We have a ‘Gourmet Club’ in our neighborhood with eleven couples participating. They’re all hand-picked, fun friends who are into food and entertaining. We meet monthly, with couples attending as they’re available. Usually we end up with 16 or so people at a single gathering. The hosts plan the menu, prepare the main dish and then hand out additional recipes for attendees to bring.
December’s holiday party was rather large with twenty of us. Since 20 is tough to seat for dinner, the hosts went with a more casual theme- a couple different kinds of fondue and lots of other appetizers. My task: to bring sixty Pancetta- Wrapped Mushrooms. I was delighted to find that this was a simple appetizer to prepare for this busy time of year.
I was thrilled to find that this recipe called for fresh sage as I have loads of it growing like weeds in my courtyard.
Regular, medium-sized white mushrooms are all you need (I used a few baby portobellos too). They just get a quick wash and a trimmed stem.
The sage leaf is simply laid on top of a mushroom.
A piece of pancetta (or bacon) is wrapped tightly around. I left the sage leaf peeking out of the side since I wanted that color to show a bit.
All is secured with a toothpick pushed down into the mushroom from the top.
Here they are…. awaiting the oven.
They’re baked for about 25 minutes, until the bacon becomes crisp and browned. Sadly, I didn’t capture a beautiful picture of the finished product… we were eager to eat and the lighting was dimmed for the party. They were excellent, and they were gobbled up rather quickly by our gourmet friends.
Our hosts had a fabulous idea for a holiday ‘gift’ activity. They had each of us bring a wrapped toy that represented our personality. We then took turns unwrapping the toys and guessed which of our friends we thought the toy matched with. My wrapped toy wasn’t hard to guess… an Easy-Bake Oven, and my gregarious, speaker husband wasn’t too tough either… a play microphone. The activity generated a lot of laughs, and we ended up with 40 toys to donate to charity.