Recipe: Prawn scampi-style stuffed mushrooms with fresh mint and goat cheese by Charlie Abowd
December 19, 2017
Is anyone else having a hard time accepting Christmas is upon us and 2017 quickly becoming a memory? Where the time goes is beyond me. This past year has been a blessing, even with its challenges and changes.
All of our children and grandchildren are well and healthy, and it looks as though this winter might be somewhat easier for all of us. Of course, this is Nevada and everything can change in a minute, but we're hoping for a quieter season than last.
We returned from our trip to beautiful San Pancho, Mexico, and were met with flooding and other issues that required Karen's immediate attention. She had the experience of being acting mayor for a bit, and she has decided that's not a job she would ever want full time. She continues to work for the people of Carson City and looks forward to life after the 2018 elections, when she will begin to write her next chapter. I know whatever Karen decides, it will be with an eye toward community service.
We celebrated my dad, Paul Abowd's 90th birthday this year. He still makes his presence known at The Stonehouse in Reno, helping where he can. He continues daily to inspire me, both as a son and father and as a chef.
As always, The Greenhouse Project is one of our passions and this year brought changes. The annual Concert Under the Stars was moved from Cafe at Adele's to Brewery Arts Center and was a huge success. While part of me was sad to see it move, it was time for a larger venue. The Harvest Dinner of course took place here in November and was the most successful to date. I encourage everyone to learn more about TGP and how you can volunteer and support this organization by visiting http://www.carsoncitygreenhouse.org.
We just hosted another wonderful Cookies with Santa, collecting money and toys for Toys for Tots, distributed by Ron Wood Family Resource Center under the watchful eye of Santa's ambassador Joyce Buckingham. They're still accepting donations of items and food, too. Call the center at 775-884-2269 for information.
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I want to give a big thank you to Tom Strekal and the Dowell family — Trent, Lori and sons — for their ongoing support and participation of this event. Each of you are a priceless gift to the community and to all of us at Cafe at Adele's.
Which brings me to Northern Nevada Dream Center. Since 2010, Northern Nevada Dream Center has developed numerous community outreach programs for our underserved population. Thanks to the dedication of countless volunteers, these folks provide food and clothing to those who are homeless and living in Carson City motels. They also provide computer and work-readiness classes, art programs for children and more. This is one more organization working toward good and creating opportunity. Many hands make for light work, folks, and we each have a role to play, big or small. Please reach out and find a way that you can be instrumental in making Carson a place that every family, every individual can live a life of hope and dignity. For information, call 775-443-4090, find them on Facebook for updates and visit them at http://www.nndreamcenter.org.
It's up to us to make 2018 our best year yet — for ourselves and others.
May your season and the coming year be merry, blessed and bright.
Now, let's get cooking!
Prawn Scampi-Style Stuffed Mushrooms with Fresh Mint and Goat Cheese
12 whole mushrooms, approximately 2-inches in diameter
12 shrimp, preferably wild (look for a weight of 20 to 24 or 21 to 25 raw)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese flakes (do not used processed or finely ground)
1/4 pound goat cheese
1 pint capers
1 bunch fresh mint
1/4 pound unsalted butter, preferably Amish-style or Kerrygold
1/2 cup heavy cream
Juice from one lemon
1/2 ounce dry vermouth or white wine
Sea salt, preferably Maldano's and fresh-ground pepper
Remove stems from mushrooms, brush with olive oil and place bottom up (the side where the stem used to be) on a baking pan.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake mushrooms approximately 8-10 minutes. Mushrooms should still be firm to touch. Remove mushrooms from the oven and set aside.
Shrimp preparation: Peel and devein if this is not already done. Lightly coat in flour or for gluten-free, use rice flour. Gluten-free flours won't work in this recipe, as they won't help to slightly tighten the sauce or add needed texture.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter and garlic and slowly simmer until butter is 80 percent melted. Add cream, wine or vermouth and lemon juice. Slowly whisk until blended and then add salt to taste. Once this is done, add shrimp and cream. Once the cream is totally incorporated, about five minutes on low heat (you want the mixture to be bubbling), cook another 8-10 minutes until shrimp is done cooking.
Place one shrimp in each mushroom cap, sprinkle a bit of fresh-chopped mint and goat cheese over the top and place back in the oven for approximately five minutes, just long enough to soften the goat cheese, but not totally melt it.
Carefully place mushrooms on serving platter and garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan, one whole mint leaf and three or four capers.
They're ready to serve!
Chef Charlie Abowd co-owns Café at Adele's with his wife Karen Abowd. Café at Adele's is located at 1112 N. Carson St., Carson City, and is open daily at 8 a.m. for breakfast. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. For information or to makes reservations, call 775-882-3353, or visit adelesrestaurantandlounge.com.