and disappear in a flash so make loads of them! It has been adapted from a recipe I saw in the Huffington Post one year when they featured the best snacks for the Superbowl. I don’t know anything about the original conceiver of this dish. All I know is that her name is Adriene. Thank you Adriene!
Serves: Well, it could serve just me. But probably 6 if I share.
Creamy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Recipe type: Snack
- 2 punnets of small brown mushrooms (or 4 very large ones)
- 6 smoked sausages* (anything will do, as long as the texture is fairly chunky)
- 3 heaped tablespoons plain cream cheese
- 1 large onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup grated cheese* (preferably something like a Gruyere that melts nicely)
- 1T tomato paste
- a bit of fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 3 T olive oil
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
- Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and pull out the stems and discard. Toss the mushrooms with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking dish and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes. Set aside and cool.
- Slit the sausage and remove the filling from the casings. Crumble in a dry heated pan and saute until golden brown. Break up into small pieces while it is cooking. Remove from the pan, reserving the pan fats and juices and aside to cool.
- Add the onions to the pan, with a bit more oil if neccesary. Cook slowly until caramelized (about 20 minutes), deglazing the pan with a little water if you need to. Then add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another minute.
- Put the cooked sausage, onions and garlic, cream cheese, salt & pepper, herbs and the grated cheese in a bowl and mix well with your hands.
- Line up your mushrooms in a greased baking dish with the core side facing up. Stuff each mushroom with a generous portion of the creamy sausage mixture.
- Now put the baking dish in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for roughly 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. (This dish can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and put in the cooler until you are ready to put them in the oven.)
- Serve and stand back so you don't lose a finger. Blink and they're gone.
* You can substitute any good bangers for the sausage, but then be sure to use a smoked cheddar cheese.