CHERYL WIXSON PHOTO

Amy Hutchinson’s stuffed mushrooms a treat



Maine Dish

At a recent Deer Isle potluck supper, I enjoyed the most delicious stuffed mushroom caps. They were golden, bite-sized morsels, perfectly cooked, with a nice and buttery, garlicy and clam flavor. And so easy to eat!

Unlike many stuffed caps, these mushrooms were not greasy, watery or runny. The tasty tidbits were the perfect package to discreetly pop in your mouth and return to the platter for more!

Always on the search for easy-to-prepare dishes that feature Maine foods (particularly clams and lobsters), I had to have the recipe for my holiday entertaining. A quick search of the crowd revealed Craig Hutchinson as the creative source of the wonderful mushrooms.

Craig graciously sent me the recipe for Amy Hutchinson’s Clam Stuffed Shrooms, along with the note that “Amy” was his mother.

“She was a great cook and had many contemporaries of equal talent. The Island was famous for its amazing cooks; most notably the ‘church ladies.’ My friends and me would ‘help’ at the church suppers and were rewarded with leftovers,” he wrote. “Evangeline Knowlton was, perhaps, the most famous Island cook, quite in the mold of Julia Child … ‘Vange’ and Mom were besties and joyfully competitive in the kitchen. Mom passed at age 95 a few years ago. The ’shrooms came out when we had ‘fancy company.’”

Although my research of Knowlton’s cookbook, “Vangie’s Kitchen Corner,” had not gleaned Amy’s recipe, I knew she had to be a contemporary of Vangie. The style was so down-to-earth and easy, but with a great attention to detail, which is what makes them so delicious!

Inspired, I whipped up batch of stuffed caps using ground hen clams from Crockett Cove. Pre-cooking the tops of the mushrooms is key, and be sure to taste stuffing and correct the seasonings. These bites freeze extremely well and come in handy for a welcome treat when folks pop by for holiday visiting.

I wish I had the opportunity to personally know those great women whose cooking was the fabric of our community. To honor them, I encourage you to try their recipes, and share the warmth, friendliness and joy of their family traditions.

Amy Hutchinson’s Clam Stuffed Mushrooms
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Servings
36 stuffed mushroom caps
Servings
36 stuffed mushroom caps
Amy Hutchinson’s Clam Stuffed Mushrooms
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings
36 stuffed mushroom caps
Servings
36 stuffed mushroom caps
Ingredients
  • 36 medium mushroom caps, white or crimini are best (about 1 20-oz. package)
  • 8 oz. minced clams (canned or fresh), with their liquid
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (unseasoned)
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • Old Bay seasoning: 2 shakes
  • pinch of dried thyme
Servings: stuffed mushroom caps
Units:
Instructions
  1. Assemble ingredients and tools. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet.
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and set aside. Place the mushroom caps on a sheet pan, brush with melted butter, and place under the broiler for a minute or more to precook the mushrooms. They should just start to “give up their water.”
  3. Dice the reserved mushroom stems. Finely chop the fresh parsley and garlic clove.
  4. In the remaining butter, cook the diced stems, garlic and clam liquid for five minutes.
  5. Stir in the clams, white wine, fresh parsley, Old Bay seasoning and dried thyme. Cook briefly.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the pre-cooked mushrooms caps and broil for 8 minutes, until mushroom caps are tender. Be sure to keep an eye on them!
  7. These delicious mushrooms can be frozen before the final baking and later popped in the oven as a quick appetizer when company is expected.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional analysis per mushroom cap (varies, estimate only): 67 calories, 3 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, 3.5 grams fat, 142 mg. sodium, 1 grams fiber.

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Cheryl Wixson
"Maine Dish" columnist Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. Her passion for organic Maine products led to the creation of her business, Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected] or www.cherylwixsonskitchen.com.

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