The whole idea of hors d’oeuvres is really not as complicated as it sounds. From what I can tell, creating the perfect hors d’oeuvre is a simple, three-step process:
Step 1: Find a disgusting, almost inedible ingredient. For the most successful hors d’oeuvre, the ingredient should be a raw, dead sea creature that ate poop off the sea floor while alive. Best if pickled or whizzed into a fishy paste and served with a cracker and/or olive.
Step 2: Serve a very tiny portion of the disgusting ingredient in the middle of a giant plate drizzled with a mysterious, unnamed sauce – preferably brown or mustard yellow.
Step 3: Combine three words from a French dictionary to come up with an exotic name. Best if it contains at least one apostrophe and a silent letter x. What’s in a name? A good example is the snail above: the moment you call it ‘Escargot’ it immediately transforms from the slimy creature suctioned to the moldy 2×4 in your backyard into a French delicacy available only to the upper-class elite.
Easy, right? Disguised as “delicacies” with sophisticated names and elegant presentation, “hors d’oeuvres” are a brilliant way to get people to willingly eat all varieties of snails, fish eggs, clams, lamb tongues, cow stomachs, and fungus. How something so unappetizing could ever be labeled an “appetizer” is beyond me! However, there IS one thing on that highly-questionable list that I absolutely love (the only plant, mind you), and that is fungus – in mushroom form, of course.
I humbly present to you my very first skinnyfat hors d’oeuvre, sans giant plate and mystery sauce.
Champignons Farcis (or, for the less cultured, Stuffed Mushrooms)
Adapted from this recipe…I made only minor changes. All credit to smittenkitchen!
Handful sundried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
T olive oil
18 white mushrooms, stems pulled out and chopped fine and caps reserved
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I used whole wheat. Next time trying almonds.)
1 flax egg (1 T ground flax seed mixed with 3 T warm water)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
1/2 t dried basil
1 – 2 T nutritional yeast (NOOCH!)
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cover sundried tomatoes in hot water and soak while you prepare the mushrooms. Keep a tablespoon of the soaking water to add to the stuffing mix later.
Remove stems from mushrooms. Save the caps and chop the removed stems finely.
Bake mushroom caps for 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow you to get rid of excess juice before they’re stuffed…nobody wants a soggy appetizer!
While caps are pre-baking, sautee onions, garlic, and chopped mushroom stems in olive oil until the onions are clear and tender. Take the caps out of the oven and dump the excess water.