Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Bacon wrapped Enokitake Mushroom Appetizer

If you try any of my recipes be sure to try this one. Its an appetizer that you can make ahead of time and simply grill for 12 minutes before serving with fresh lemon wedges. Its super easy, affordable and delicious. I have made these at parties, put the plate down, went to get a drink for myself, and come back to an empty plate. They are a definite crowd pleaser!
The star of this dish is the Enokitake mushroom. I would describe the taste as being sort of nutty. I usually purchase them at a local Oriental foods store but recently have seen them in larger grocer chains as well. They are very interesting to look at so it gives your appetizer a very unique look that attracts people quite well.

The first thing you should do is cut off the bottoms. I would say a half inch to inch above the bottom. I usually cut it off on top of the wrapper so I don't get my cutting board dirty right away.
Here is a close up shot for y'all.

Now I start dividing up the mushrooms into bunches around the size of a quarter. You can adjust this over time to a diameter that suits you best. Just remember you are broiling these babies so you can't make them too small. I then cut strips of bacon in half. I find a half slice is perfect for ensuring your bacon is done when the mushrooms are to avoid burning. You can always adjust the amount of mushroom but make sure to add enough so that the ends don't singe too much.

Roll up the mushrooms with a strip of bacon fairly taut and then secure with a toothpick. Once they are at this stage you can put them in the fridge until just before your guests arrive or its so fast that sometimes I do it while they are there. People love to watch these being made and are always thankful they did watch when they taste how good they are!
I usually line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil. This particular piece of foil I had used to cover a dish earlier in the week and then reused it as a grease catcher here. Don't worry it was clean. I'm big on the three R's. Reduce, reuse, recycle. You can do more than this of course. Do as many as you like. These ones I made were a little thicker with the mushroom than usual. You can fit way for than this on one pan. This was one package worth of mushrooms. I would say it does about 8 well from this last experiment with them. All brands that I have seen are the same size in package so whatever you get should be fine. :)

Now pop these babies in the oven and broil them for about 6 minutes on each side. Be very careful to watch them about 4 minutes into cooking each side as you don't want your mushrooms to burn. Remember.. they have tiny little ends to them that can easily burn.
Once they brown and the bacon is cooked enough bring them out and let them sit a minute. You can use this time to cut some lemon wedges. Go back to the bacon wrapped mushrooms and use a bread knife to cut them in half. You should be slicing half way through the bacon. As you cut them you can arrange them on a plate. Stand some up for a fun effect. I'm sorry I would have made the arrangement a little nicer but I had an impatient BF who didn't want to wait while I took pics for my blog, lol.

Make sure to advise people to use the fresh lemon slices to squeeze a few drops directly onto the bacon wrapped mushrooms to really give it a punch. Either way its delicious but I find the lemon really makes it special.

So there you have it. My number one appetizer and all of its secrets. *sigh

Share and Enjoy!


Ginger said...

mmmmm those look fabulous! I'm definitely going to try this at my next dinner party!

Nathaniel said...

Those are so fucking good. I had these at Dolly's house once and was in heaven. It's a treat, but it's healthy and so delicious.

Canadian Saver said...

Oh I have never seen this before... What a genius!! (Course I have never seen those mushrooms before so I can't go out and try them :-( )

Dolly Iris said...

Ginger - I promise they will be a hit!

Nathaniel - You're one of my favorite people to cook for!

Canadian Saver - I know some bigger chains are carrying them now. I recently saw them at Superstore. I've seen them other places too but can't think of where off the top of my head. Do you have a local oriental foods store? They are sure to have something fun!