Prosciutto can be used in a wide variety of recipes. I particularly like it in these stuffed mushrooms. They are so savory and creamy! To be honest, every time I make this stuffed mushrooms appetizer recipe, I just have them for my whole meal.
These prosciutto stuffed mushrooms do make a wonderful appetizer… in spite of myself. They are the best stuffed mushrooms recipe if you are looking for a gourmet appetizer without a lot of effort. In fact, if you are hosting a party and want to lesson the workload in the kitchen the day of the event, remove the stems from the mushrooms a day in advance. You can also whip up the mascarpone filling and keep it covered in the fridge overnight. Then the next day, all you need to do is stuff ’em and bake ’em!
How I Met Prosciutto:
Growing up, I never really got into ham.
I guess this is because the only ‘ham’ I knew back then was bologna. It was usually paired with Velveeta on a sandwich made with white bread. Sometimes there was even a smear of mayonnaise in there.
Ok, you can pick up your jaw now. Hey, I’m a midwestern country kid! Back in the 70’s prosciutto was unheard of if you weren’t from Italy… or New York City. We were also on a tight budget, and the internet didn’t exist. That made ordering prosciutto – or any other gourmet ingredient – out of the question.
Now I do wish to point out that I can’t say I would have had it any other way. We did stuff like travel the country (by way of car, camp stove, and tent, mind you), but in order to experience such fun things, we had to cut back in other areas.
Like fun groceries and going out to restaurants.
Ahhhhhh! You can imagine my frustration here! I have been a foodie from day one… it’s programmed into my genetic code. (Visit my About Page to learn more.)
I suppose this was part of the allure of the big city of New York for me and one of the many reasons I decided to move out there once I became and adult. New York was the polar opposite of everything I knew growing up, and I wanted to experience it all – especially the food scene.
New York is where I first heard of prosciutto and – believe it or not – it is where I first had freshly grated parmesan. (Up until then I just thought parmesan was that white powder that came in a tube!) Prosciutto – pronounced prə–SHOO-toh, (yeah, my Italian American friends used to love to tease me because I couldn’t pronounce it at first) – was the ham that made me fall in love with ham.
What is Prosciutto?
- Prosciutto is the Italian word for ham.
- The meat for prosciutto comes from the hind legs of pigs.
- Prosciutto can be cooked (prosciutto cotto) or uncooked (prosciutto crudo). The uncooked prosciutto is cured, usually with salt and air.
- Cured (uncooked) prosciutto is usually sliced very thin and yes, it can be cooked in recipes. In fact, it is great when cooked!
- Because prosciutto crudo is dry cured with salt, it is has a salty flavor by nature and will impart lots of punch to whatever you put it in.
What Inspired Creamy Herb and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms:
These days, I am still on a budget, and I can probably guess that many of you are, too. The good news is that prosciutto has become regularly available at most grocery stores nationwide now. As for the rest of the ingredients – they can be found at your local grocery store, too, and they are pretty fairly priced.
Translation: This gourmet-inspired recipe is budget friendly!
Making something gourmet is as much about technique and flavor combination as much as it is ingredients, and this recipe is a great place to start gourmet cooking – because although it is easy, the result is a spectacular blend of flavors and textures.
Now about the prosciutto salt reference earlier – keep in mind that parmesan is salty, too, so be very careful if you decide to add any more salt to this recipe than it calls for. A little dash evens out the creamy flavors of the mascarpone that binds everything together, but don’t overdo it. Taste as you go to make sure it is to your liking.
I use button mushrooms in this recipe because they are relatively easy to get and they make great bite-sized appetizers, but feel free to use shiitake or portobello, whatever you prefer. If you do use a larger mushroom, add a few minutes of bake time to the recipe and keep checking them every couple of minutes. When the tops begin to brown, they are done!
Creamy Herb and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms
- 1 lb button mushrooms stems and gills removed
- 2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 oz mascarpone softened
- 3 oz prosciutto finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 whole shallot peeled and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, cream together the parmesan, cream cheese, mascarpone, prosciutto, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined.
- Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until just melted. Add the shallot and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent but not browned, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the hot shallots from the skillet to the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and stir vigorously until smooth.
- Spoon the cream cheese filling into the mushrooms. Arrange the filled mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that the stuffed side is facing up. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake mushrooms for 18 minutes, or until the cream cheese mixture begins to brown. Cool for a minute or two before serving.