’Shrooms Stuffed Full Of Flavor

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - September 27, 2006
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Hearty congratulations to newlyweds Hirell and Kimmothy Curtis! Hirell and Kimmothy have been married for only four months and live in the Red Hill area of Oahu.

Hirell came to Hawaii from the Philippines when she was only 2 years old, and works part time in the retail field at Pearlridge. Her goal is to someday have a job in the court system, as she is interested in criminal justice and public administration.

Kimmothy, originally from Arkansas, has been in the U.S. Navy for seven years, and is an information tech assigned to Pearl Harbor.

This recipe is dedicated to them.

I like to serve these mushrooms as an appetizer, and always get plenty of requests for this recipe. Using white meat turkey breast cuts down on the fat content, but not the taste.

Here are some mushroom tips:

When purchasing, choose firm mushrooms that are intact; avoid wrinkled, slimy, spotted or dis-colored mushrooms as they are not fresh. Clean and prepare mushrooms just prior to use, to avoid discoloration; never soak them as they will become saturated with water. Rinse quickly under tap water (you may add a bit of vinegar to slow down blackening), and use a soft brush - special brushes are available - to loosen any dirt or particles. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Mushroom stems are generally edible, just slice off the tough ends. The stems can also be used to make bouillon.

Mushrooms are fragile and deteriorate quickly, so in order to allow fresh mushrooms to breathe, store unwashed in a non-airtight container, such as a paper bag. They will keep for about a week in the refrigerator and may also be frozen. To freeze, slice and place carefully in a freezer; do not blanch as that will make them tough. They will keep for about three months in the freezer.

Mushrooms are high in potassium and riboflavin. They are believed to have a number of medicinal properties such as being laxative, antibiotic and cholesterol-lowering.


* 1 pound lean ground turkey
* 21/2 pounds large, fresh mushrooms, remove stems and chop stems finely
* 1/4 cup Smart Balance margarine (no trans fat)
* 1/2 cup chopped sweet red bell pepper
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
* 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
* 1/3 cup soft bread crumbs
* 21/3 cups shredded low-fat Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place ground turkey in saucepan and brown over medium heat. Break apart into small pieces. Melt margarine, and stir in the mushroom stems, red pepper, garlic and parsley.

In a large bowl, mix the turkey, mushroom stem mixture, dry bread crumbs, soft bread crumbs and 2 cups of the Parmesan cheese.

Grease a large baking pan and place the mushroom caps open side up on pan. Stuff each cap with the mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly on top.

Bake about 20 minutes, or until heated through and brown on top.

Serves about 10 as an appetizer.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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