~ Mushrooms Stuffed w/Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin~
Boursin cheese -- it's in my refrigerator at all times. If guests drop by unexpectedly or on short notice, it, a box of crackers and zero effort is all you need to relax and enjoy your time with them. Boursin is technically classified as a "specialty" cheese, however, I classify it as a "party" cheese, because, if you serve it at a party with crackers or toasts, people flock to it. This soft, spreadable, cow's milk cheese has a creamy, buttery texture and a full, slightly-tangy flavor, similar to that of cream cheese. It's perfect to serve as a snack with wine or cocktails.
A bit about Boursin (boor-SAHN): The Boursin brand is available in five flavors. Garlic & Fine Herbs is my personal favorite. No matter which flavor you choose, there are two ingredients present in all: garlic and peppercorns. Boursin was the creation of Francois Boursin in 1957, in Normandy. It was "his take" on the French tradition of serving cheese with an assortment of minced, fresh herbs, which guests sprinkled willy-nilly atop their cheese to suit their own palate.
Note: When purchasing Boursin, if the package doesn't say "all natural Gournay cheese on it", it is not authentic Boursin. "Gournay" is the word Mr. Boursin chose (naming it after the town he grew up in) when he was required to declare its origin to customs officials. The Boursin brand was first advertised on television in France and Britain using the slogan, "Du Pain, Du Vin, Du Boursin", translated to mean, "some bread, some wine, some Boursin!"
As we say in English, "Some bread, some wine, some Boursin!"
Each small, 5.2-ounce wheel of Boursin comes wrapped in corrugated foil inside of a small white and green box, and, the expiration date will often be a year away. If you happen to have any leftover, store it wrapped in the original corrugated foil wrapper in the refrigerator. While it is delicious if eaten immediately, when I have the time, I remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to serving it at room temperature -- when it's at its creamy, spreadable best.
That said, like American cream cheese or Neufchatel, Boursin is very versatile and can be used in many savory culinary applications -- spread onto sandwiches, stirred into soups, added to omelettes, used to make tangy cream sauces, etc. Almost everyone I know loves to eat stuffed mushrooms, and, stuffed mushrooms can be served for any occasion -- they taste just as good with a cold beer as they do a champagne cocktail. I have many recipes for stuffed mushrooms, but, whenever I make my Boursin stuffed mushrooms, someone always asks for this recipe.
Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin Stuffed Mushroom Caps:
~ Step 1. Using a damp paper towel, gently wipe any dirt from them. Note: Never wash or soak fresh mushrooms in water as they absorb moisture like a sponge and will become mushy. Using your fingertips, remove the stems, being careful not to break or crack the caps. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the perimeter of the caps.
~ Step 2. Using a grapefruit spoon, scrape/remove the furry gills from the inside of the cap. You will have a clean cap with a clean cavity which will hold a big scoop of filling. As you work, save all of the stems, trimmings and gills.
6 ounces chopped sweet onion
raw mushroom/onion mixture (prepped as directed above)
4 tablespoons salted butter (1/2 stick)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1/4 cup dried French-style breadcrumbs
1 5.2-ounce wheel Boursin w/Garlic & Fine Herbs, at or close to room temperature
~Steps 1 thru 4. In a 10" nonstick skillet, over low heat melt the butter. Stir in the garlic powder and dried parsley flakes. Stir in all of the mushroom/onion mixture. Increase heat to saute until mushrooms have lost their moisture and the onions are very tender, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the breadcrumbs. Lower the heat to very low and add the Boursin. Continue to stir until the Boursin is thoroughly incorporated.
For the topping:
4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
Remove 'shrooms from oven. Serve immediately (or ASAP):
Special Equipment List: paper towels; paring knife; grapefruit spoon; cutting board; chef's knife; 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" baking pan; parchment paper; food processor; 10" nonstick skillet; large spoon or spatula
Cook's Note: I go in one of two directions on New Years Eve: A cocktail party or a sit down dinner. One is not harder than the other, but, when sitting down to a Prime Rib for dinner, a perfect start to that meal is my recipe for, ~ Decadent & Divine Shiitake Mushroom Soup ~ (found in Categories 2, 12 or 21). Happy New Year!!!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)