Janet McCormick: Mushroom skewers make easy appetizers

December 2, 2018

The first snow, it happened and set the mood for the season better than any candle glow on a first date.

The tree is up.

My secret for such an on-point, ahead-of-the-game move as that was to put it in the closet already decorated last year. Yeah, I’m pretty slick. Alexa has my favorite Christmas music station playing constantly.

The candles are programmed to illuminate as soon as the sun goes down, and the anticipation for the Christmas countdown is electric enough to power the entire house. Let the “fa la la la” and “ho, ho, ho!” begin.

Determined not to have a Christmas meltdown this year, which I rarely do because I have long since given up on lofty expectations of myself and others, I am however, reminding myself and you that you are the inventor and boss of any and all lists designed to interfere with your “chill-fest” aka holiday parties and/or gatherings. Breaks and cancellations at any time can be ordered by you, the boss of your own peace and good will!

And if entertaining is one of your planned pastimes this year, before, during or after the holiday, I have a simple recipe that will create a delicious aroma throughout the house. (And did I mention, it’s cute?)

These little forks are in the throw-away paper product aisle at Kroger. I picked them up and wondered what to do with them. Then it occurred to me: Wine-braised mushrooms would be a great pop-in-your-mouth kind of appetizer that’s simple and kind of magically easy to throw together for any party or friendly gathering.

There is nothing overly complicated about this recipe, but the forks make it special and memorable. Your guests can freely grab each mushroom nugget and you can sit back and enjoy the conversation while you bask in the glow of holiday cheer.

What’s even better about this recipe is it calls for any wine you have in your house. So if you’re thinking of serving wine, this is a multitasker’s dream. Use a little for the “shrooms” and save the rest for the quests. It’s an easy-peasy combo deal.


2 quarts of whole mushrooms

1/2 cup wine

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 sprigs of thyme

2 sprigs of rosemary

1/2 cup butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Fork skewers

In a large skillet, saute the butter, olive oil and garlic for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, wine, thyme and rosemary. Saute, covered, for 4 minutes. Add the parsley at the end. Skewer each mushroom with the fork. Place on a platter. Take the excess wine and butter mixture and pour over each mushroom. Serve.

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