The theme for the luncheon cooking class this past Wednesday at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen Cooking School at Bristol Farms was Family Summer Reunion, which is sort of how I felt when I arrived. Many of the regulars who attend these classes know me from previous times when I was shooting during class or have visited my website. I hadn’t been to class for about a month, so when I walked in I got a big hello and happy greetings. And a big hug from Grace-Marie. I think they get a kick out of seeing me shooting every little move Grace-Marie makes while she is preparing her dishes. And I am the comic relief as I am lining up a shot of a platter of food, only to have it whisked out from under the camera so it can be served.
It is a big challenge to shoot in the Bristol Farm’s cooking school, because there are four sources of light. The blinds on the south-facing windows are kept shut during class to keep from blinding everyone in the room. In the cooking area it is rather dim with florescent and incandescent bulbs mixed with the sunlight. And in the back prep room, there is solely florescent overhead lighting. I am constantly changing the ISO and white balance on my camera to get the food to look its correct color. After everyone leaves, I set up my tripod, open the blinds, do a little food styling and shoot in the natural light. This will help you to understand why the photos look the way they do.
The Summer Savory Stuffed Mushrooms were the wonderful appetizer for a menu that also included Summer Garden Potato Salad, Family Reunion Chicken Skewers and Surprise White Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will be posting about the other recipes in the near future.
I love baked stuffed mushrooms and these were a perfect rendition. The big meaty mushrooms with the roasted red pepper, green olives and cheese filling were so moist and tasty. Grace-Marie said you could use jarred red peppers or fresh, your preference. She charred one red pepper on the stove burner to show how it was done. Then the Stuffed Mushrooms were placed on platters atop shredded romaine lettuce. However, I didn’t get a good shot because I wasn’t fast enough. One regular in the front row said, laughing, “Well, Lynne, you almost got it!”
For additional recipes from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen, look under Categories in the right-hand column.
Summer Savory Stuffed Mushrooms
1 cup roasted red bell peppers, fresh or jar – drained and diced small
1 cup Spanish green olives – drained and roughly chopped
1 cup Gouda or Fontina cheese – shredded
1/3 cup green onions – thinly sliced
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley – chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
To season – Kosher or sea salt & ground black pepper
1. Combine and mix the peppers, olives cheese, onions, parsley, oil, salt and pepper.
2 pounds large white button mushrooms – wiped clean and stems removed
½ cup Parmesan cheese – grated
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Arrange the mushrooms onto the baking sheet with the open end upward. Spoon the filing into the center of each. Be sure the filling is packed down into the cavities of the mushrooms. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
3. Bake until the mushrooms are tender, the filling is warm and the cheese is melted (20 minutes).
1 head Romaine lettuce – shredded
1. Either on individual plates or a platter, scatter the lettuce. Arrange the mushrooms on top of the lettuce and serve.