Goat cheese stuffed mushrooms

h/t to friend and reader Jeanne who served me a version of stuffed mushrooms at her house last week. I came home, did a little research, and developed my own version. These are delicious and very easy to make. Mushroom-shy kids (like mine) may enjoy the filling which is a gateway to one day devouring the whole thing.

I used fresh oregano but most fresh herbs would be delicious; they are offset beautifully by the bite of the mushroom and goat cheese.

8 – 12 whole fresh mushrooms, depending on size
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
1 6 oz. package goat cheese, softened (unwrap the cheese and put in a small bowl with a plate on top, at room temperature for one hour)
1 sprig fresh oregano, washed and de-stemmed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a baking stone). De-stem and gently wash the mushrooms; set aside stems, then place caps on a kitchen towel to drain, dome up.

Cut off the tough end of the stems and chop the remainder very fine, along with the garlic and celery. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté until the moisture is removed from the mushrooms. Set aside to cool.

When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in the goat cheese, oregano, parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be clumpy like biscuit batter (vary the addition of parmesen cheese to get this effect). Using dampened hands, fill each mushroom cap with an equal amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on the baking sheet.

Bake for twenty minutes or until the mushrooms look sufficiently hot and tender.

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