Crimini mushrooms, also known as “baby bellas,” are just the right size for hearty tapas. Featuring a nice earthy color with equally robust flavors, they’re more rustic than button mushrooms. These perfectly sized appetizers really are young portabellas (portobellos/portobellas) – or as most experts will state, portabellas are just overgrown criminis.
To top them off, I’m filling them with a real Tex-Mex treat: breakfast burritos. These tasty all-in-one meals were a brilliant creation back in the early 1970s – originating just one state over from us in New Mexico. Their popularity as a drive-by favorite began when a certain fast-food restaurant added them to the menu. Mushrooms are a popular staple in tapas recipes and an egg filling will make a great pairing.
Scrambled eggs are the basis for stuffing our champiñones. As add-ins, I’m including shredded pepper jack cheese, green onions and chorizo. Many of you will know that Mexican chorizo needs to be pre-cooked, as opposed to the Spanish version that’s already smoked. While cooking, it also becomes nice and crumbly, which makes it easy to blend into the eggs. It also adds a nice salty balance along with its distinctive flavors. While the eggs cook, they should clump a bit – rather than breaking them up in smaller pieces – so they’ll be easier to include as a stuffing.
When the baby ‘bellas have finished baking – it doesn’t take long – I’ll add a small square of pepper jack on top and give them a quick broil. As the final topper, a small dollop of picante sauce provides a nice extra kick.
Chorizo and Egg Stuffed Mushroom Tapas
7 crimini mushrooms (Baby ‘Bellas)
Chorizo, about 2 ounces
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 green onions
2 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded plus 7 squared slices
–Gently rinse mushrooms and remove stems. They should pop out easily with minimal pressure. Use a spoon to scoop and clean insides to provide more space for filling. Let them dry.
–Remove casing from the chorizo and add to a hot skillet. As it cooks, it naturally becomes crumbly. When done, let it drain well.
–Crack eggs in a bowl and stir vigorously with a fork until bubbles appear. This makes the egg mixture puffier and lighter
–Slice the green onions into slender rounds – all the way into the green part.
–Add black pepper, blend in green onions.
–Heat a nonstick skillet – you won’t need cooking oil or spray.
–Pour egg mixture into heated skillet and stir gently.
–When eggs are almost done, sprinkle in the shredded pepper jack cheese and chorizo. Toss just enough to retain small clumps.
Fill each mushroom with scrambled egg mixture and place on foil-lined cookie sheet. Cook at 350ºF for about 15 minutes.
Top mushrooms with squares of jack cheese and place under broiler for about 5 minutes.
When tops are brown, remove, add salsa (optional), and serve.