Queso Fundido Stuffed Mushrooms
I will never forget my first glorious taste of queso fundido.
I had started back to college in my late thirties and was taking a weekend ethnicity class for an elective credit. We had to spend almost every waking moment that weekend in class, so my Hispanic professor, (bless his DEAR heart for being a foodie soul-mate) spent part of our time taking us to one of his favorite authentic Mexican restaurants so we could experience ethnicity in cuisine.
I think every class should have a field trip to an ethnic restaurant don’t you? BRILLIANCE!
When we arrived at the restaurant, he had pre-ordered some appetizers for us to try.
First up were small plates of Tamales with mole, which provided me with my first bite of the dark pungent sauce flavored with the depth of charred and then slow-cooked vegetables tinged with Mexican chocolate. I still am highly addicted to mole, and smile with delight when I see it on a menu anywhere.
Arriving next was what I still believe to be the 8th wonder of the world.
A flat iron skillet was set in front of me with a melted white cheese swimming over it. Across the cheese in three strips were spicy cooked chorizo sausage, caramelized poblano peppers, and glossy sliced and sautéed mushrooms.
My taste buds danced over the spicy but creamy mix and this particular restaurant is now closed.
Yesterday I decided to create a stuffed mushroom that gave a nod to my beloved lost dish by making these Queso Fundido Stuffed Mushrooms.
Stuffed with Chorizo, poblanos and cheese. Mr. Wonderful ate half the pan and kept exclaiming how GOOD they are. I hope you’ll try them.
Start out with two of the smaller size containers of Cremini Mushrooms. Wipe them clean with a paper towel, and taking a teaspoon, melon baller or use a small cookie dough scoop to pull out the stem and make a nice little well in the center of each mushroom. This is where we’ll be putting the yummy filling.
Keep the stems in a bowl as we’re going to use those in the filling as well.
Chop the mushroom innards pretty finely.
And also, chop up one poblano pepper into about the same size chunks as your chopped mushrooms.
Next up we need to cook our chorizo.
There are two kinds of chorizo sausage, one being the fresh inexpensive kind we’re using in this dish. It usually comes in pork or beef and is nicely spiced with things like dried chilies, paprika and garlic.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where you can buy locally made chorizo, it will kick this stuff out of the park, but today, I made do with what I had.
Spanish Chorizo is another delicious animal entirely and it is a cured meat you can eat cold and it is wonderful.
So, cut this open, toss it into a frying pan and cook it down until most of the liquid goes away and you’re left with cooked sausage.
At which point, I usually dump it into a fine mesh strainer and using hot water, rinse most of the grease off of it.
Now, using a paper towel, wipe most of the grease out of the skillet but leave all those little bits in there as well and dump in your chopped poblanos and mushrooms.
Stir fry these around a bit until they soften up – about 5 minutes.
If your pan gets dry, add a drizzle of olive oil.
While that’s cooking, grate up one block of pepper jack cheese. If you can find it try using Chihuahua as it is amazing too.
Toss it into a bowl along with your peppers and mushrooms.
Add your chorizo.
Again, using a teaspoon, melon baller or cookie scoop, scoop out a rounded scoop of this stuff.
And pack it into one of your mushroom caps.
What a gorgeous sight this!
Fill all of them the same way.
Pop them into a 350º oven for 20 minutes.
By now they’ll be gloriously toasted and cheese will be melting down the sides of them.
These would be the perfect addition to your Super Bowl menu for tonight. They are absolutely delicious.
I sighed in happiness as I tasted one, at my remembered favorite dish that I could now pop into my mouth in the form of a stuffed mushroom. I don’t miss that restaurant quite so badly now.
- 2 (8 oz.) packages creaming or button mushrooms
- 1 (10 oz.) package chorizo sausage
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 (8 oz) block pepper jack cheese, grated
- 1-2 T. Olive oil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Use teaspoon, melon balled or small cookie dough scoop to hollow out mushroom caps, reserving mushroom innards and stems. Chop innards and stem finely.
- Chop poblano pepper finely
- Brown chorizo in skillet over medium heat, about ten minutes until most of the liquid is gone.
- Remove with slotted spoon to strainer over bowl
- If desired, rinse with hot water to remove grease
- Drain all but a tablespoon of the oil out of pan and add chopped poblano and mushrooms. Sauté about five minutes. Add olive oil if pan gets dry.
- Grate cheese
- Add poblano/mushroom mixture to cheese.
- Add chorizo to bowl also and toss all well to combine.
- Use spoon, melon balled or cookie dough scoop to fill each mushroom cap, mounding each until mixture is all used.
- Bake on line cookie sheet for 20 minutes.
- Serve warm.