Welcome to our very first Official Recipe Failure post, where we can pretty much guarantee that you probably won’t want to attempt these Romanian Stuffed (Up) Mushrooms in your own home, at least, NOT the way we did.
Today we really really wanted to share with you a recipe for Romanian Stuffed Mushrooms that, strangely enough, we came across on the Greek island of Kos last year.
Kos lies just off the coast of Turkey, and it’s packed full of classic Greek architecture and culture, ancient ruins to explore and incredibly delicious food.
We’d caught the ferry across from Turkey’s port town Bodrum, completely baffled by the fact that a 40 minute ferry ride could bring us to a whole different country so easily. (Australia is just so big and so far away from everywhere by comparison.)
These Romanian Stuffed Mushrooms came into our lives after we stayed with an awesome couple in the centre of town, and let me tell you, staying with super passionate foodies is always fun. 😀
It was literally all we could do just to scribble down ingredients and instructions and try to keep up as our new Greek and Romanian friends raced around the kitchen, dodging and weaving each other and throwing together an epic three course meal.
We’d imagined recreating their humble little Romanian Stuffed Mushrooms and sharing them with you guys in all their spicy, cheesy glory.
And we were pretty confident too. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a spicy stuffing of minced beef, hot paprika, black pepper, and a generous topping of grated cheese all melting together into little mushroom cups of happiness?
Haha, well? A LOT could go wrong, as it turns out.
I don’t know, I guess you could say our balance has been a little bit off this week. We’re feeling a bit worn out and little out of sorts now that the Big Move is done and dusted and the Big Trip is finally, officially over (for now, at least. 😛 )
Here’s what I wish we knew last night about cooking Romanian Stuffed Mushrooms.
- Adding one tablespoon of HOT paprika is absolutely, dead set, WAY TOO MUCH. One tablespoon? How in the world had we not realised that would be too much? In hindsight, smoky or sweet paprika would be a much better choice. Just, definitely not one tablespoon.
- Equally, one tablespoon of black pepper was also way too much, but it was kind of hard to tell after that punch in the face from the powerfully hot paprika. I’m now thinking that our one TABLEspoons were meant to be one TEAspoons. Yep.
- Do not, for the love of god, do not overcook them. I’m pretty sure you want Romanian Stuffed Mushrooms cooked golden brown perfection, rather than dried out husky Transylvanian Firebombs of DEATH.
The final straw was waiting until late in the day to cook and take photos before the sun disappeared for the night. To be fair, we’d had an awesome day of working, planning, and gettin’ stuff done before this little kitchen escapade, but by then we were running out of daylight. Fast.
I’ll let Sarah take over from here:
Turns out just past sunset really isn’t the best time of day for food photography, and rushing to get the job done in the last ebb of sunlight isn’t going to lead to good shots.
For all the food bloggers out there, natural light is everything to us. Look at this example of the difference in natural light just in the span of our own home. This is when we SHOULD have been cooking and photographing our way around the house, at 8am during the ‘golden hours’. Look at this light – already you can see the choices of a warm bright glow, or a coolish blue tinge depending on the mood you want to set. For all you foodies out there, if you love to photograph your food – finding the best natural light should be your number 1 move. Remember that kids, even I need to remind myself apparently.
It was however, great to test out the 6D working in low light, we’d heard all about this camera’s capabilities and it did not disappoint. While it is slightly grainer than we’d like, we were still able to pull off the low shot handheld with a high ISO. In hindsight, maybe next time I’d try and find a box or that good old bag of beans to steady the shot on a lower shutterspeed rather than upping the ISO and grain as a result. Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Did you still try to squeeze in the inch of light left the room or just convert over to artificial lighting?
Back over to Laura – Hey hey! So tell us, what’s your biggest kitchen fail? What did you start out with high hopes for, only to have them dashed all over the floor? Bonus points if it was literally dashed all over the floor!
- 250 g beef mince
- 12 button mushrooms washed, stalks removed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp paprika smoky or sweet
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
- Place the beef mince in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, paprika and black pepper and mix well to combine. Mixture should be quite sticky so that it doesn’t spread when cooked.
- Press a small scoop of meat mixture into each mushroom cup.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Top with cheese then return to the oven.
- Cook until cheese is nicely melted and golden brown.
- Serve immediately.