Hey there. It’s Ina Garten Friday, which means that the members in this blog group will be making and posting one of her recipes, or making a food item inspired by one of her dishes. Do you know who she is? Ina is host the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network. You may have seen some of her books at the bookstore or at the library.
She goes by the name “the Barefoot Contessa,” after the specialty food shop she bought with that name. She owned it for over 20 years. Throughout her life Ina Garten has proven to be a multi-talented woman who has worn many hats: wife, Washington budget analyst, political activist, pilot, specialty food shopkeeper, magazine article contributor, New York Times bestselling cookbook author, and Food Network television host ( Wikipedia ).
What I like about much of Ina’s food is the simplicity of flavors and preparation, and the fresh flavors of the food. She’s not big on heavy cream and overdoses of butter, though she does favor cheese. Her overall theme is ease of preparation and her standard is delicious.
I chose to do a variation of her recipe sausage-stuffed mushrooms from her book barefoot contessa how easy is that? She serves these stuffed mushrooms instead of traditional stuffing along with the Thanksgiving turkey. That way, she says, the turkey won’t end up being dry. Good tip Ina! I have adapted the recipe for my healthy eating habits by using non-fat yogurt instead of marscapone cheese, chicken sausage instead of pork, fresh whole wheat bread crumbs instead of panko crumbs, and I’ve used less salt and less Parmesan cheese.
The instructions below are Ina’s minus the ingredients that I’m substituting with something that I feel is a healthier choice. My substitutions or changes appear in parenthesis.
16 extra-large mushrooms, caps and stems separated
5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2-1/2 tablespoons Marsala win or medium-dry sherry
¾ pound sweet Italian (chicken) sausage, casings removed
¾ cup minced scallions, white and green parts
2 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup (fresh whole wheat bread crumbs)
5 ounces (non-fat Greek yogurt)
(1/4) cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°
2. Trim the mushroom cap stems and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushrooms caps in a shallow bowl and toss with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the Marsala. Set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s completely browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bread crumbs, stirring to combine with the other ingredients. Finally, (remove from the heat and) swirl in the (Greek yogurt) and continue cooking until the (yogurt) has melted and made the mixture creamy. …stir in the Parmesan and parsley and season to taste. Cool slightly.
4. Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in baking dish large enough to hold them all in a snug single layer. Bake for 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.