Inspired Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms with Wild Rice Stuffing
Life of Pi by Yann Martel inspired me to make stuffed mushrooms with wild rice stuffing. As Pi floated across the vast and lonely ocean, he reminisced about the comfort foods of his home. Throughout the novel, Pi could not help but remark upon the smell of the flares again and again, because the scent as they burned away reminded him of cumin, of the meals of his childhood. Pi’s journey was defined by his underlying longing for the comforts of home, for all that he had lost, but it was also defined by what he found within himself while stranded and alone.
Hoping to recreate these two aspects of Pi's adventure, I landed on stuffed mushroom caps with a wild rice stuffing center, because this dish is housed in a food that is comforting and familiar, but simultaneously hides the wildness that resides within.
- 4 portabello mushroom caps
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Wash portobello caps and baby bella mushrooms. Set portobello caps aside. Chop baby bellas finely, discarding the tough end of the stems.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic clove and chopped baby bella mushrooms to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn the garlic. Set aside to cool.
When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, parmesan cheese, pepper, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick.
Spoon wild rice stuffing (see related recipe) into the portobello caps, then top with the cream cheese mixture. You will likely have some of each mixture left over. Arrange the filled caps on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes in the oven at 350°F, or until the mushrooms are piping hot. The mushroom topping should be lightly browned.
I combined two recipes because I wanted my stuffed mushrooms to have a surprise center. Although I loved the finished product, both recipes can easily stand alone with equally delicious results.
WILD RICE STUFFING
- 1/2 cup wild rice (uncooked)
- 4 cups day-old French bread (cubed)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 medium Vidalia onion (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
Cook wild rice according to the instructions on the package; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spread cubed French bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
Add thyme, salt, pepper, and cooked rice; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add pecans and toasted bread cubes; toss lightly.
Serve as side dish or combine with our stuffed mushroom caps recipe.
Now that you’re good and hungry, read our recommendation of the book that inspired this recipe: Life of Pi.