These appetizers would be great for a tapas party or to share with guests before a Tex-Mex meal. They are very simple to prepare and both can be assembled in advance. Conveniently, both recipes are baked at the same temperature, 375 F. When your guests arrive, stick the dishes in the oven, and they will be done by the time everyone is settling down, getting ready to enjoy the evening. I cannot decide which one I liked more, but chorizo has been a favorite ingredient these days, so maybe I lean towards the stuffed mushrooms as the winner. The recipe I’m sharing with you today came from Melissa’s blog, “I Breathe I am Hungry“, which is a great site for those into low-carb and gluten-free nutrition. Even though I don’t fall into any strict category, whenever I host a dinner party I like to include options that are lower in carbs, especially when it comes to appetizers because carbo-loading before a full meal seems a bit excessive. The second recipe I won’t be sharing with you, but you can get it by ordering Melissa’s e-book The Gluten-Free Low Carber, which is a fantastic source of recipes, many of them not available in her blog. Remember that even if you do not own an iPad or Kindle, e-books can be assessed from your laptop.
CHORIZO, SPINACH & MANCHEGO STUFFED MUSHROOMS
(very slightly modified from I Breathe I am Hungry)
12 – 15 button mushrooms
6 ounces (about 3 links) chorizo
1 shallot, chopped
2 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese (or sharp Cheddar)
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
salt to taste (you will need very little)
Remove chorizo from its casing and saute in a medium frying pan for a few minutes. Add the chopped shallot and cook for about 3 minutes until translucent. Meanwhile, clean off the mushrooms and remove the stems. Place the caps on a large plate and microwave for 2 minutes to soften.
Add the cream cheese, shredded cheese, and baby spinach leaves to the chorizo mixture. Stir well and cook for a minute or two until the spinach wilts. Remove from the heat. Stuff the mushrooms with about a tablespoon each of the filling. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 375 F oven for about 10 minutes. Longer if you like your mushrooms really soft. Remove and cool for a few minutes before eating.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: These are addictive. Now, Melissa herself warned about how hot they are once baked. Be careful and give them a little time to cool down before you bite into these babies. If you are serving them to company, I suggest offering small appetizer forks, so your guests can cut them in half with the fork. It is hard to keep your composure if you bite into these and find out that the center feels like molten lava on your tongue. Please, don’t ask me how I know… (sigh)
And now the second appetizer: a Jalapeno Popper dip, creamy, spicy, truly delicious!
Of course, you could send the low-carb for a walk and dive into this dip with crackers, toasted baguette rounds, and tortilla chips. But if that’s not acceptable think about slicing jicama very thinly and using the slices as a chip. Whatever rocks your boat.
For the full recipe get Melissa’s e-book, The Gluten-Free Low Carber. I highly recommend it! Her recipes are very creative, and even if you don’t worry about carbs and gluten, you will find plenty of stuff to drool over. Some of my favorites: Spaghetti Squash Carbonara (a happy accident in her kitchen). three versions of Flax Crackers, Buffalo Balls (don’t worry, it calls for ground chicken… ), Ham and Spinach Calzones (yes, gluten-free, very interesting dough using cream cheese), Faux-lafel with Tahini Sauce (creative twist on a classic) and of course I absolutely must make her Brazilian Chicken Pies. She also offers recipes for gluten-free pie and pizza crust, as well as low-carb ketchup, barbecue sauces, and salad dressings.
ONE YEAR AGO: Baked Ricotta, Take Two
TWO YEARS AGO: Pumpkin Uncanned
THREE YEARS AGO: Pork Ragu
FOUR YEARS AGO: Friendly Kuri Squash
FIVE YEARS AGO: Celery and Apple Salad