This Christmas season of 2021 has been busy, though differently so than usual. We did not have any big parties at our house, though we did have a few small gatherings. I did not cook a big Christmas dinner this year, because we gathered with friends, both for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then we got together with Julia and Bruce today. But just because I did not cook the big meal does not mean I did not cook. You should all know by now, I am almost always in the kitchen … unless I am off diving.
For Christmas Eve, we joined Priscilla and Jonathan and their daughters. As always, Priscilla had an exquisite meal with perfect decorations. She had prepared some fantastic steaks with her traditional gnochis and a Christmas tree bread, with a gingerbread cake for dessert. The only thing she let me bring was my three bean salad, which of course I made and brought with pleasure. A New Twist on Three Bean Salad
On Christmas Day we went to our friends Shannon and Eric’s house. Shannon had prepared a delicious turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. I made the appetizers, the vegetables and dessert. I was working with some dietary restrictions, so I made everything gluten free and mostly vegetables and fruit. For the starters I made some crab stuffed mushrooms. There were only the four of us, so I did not make a lot.
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
12 large cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
2 tsp chopped roasted Hatch chilies
2 TBSP green onions, sliced and chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup large clump crab, chopped
1 tsp garlic
1 TBSP onion, diced fine
1-2 TBSP olive oil or garlic olive oil for cooking
1/2 cup jalapeno jack cheese
1/3 cup shredded cheddar blend for topping
12 Peruvian peppers, optional
Combine the onions, garlic and Hatch chilies and saute in olive oil or the garlic olive oil for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Preheat the oven to 350* F or 175 * C.
Once the onion mixture is cooked combine it with all the rest of the ingredients except the Peruvian peppers and the cheddar cheese. Mix well then fill the mushroom caps with as much filling as they will hold with a teaspoon. Top the mushrooms with the shredded cheddar cheese and bake uncovered for about 20-30 minutes or until the cheese on top starts to form a light crust.
When the mushrooms are done, top them with one Peruvian pepper in the center of each mushroom. Serve hot. I love crab and mushrooms, and I love stuffed mushrooms of all kinds, so this was a deliciously festive way to serve them all together.
Thank you to both of our hosting households for allowing us to share the holidays with you.
I hope you all had a safe and Merry Christmas. ‘Til next time.