The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6D

Stuffed Muashrooms

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves 4

Deanna C. Holman of Stockton and her husband enjoyed a stuffed crab appetizer at By-Th'-Bucket in Santa Clara. It was topped with melted cheese. She was hoping for the recipe or one close.

Judy Beaman of Merced shares this recipe, which she got from her daughter-in-law. She says it is rich and fantastic.

Beaman finds Old Bay seasoning at Save Mart and uses crabmeat in a plastic container from Costco found in the cold case with the lunchmeats and cheese, not canned.

She says you can substitute light cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for the regular cheese. Beaman also says the Old Bay makes the flavor of this dish; taste as you add to assure you don't over-season.


4 large portobello mushrooms

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup onion

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 clove minced garlic (more if you prefer)

1/4 cup flour

Up to 1 cup milk

Old Bay seasoning, to taste

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 pound lump crabmeat

1 cup plain breadcrumbs


Turn mushrooms over, remove stems and scrape the insides clean.

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté. Add flour to make a roux, stirring to combine and until lightly browned and smooth. Be careful not to burn. Slowly add milk until it reaches your desired thickness (up to 1 cup). Add Old Bay seasoning, to taste.

Add both cheeses and stir until melted. Add crabmeat and stir until combined. Pour crab mixture evenly into mushroom caps and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Per serving: 499 cal.; 35 g pro.; 34 g carb.; 24 g fat (14 sat., 4 monounsat., 1 polyunsat., 5 other); 130 mg chol.; 724 mg sod.; 2 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 44 percent calories from fat.

Rachael Ray's spinach and artichoke mac 'n' cheese

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves 4

Imogene Lomanto of Gold River saw Rachael Ray prepare a casserole on her show. It included spinach, artichokes, penne pasta, wine and fontina cheese. She was hoping someone had this recipe.

Nancy Polastri of Sacramento shares the recipe.

Note: The cook time for the pasta overlaps the cook time for the onion and garlic.


1 pound semolina or whole-wheat penne pasta, uncooked

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups milk

Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/4 teaspoon or to taste

One 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel

One 10-ounce box frozen chopped artichokes, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups shredded Italian fontina cheese, divided use

1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided use


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place rack in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

While the pasta water comes to a boil, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with the extra-virgin olive oil and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble.

Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper to the sauce and simmer until thickened and vegetables are warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add 1 cup of each of the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Per serving: 1,047 cal.; 52 g pro.; 111 g carb.; 45 g fat (24 sat., 12 monounsat., 2 polyunsat., 7 other); 117 mg chol.; 1,236 mg sod.; 7 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 38 percent calories from fat.

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