Sometimes I have an idea that I surprise myself with…an idea that is so simple and was in front of my face for so long that it boggles my mind that I hadn’t thought of it sooner.
Take this casserole, for example.
I’m a stuffed mushroom lover from way back, and the other day I was craving stuffed mushrooms something fierce (strange, I know, lol). I didn’t have any whole button mushrooms on hand for stuffing, but I did have a package of sliced. I also spied a few other veggies and some cheese, and the wheels started turning. Why not make stuffed mushrooms in casserole form, right? It’s basically just another kind of stuffing. Or maybe a gratin, since I cooked mine in gratin dishes and topped them with cheese. Either way, it makes a wonderful side dish for just about any fall or winter meal I can think of (and Thanksgiving is coming, friends!).
Or, topped with a fried egg and served with a salad, it makes an equally fantastic meal in its own right.
This casserole reheats like a dream! To do so, cover the dish with foil and heat in a preheated 350F oven until the cheese is melted and it’s hot throughout.
Yields 1 (8 by 8-inch) pan; about 8 servings
1 tablespoon butter, diced (plus more to grease the pan)
1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (divided)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large stalks celery, finely diced
1 large onion, diced
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
½ lb button mushrooms (or any kind you like), thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves)
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce*
4 oz sharp Cheddar, shredded (divided)
*To make this dish vegetarian, omit the Worcestershire sauce.
Preheat oven to 400F; lightly grease an 8 by 8-inch pan (or you can use smaller gratin dishes).
Transfer 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to a small bowl and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the celery and cook 3 minutes, then add the onion, salt, pepper, and bay leaf and sauté 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until all the veggies are tender and the mushrooms are browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme and cook 1 to 2 minutes more; cool slightly.
Stir together the veggie mixture with the breadcrumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce, the larger portion of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and half the Cheddar in a large bowl. Spread the stuffing mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar and the reserved 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top, and dot on the butter.
Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown in places on top, about 15 minutes. (Broil it for a couple minutes if you want it to have more color.)
And here’s the money shot of the runny yolk. *Sigh*