There's something unctuous about lamb. Paired with Moroccan and Turkish spices and a full-bodied wine like Cultivar Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon it's a sumptuous treat. In the summer, I stuffed sweet peppers with lamb and tomatoes. Now in the fall, I'm filling portobello mushrooms with apple and lamb.
When I entertain I love to have appetizers that are easy to make ahead or ready to come out of the oven just as guests arrive. For my surprise birthday party for Emily of The JetSetting Fashionista, I served two appetizers featuring apples: Apple and Mushroom Spring Rolls and Lamb and Apple Stuffed Mushroom Caps. (You can find the recipe for the Fall Harvest Pluot, Apple, and Mushroom filled Spring Rolls on the La Crema Blog.)
For nearly stress-free entertaining, I typically prepare my spring rolls the day before the party and store in the refrigerator. About an hour and a half before guests arrive, I plate the spring rolls on a platter and put the platter back in the refrigerator. Then I make up the lamb mixture for the stuffed mushrooms (can also be done the night before). Roughly forty-five minutes before guests arrive (enough time for me to shower and get ready) I pop the mushrooms into the oven, so that the house smells wonderful and guests are able to start noshing when they arrive.
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 6 Portobello mushrooms about 3 to 4-inches in diameter, 12 ounces, washed with stems removed
- 1 Granny Smith apple, finely chopped (about a cup)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about a cup)
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- Parsley, freshly snipped, 1 cup
- Cilantro, freshly snipped, 1/2 cup
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper, freshly ground to taste
- 1 pound Lamb, ground
- 1 cup, Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup, Pecorino romano, grated
- 1 Egg
- 1/3 cup, Feta cheese, crumbled
- Place a rack in the upper third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cover a baking sheet with foil and evenly space the mushroom caps.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except Feta cheese.
- Mix well with hands. Shape meat mixture into six patties about the same diameter as the mushroom caps.
- Place one patty on each mushroom cap and press lightly into cap.
- Bake, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the sides of the patties registers 160 degrees, approximately 40 minutes.
- Optionally top each mushroom with Feta cheese during the last five minutes of baking.
Serving tip for effortless entertaining: If passing as an appetizer, replace the portobello mushrooms with crimini mushrooms, approximately six 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, so that guests can eat them in one or two neat bites.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.