Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these for New Year’s Eve a while back, and after setting them on the table, I stepped into the kitchen to get a couple more snack trays to bring over.  I got sidetracked getting one of the kids something for second, and I swear it had been maybe a minute by the time I came back; there was one left.  “Look, we saved you one, honey!” says my husband. 

So…I knew they must have been good!  And I’m glad they enjoyed them.  🙂 

These make an amazing appetizer or side dish.  Don’t skip the balsamic reduction. It really sends them over the top! And don’t turn your back on your friends once you serve them.  😉 ~Erin

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So easy…just make your Balsamic reduction (I mean, shockingly easy — recipe below).

Clean, stuff, cook, drizzle, and viola!

Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms

Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms from Four Sisters Dish

    Ingredients:
  • ~8 – 10 baby portabella mushrooms
  • ~Babybel mozzarella single serving cheeses (one for each mushroom)
  • ~2 tsp. olive oil
  • ~2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ~4 - 5 grape tomatoes, halved (one half for each mushroom)
  • ~½ c. balsamic vinegar
  • ~1 tsp. brown sugar
  • ~chopped fresh basil
  1. In a small sauce pan, stir the brown sugar into the balsamic vinegar; bring to a simmer over low heat and continue to simmer until it has reduced by at least half, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Clean the tops of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the stems.
  4. Brush the mushroom tops on all sides with olive oil and place them, top-side down, in a shallow baking dish.
  5. Fill each mushroom top with a little minced garlic.
  6. Place one Babybel mozzarella on top of the garlic; then place one tomato half on top of the cheese.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and drizzle liberally with the balsamic reduction.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
  10. Serve immediately.

Weight Watchers Info.: Each cheesy caprese mushroom is 3 SmartPoints.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/09/13/caprese-stuffed-mushrooms/

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Spicy Italian Chicken & Artichoke Pasta

All four of us love spicy food, and if you do too, you’ll know how annoying it is that most things marked “spicy” in restaurants are really fairly bland.  After many frustrating Italian restaurant visits (thank goodness for Tiramisu), Robin and Barry decided to come up with their own perfect pasta. Barry tinkered in the kitchen, ending up with a hybrid of some favorite Italian dishes.  This creamy, savory pasta is serious comfort food.  And the best part is, we can set some aside for the kids — or guests with low-spice-tolerant palates — and (cayenne!!!) pepper our portions to our hearts’ content.  

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Ingredients:

4-6 chicken tenders, depending on size, diced

1/4 cup canned sliced mushrooms, drained (we use Giorgio)

1/2 cup dry, julienned sun dried tomatoes (thoroughly rinsed if packed in oil)*

1 15-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained, then quartered  

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 cloves minced fresh garlic (could use jarred garlic, but we prefer fresh)

3 T. butter

For Sauce:

1 15-oz. jar roasted garlic Alfredo sauce (We use Classico)

1 ½  cups finely shredded parmesan cheese

⅓ cup milk

¼ to ¾ tsp. of cayenne pepper, aka “red pepper” (depending on heat preference)

8 oz. farfalle (bowtie pasta) — half the box of Barilla that we usually use

3-4 sliced green onions

Instructions: 

Ingredients_CknPasta

*The Bella Sun Luci sun-dried tomatoes pictured here are strongly recommended…far superior to those packed in oil both in terms of mess and flavor as far as we’re concerned, but if you’ve found a favorite that’s in oil, that’ll do too!  We normally do fresh garlic, but this is the jarred brand we use if the pantry is lacking the fresh variety.  If you’ve never bought fresh garlic, it keeps much longer than you’d think.

Prepare farfalle per box instructions.

In a small pot, put all sauce ingredients on low heat, stir occasionally while preparing chicken portion (be sure not to let it stick).  

In a large skillet heat butter and garlic on low. Add chicken and Italian seasoning. Increase heat to medium. When chicken begins to brown, add mushrooms, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes, heat on medium high for two to three minutes. Add sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.

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At this point, it’s hard not to just eat this as is, but it’s worth the wait to put it all together.

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Serve over farfalle; top with green onions.  We like to add a little more ground cayenne pepper too, both for a touch of color and, of course, some spice.