Parma Ham, Feta and Herb-Stuffed Mushrooms

Parma Ham Feta Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve been looking for a tasty appetizer recipe to share on this blog for a while, and this recipe is definitely a new favorite. Bite sized, easy to prepare, a really nice combination of flavors – yum!!

This recipe is featured in my go-to barbecue guide, Homestyle Barbecue, and is probably best prepared on a barbecue grill plate or flat plate, as instructed. But if you don’t have one, never fear – truth is, I don’t either! I popped these in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for approximately 10 minutes, and they turned out perfectly. Enjoy!


Yields: 8 bite-sized appetizers

  • 8 large flat field mushrooms, rinsed well and patted dry
  • 5 ounces Parma ham, finely chopped
  • 3.5 ounces fresh feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms, set caps aside, and finely chop the stalks. In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped stalks, Parma ham, crumbled feta, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley and oregano. Stir well and season with freshly ground black pepper. Add a small amount of water to hold the mixture together.
  2. Divide the mixture among the mushroom cups and brush lightly with olive oil.
  3. Cook on a hot, lightly oiled barbecue grill plate or flat plate, filling side up, for about 3 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and steam for 2 minutes. Or, as an alternative, bake in oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for 8-10 minutes.

*Reposted from my old blog, Cucina Fresca*


Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream

Happy June, baking gods and goddesses!

One of the first things I do come summertime – other than running for nature and stuffing my face full of s’mores (see previous post) – is digging through my garage in feverish search of my ice cream maker. My beloved, trusty, kick-ass ice cream maker. And hallelujah – IT’S BEEN FOUND!

I have so many recipes for ice cream stuffed in my recipe box, it’s absurd. Toasted Coconut. Pumpkin Pie. Blueberry Cheesecake. Peach and Pecan. Key Lime Pie. Come hell or high water, I WILL make each and every one of them. But to kick off the summer of ’15, I’m going with a classic. Okay, a classic with a twist: Roasted Strawberry.

I know what you’re thinking.

“ROASTED strawberry?? Who ROASTS their strawberries?”

Well, I do. And Zoe Bakes, from whom I got this amazing recipe. There are a lot of strawberry ice cream recipes on the Internet – and I do mean A LOT – but this is where it’s at if you’re looking for a fresh, intense strawberry flavor. Roasting the berries really brings out their natural juices, and doesn’t require a great deal of extra time or effort. And even if it did (it doesn’t – seriously), it’s crazy delicious. I am having the hardest time keeping my ice cream-loving paws out of it – I guarantee you’ll feel the same! Enjoy 🙂


Yields: 16 servings

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 large vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 3/4 pound fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  1. Heat the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean and 1 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. [Note: the longer you let this mixture sit, the stronger the vanilla flavor will be. I often bring the mixture to a simmer, turn off the heat and let it steep for an hour or so. Before you continue with the recipe, you will need to bring it back to a simmer.]
  2. Whisk together the yolks in a medium sized bowl. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and whisk a small amount of the cream into the egg mixture. Add enough cream to warm the eggs.
  3. Once the eggs are warm, add them back into the pot of remaining cream.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir the custard over low heat. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken.
  5. When the custard seems to be getting thicker, lift the rubber spatula and run your finger through it. It is done when the custard clings to the spatula.
  6. Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer to a shallow dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and immediately place in the refrigerator.
  7. Allow the custard to “ripen” for 6 to 12 hours for the best result. The custard will be quite thick once it has chilled.
  8. While the custard is chilling, roast the strawberries. Remove tops and toss the berries with balsamic vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Lay them out on a nonstick silicone mat-covered baking sheet (make sure you use one with sides, as the juices will over-run the sheet). Place the sheet in the oven, turn it on to 300°F, and slowly roast berriesuntil they have given up their juices and are slightly mushy looking. Their color will also be darker. This will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the fruit.
  9. Scoop the fruit and all of its sugars into a bowl. Add the corn syrup to the fruit; it will add sweetness, but will keep the ice cream a silky smooth texture.
  10. If you like small chunks of fruit in your ice cream, use a potato masher to crush the berries. If you prefer a smoother ice cream, you can puree the berries with an immersion blender. Chill the berries until they are very cold.
  11. When the custard base is sufficiently chilled, add the berries. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
  12. While it is in the machine, place a bowl in the freezer to have ready to scoop the ice cream into. Once the ice cream is frozen to a soft-serve consistency, scoop it into the frozen bowl and place it in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up.