Super Bowl Sunday – a neighborhood party. We needed a “super” appetizer. Sausage stuffed baby portobello mushrooms with Manchego cheese was our choice and with our “kicked” up extras we knew we had a “winner.” We added some Rotel tomatoes to our stuffing, topped them with “football helmet” cherry tomatoes, and drizzled the finished appetizer with a balsamic glaze. The flavor of the sausage complimented the baked mushrooms well and the sweet balsamic contrasted the earthy flavors. These low-carb appetizers are easy to make and delicious to taste!
The size of the baby portobello is perfect for an appetizer bite. You can actually make this recipe into a meal by using the larger portobello caps. We have even tried the larger caps topped with a tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, and basil for an Italian dinner.
Make sure that you clean your baby portobello mushroom caps with a damp cloth. But, do not wash them. Mushrooms give off a lot of water and you do not want a soggy appetizer by addng water. It does take a few minutes to carve out some of the membrane after removing the mushroom stem. This will allow more room for the stuffing and will also eliminate the membrane which can be bitter.
The sausage we used is often called “Italian sweet sausage” and it does need a little extra kick. Original or mild Rotel tomatoes are tasty and readily available in the Southwest, or you can use red pepper flakes, or anything to give the stuffing some heat. You may even try a “hot Italian sausage.” We have made sausage stuffing mix with grated Romano cheese or even parmesan, but since we were topping these with Manchego we stuck with the Rotel tomatoes.
A drizzle of olive oil before baking adds flavor to the portobello mushroom caps and makes the roasted color standout. They should look like these when you place in your oven.
The balsamic glaze is simple – no need for sugar. Just use a top notch balsamic and reduce it in a small saucepan over medium heat until about one-half of the original remains. It will thicken and be easy to pour over the finished appetizer. If it thickens too much before you drizzle it has likely cooled too much. Ten seconds in a microwave will thin the glaze and make your drizzle easy.
The Football Plate
It is not often you get to use a “football” plate . . . but Super Bowl Sunday was the time! The cherry tomato topping really did resemble a football helmet and the balsamic glaze adds a striped look on our helmets. A perfect way to cap a super low-carb portobello mushroom appetizer.
Whether your favorite team won or lost the game on Sunday, our neighborhood party was wonderful. Our neighbors are always winners in our mind, and the food all of the guests and our hosts made was delicious. We kept our choices low carb, of course, and we hope Sausage Stuffed Baby Portobello with Manchego will be the hit of your next party!
- Prepare mushrooms by cleaning caps with damp paper towel, removing stems and excess membrane.
- Cook sausage and onion in a skillet, crumbling sausage while cooking for 10 minutes, until browned. Drain excess grease, add Rotel tomatoes and green chilis. Cook for 4 more minutes.
- Grease cookie sheet with olive oil and place mushroom cap side down. Stuff with sausage/tomato mixture. Drizzle olive oil lightly on top.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top each cap with Manchego cheese slice and one halved cherry tomato.
- Broil 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is melted, watch closely.
- Remove from the oven and place mushrooms on a wire cookie rack to cool. When cool, drizzle with balsamic glaze.
- Mix balsamic vinegar with swerve or erythritol in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes until thickened and reduced by half.
- If sauce thickens too much when cooled, simply heat 10 seconds in a microwave before pouring.