September 13, 2011

Fall Appetizers and Wine Party

The Maine House is hosting an autumn wine tasting in the next few weeks. Our home is beginning to reflect the sights and smells of fall and we have invited a few friends over to enjoy sitting by the firepit, savoring some of our favorite appetizers and relaxing with a glass of vino. Estelle's has pulled out some long, I mean long time recipes, that we have served at holidays and family gatherings. We feel like these will be the perfect offerings to have new friends enjoy the season and the harvest moon. We are serving two wines from Trader Joes, a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois and a Pinot Noir.
A Maine House Mosaic

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
 16 extra-large white mushrooms
 5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings
6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 garlic cloves minced
2/3 cup panko crumbs
6 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala. Set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it's completely browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly.
Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Sprinkle with additional Panko crumbs, combined with melted butter and Parmesan cheese and Paprika. Bake until the stuffing for 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty

Estelle's Petite Quiches
1 9- inch pastry crust
3/4 cup half and half
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup swiss cheese
1 T. flour
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin tin with pastry. Combine half and half, eggs and seasonings. Mix well and toss with cheese, flour. Add crumbled bacon. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full of mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.
Chicken Little Fingers
6 whole chicken breasts, deboned
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 T. lemon juice
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. soy sauce
1 T. Greek seasoning
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups panko or Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup margarine, melted
Cut chicken into 1/2 inch strips. Combine next nine ingredients and add to the chicken. Mix until combined, cover and chill in refrigerator overnight. Drain the chicken, when ready to prepare. Combine breadcrumbs and sesame seeds and toss with chicken to coat well. Place chicken in a greased baking dish and pour melted margarine over chicken. Bake 35-40 minutes. Serve with Plum Sauce.
Plum Sauce
1 1/2 cup red plum jam
1 1/2 T. mustard
1 1/2 T. horseradish
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Mixing well. Place over low heat and stir gently until warm. Pour into pitcher for serving.



  1. I'm getting ready to make the sausage stuffed mushrooms tomorrow for a party--the pic shows that there are red peppers? or something on them but there is nothing red in the ingredients. Should I top them with something like that?

    1. Hi Cheree! You certainly may add finely chopped red pepper if you would like to. I would say 2-3 T. of red pepper. I sometimes use Italian breadcrumbs, rather than panko also. I think it adds more flavor. You can also vary the flavor of sausage by using, sage or hot sausage. It all depends on your preference in taste. It's very easy to mix up and I think you will find this a really good appetizer! Hope this answers your questions. Enjoy!


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