Foodie Friday: Appetizers for Dinner!


I’ve been posting some things lately that have been some amount of work – either they take some prep and then go in the oven for a while, or they take a bunch of prep, or they take ongoing maintenance.

Not today.

Today, I bring you stupidly easy food.  Not only is this stupidly easy and equally fast, it really hits the spot.  You see, I’m a huge fan of appetizers: the menu of mouthwatering savory bits at a restaurant is sooo tempting.  But I can’t actually eat *that* much food, and I know that if I succumb to the appetizer, I won’t have room for my full entree (or worse, dessert!!)  So, tempting as they are, I hardly ever order them.

But.  I am also firmly of the mindset that these delicious treats shouldn’t be relegated to the hated “tempt-me-but-ruin-my-meal” section of the menu.  So it’s not terribly uncommon for me to make appetizer-type dishes for my main course.

Last night, that manifested as these wonderful chorizo-stuffed mushrooms.  I had a small package, about half a pound, of bulk chorizo from my wonderful local butcher shop, and having never made anything with chorizo before, I went Googling for recipes to use it in.

I used this recipe from A Spicy Perspective (odd, given my last post) as my basis – although I was absolutely stunned to discover that said blog was marketing these as appetizers – for Thanksgiving!  Talk about a time when I don’t want to ruin my appetite!!

Anyway, I’ve probably spent more time telling you about these than I spent making them.  It’s pretty straightforward.  Brown your bulk chorizo:

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If your chorizo comes in links, just slice open the casings and squish it out.

Clean your mushrooms and pop all the stems off.  Lay them on a baking sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper) with the open side up:

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You want decent-sized mushrooms for this. The small ones were a little hard to stuff. This is a mix of cremini (baby bella) and regular white button mushrooms. Portobellas would probably be good too, although messy.

Take a half a block of cream cheese (or more; I ended up using the whole block, and while we’re at it I used the lower-fat Neufchatel) and some thyme.  You could use other spices or seasonings here, but I stuck to the original recipe:

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Mix in your browned, drained chorizo:

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Apply the filling to your mushrooms:

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And cover with some kind of cheese that will get all melty and browned.  I used some shredded manchego, but you could use mozzarella, parmesan, panela, monterey jack, cheddar, whatever.  The manchego was baller.

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Put it in a 400° oven for 15-20 minutes until it’s all melty and browned:

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I used the time they were in the oven to toss some simple salads so I had something green in my dinner.  But don’t let these little guys fool you: they are filling!  My spouse and I together were able to finish maybe half of these guys – the rest had to go back in the fridge for lunch today (not that I’m complaining).  But this totally fits with my narrative of “Who on earth would make these as an appetizer for Thanksgiving??”

Also, I think I spent maybe 10 minutes making dinner tonight.  These were stupidly easy.  And delicious.  You should make some.

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Muffin Tin Frittatas

In my never ending effort to try to eat healthy and also minimize the amount of time required for me to get out the door in the morning, I’m always looking for things I can cook ahead of time and grab and go in the morning. So far, my favorite homemade breakfast is muffin tin frittatas. These are so ridiculously easy to make that it’s hardly a recipe, and you can make them exactly to your taste and preferences. Also, I get jealous comments from my co-workers when I bring them into the office for my breakfast every time, so that’s probably a good sign, too!

Without further ado…

Recipe for Muffin Tin Frittatas:Frittata Ingredients

Preheat oven to 375
Grease/spray regular-size muffin tin or cupcake liners (this is very important, otherwise they stick a lot!!!)
Fill the cup up to a max of about 3/4 full with any mix-ins you want – meat, veggies (red pepper recommended), cheese (don’t skimp on the cheese :)), etc
Crack eggs (roughly 1 egg per frittata – I find 5 eggs per 6 muffins is just about perfect) into a mixing bowl
Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, whatever other herbs/spices you want to eggs (I tried Adobo Seasoning this week – so good!)
Beat eggs (you can add some milk if you want) and pour them into the cups
Bake for about 20 minutes! They’re done when they puff up somewhat and the tops are slightly browned.
(Original inspiration recipe I found on Pinterest is here: Egg Muffins Revisted)

I usually reheat mine in the microwave for about a minute before eating. They’re good in the fridge for a whole week. Just stick them in the fridge after they cool and you’re ready to grab breakfast on the way out the door in the morning! Pro tip from the original blogger: portion them out into ziploc bags or tupperwares from the start and you’re really ready to fly in the morning.

There you go! Super easy, and you can make your entire week’s breakfast at once with minimal effort. I think I’ll experiment with the add-ins until I find some really great combos. So far sausage and cheese is my favorite. I didn’t like them with bacon, but I had burnt the bacon so it’s hardly fair to judge on that. I think feta and spinach would be really good!

Have any suggestions for potential combos? Let me know, maybe I’ll try some! Or even better, try it out and share your successes in the comments!

Cheers,
Anthea