• March 17, 2020
Active Prep: 20 min. Inactive Prep: 20 min.
Difficulty: Medium
Yield: 4 servings

Despite years of numerous requests to clone the stuffed mushrooms at The Cheesecake Factory, I never ordered the popular appetizer before embarking on this food hacking mission. But let me tell you, once I had my first bite of these mushrooms, with the perfect stuffing, creamy Madeira wine sauce, and crispy Parmesan topping, I understood all the big raves. Not only is this one of the best appetizers on the chain’s menu, but these are far and away the best stuffed mushrooms I’ve ever had. And the clone would have to be just as good no matter how long it took! After many hours in the lab washing mushrooms, chopping mushrooms, and eating them, I finally worked up this hack that I’m convinced would fool even the biggest fans of the dish in a side-by-side taste test.

⅓ cup minced mushroom stems (from mushrooms below)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
¼ cup Madeira wine
½ cup beef broth
½ cup heavy cream
⅛ teaspoon paprika Pinch of salt Pinch of ground black pepper

20 medium white button mushrooms
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of ground black pepper
¼ cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs (such as Progresso brand)
½ cup shredded Fontina cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
⅛ teaspoon salt

  1. Make the sauce by removing all of the stems from the mushrooms, then mince some of the stems so that you have ⅓ cup. Heat up the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushroom stems and shallots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shallots and mushrooms begin to brown. Add the wine and, when it begins to bubble, cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until it reduces by half. Add the beef broth and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce reduces by about half. Strain the sauce through a wire mesh strainer to remove the mushroom stems and shallots. Rinse the saucepan and return the sauce to the pan (discard the mushroom stems and shallots). Add the cream, paprika, salt, and pepper and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until the sauce darkens and thickens—it should reduce by a little more than half.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the 1 cup of minced mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the seasoned bread crumbs (don’t overmix). Pour the mixture into a medium bowl, then stir in the cheese. 
  3. Use your hands to form the stuffing into loose balls and press them into the mushroom caps. Set the stuffed mushrooms aside and preheat your oven to high broil. 
  4. Make the topping by melting 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until the bread crumbs begin to brown. Pour the bread crumbs into a small bowl. When the bread crumbs are cool, add the remaining topping ingredients. 
  5. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Arrange the stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet and brush the tops and sides generously with the melted butter. Broil for 2 to 4 minutes or until the tops are brown
  6. Plate the mushrooms by pouring the sauce into a serving dish. Arrange the mushrooms on the sauce, sprinkle a little of the topping over the top of each of them (you will not use all of the topping), and serve. 

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