Central European Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach

This makes an ideal starter because you can easily prepare the mushrooms and just finish off under the grill to serve to your guests.  Alternatively, they make a great lunchtime or supper snack for the peckish among you.  Also, this dish makes a great vegetarian dish if you omit the bacon and perhaps include some chopped chestnuts or meat substitute if you so desire.

Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed Mushrooms

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The Perfect Canapes: Part 2

When I made blinis lavished with smoked salmon and prawns, I also made some Hungarian stuffed mushrooms (Sonkával töltött gomba).  The woods of the Bakony Mountains in the Transdanubia region, boast an incredible selection of wild mushrooms.  It is estimated that Hungary is home to between 20 and 30 varieties of wild mushrooms and these are regularly used in Hungarian cooking.  However, bizarrely, it is the button mushroom which finds itself most frequently on the menu.

Ingredients:

500g mushrooms

80g butter

100g cooked ham

200 ml milk

4 tbsp flour

2 egg yolks

1 tsp paprika

100g parmesan (or other hard, grated cheese)

Instructions:

Wipe the mushrooms.

Mushrooms

Cut off the stalks.

Grease flameproof dish.

Place mushroom caps in the dish.

Mushrooms, stalks removed, in greased dish

Season with salt and pepper.

Chop up cooked ham.

Chopped ham

Heat the milk.

Melt 40g butter in saucepan.

Butter in saucepan

Stir in the flour (do not let it brown).

Butter & flour

Gradually pour in the hot milk.

Butter, flour, milk

Stir continuously and simmer until the mixture thickens.

When mixture leaves the sides of the pan, add ham.

Butter, flour, milk, ham

Add egg yolks and paprika.

Eggs & Paprika

Mix thoroughly.

Fill mushroom caps.

Filled mushrooms

Sprinkle with cheese.

Drizzle with melted butter.

Ready for the oven

Bake in preheated oven at 200ºC for about 15 minutes.

Serve!

If you have any stuffing mixture left over (as I did), let it cool, put it in the refrigerator and when you fancy a snack, smother on some toasted, grainy, bread, top with grated cheese and grill!

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