It’s been a while since I’ve done one of my old favorite segments: “Best Thing I’ve Eaten This Week.” For those who have forgotten, I basically highlight one of the best things I’ve eaten that particular week (cleverly named segment). I also like to provide a cost breakdown of the meal, when possible, to show that eating great food can almost always be achieved on a pretty reasonable budget.
So here we go. A fun night in Italia. Or at least, we made it feel a little bit like that in our apartment over the weekend. Saturday night, we decided to surpass a “normal dinner” and decided to make a couple of apps – stuffed mushrooms and bruschetta (and some vino to boot!).
We are big fans of both bruschetta and stuffed mushrooms. We’ve made bruschetta many times, and we like ours more than a lot of restaurants we’ve tried, but this was our first attempt at stuffed mushrooms. I think we decided that that they turned out really well, and they really weren’t much work at all.
Em made the bread using this recipe (we would probably recommend using a little less cayenne than the recipe called for, although we kind of liked the kick!). The topping for the bruschetta is simple and delicious: diced red onions, tomatoes, basil, some garlic salt, a bit of olive oil, and a bit of balsamic vinegar.
Toast the bread partially, add some of that topping to each slice. Top with some mozzarella and parmesan cheese and put back in the oven until the cheese melts/toasts to your liking (we like to broil for just a few minutes to give the cheese just a slight golden brown!). Yummy!
We decided to keep it simple for these, and it worked out. We used regular white mushrooms (be sure to take out the middle stem and peel off the outer skin layer from the head). We used ground sausage with some onion, garlic, and italian seasoning to make a filling. We added a scoop of that filling to each mushroom (we made 8), added just a bit of parmesan and a thin slice of mozzarella to top it off. We put a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom of the pan to make sure they didn’t stick, and a dollop of butter in the middle of the mushrooms to melt out and add a bit of flavor. We then put them in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese and warm the mushrooms all the way through. Delicious.
So now the cost breakdown:
~$0.30 : Em’s bread (bread is so cheap if you are willing to bake it!)
~$0.50 : Bruschetta topping (1 roma tomato, 1/2 a read onion, spices/oil/vinegar)
~$0.75 : Mozz and Parm cheeses for bruschetta and stuffed mushrooms
~$0.75 : Sausage filling (we really only needed 8 small scoops, saved the rest)
~$0.50 : Mushrooms (we used 8)
~$2.80 Total for our yummy little Italian app night!
So there you have it, a truly delicious meal full of great Italian flavors that really pop! And it was plenty of food to feed both of us – for less than 3 bucks!
As Always: Eat. Be Happy.
Bonus: The following night we decided to make some homemade pizza with some of the extra sausage that we saved from the stuffed mushroom filling. It prolonged our Italian weekend! We love a good, homemade pizza…and they’re fun to make!