Sophisticated Stuffed Mushroom Caps

I just sat down and typed out an entire post about this "Ginger Power Smoothie" that I made a while ago full of unconventional things like sweet potato and pumpkin puree, and I got all the way to formatting the entry and adding the photo...and I just couldn't do it. I loved the taste of this smoothie, but the pictures look so phenomenally unappealing that I can't reveal the "recipe" to you just yet. I have to try to redeem this promising set of flavors and nutrients with a cleaner, more tested recipe. I don't mean to leave you hanging like that - maybe this summer I will be able to perfect it (though in a slightly altered form, since pumpkin puree may be hard to come by), but I have to scratch it and choose a different dish to share with you this evening.

That dish happened to be a very appealing combination of warmed chickpeas and spinach, which I also proceeded to write about, until I realized that a much wiser and more level-headed me wrote in my notes way back when I made the dish that because I really didn't get to taste it myself (it was made for a potluck and was all gone before I got to the buffet), I would need to make it a second time before posting. I just felt too guilty to proceed with the post, even though the very fact that it disappeared so quickly gives me a pretty good inkling as to how enjoyable it was.

Moving on to Attempt #3, we have these beautiful, tantalizing, slightly burnt (but still loved!) mushroom caps, filled with turkey marinated lightly in yogurt and sour cream, topped with ground pine nuts and broiled to a toasty wonder. The original recipe called for a few more sophisticated ingredients like white wine and chicken (ground turkey is decidedly not amongst the culinary elite of the poultry world), but I still think it turned out well despite my use-what's-on-hand attitude.

The pine nut offers a buttery, nutty flavor to encapsulate the creaminess of the chicken mixture, and the mushroom cushion beneath it provides a solid meatiness to make the whole thing feel a bit more like a meal. It's certainly not a spicy meal but the red pepper does add a mild level of heat, and the yogurt's tang imparts a subtle sweetness. It's a little monochromatic, though the spinach that I served it over did help, and so in future attempts I may add some more veggies.

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Stuffed Mushroom Caps, adapted from Closet Cooking
Yield: 2 servings

The Ingredients
1 + 1/2 tablespoon butter, divided
2 ounces non-fat vanilla greek yogurt
2 ounces non-fat sour cream
1/3 cup chicken broth*
1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
2 large portabella mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground turkey breast1/4 cup pine nuts

The Method
In a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and mix in the cream cheese, broth, and red pepper flakes. Cook the mixture until it thickens, then set aside.

Meanwhile, remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them; set aside. In a medium pan over medium heat, gently toast the pine nuts for 3-4 minutes, until lightly brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool momentarily, and melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the same medium pan. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes, before adding in the garlic for another minute or so, until fragrant. While the onion is cooking, grind the pine nuts in a food processor and set aside once more. Add the chopped mushroom stems and ground turkey to the pan with the onions, cooking until the turkey is broken up and, for the most part, cooked through.

Pour the cream sauce over the turkey mixture and stir to combine, then spoon half the mixture into each mushroom cap. Broil the mushroom caps for 5-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the pine nut topping.** Remove from the oven when golden brown.

*The original recipe calls for white wine, so feel free to sub this in if you have it.
**The recipe calls for 8-14 minutes under the broiler, but it also suggests using breadcrumbs, which may be less temperamental when exposed to heat. My mushroom caps were browning pretty severely by 5 minutes (hence the little burnt patch in the picture), so either broil without the pine nuts on for 5-8 minutes and then add the topping for another 3-5, or just keep an eye on it.

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