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Monster Eyeballs

"Monstrous mushrooms, roasted and filled with spicy chili, Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro jalapeño paste and served on top of spicy Mexican fried rice."


mexican stuffed mushrooms halloween.jpg


Cilantro Jalapeño Paste

2 cups lightly packed cilantro

¼ cup small dice, jalapeños

2 medium garlic cloves

2 teaspoons fresh, lime juice

¼ cup olive oil


Small saucier spoon


Whole black olives

Ateco #804 decoration tip 

1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon for indenting

Mexican Fried Rice

1 ½ cups jasmine rice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup small dice, yellow onions

1/3 teaspoon turmeric


2 teaspoons freshly minced, garlic

1 small to medium Jalapeño diced small Remove some of the seeds and membranes if you prefer a milder heat. 

2 1/4 cups chicken stock

¾ teaspoon salt or to-taste

Small Pinch of saffron

1/3 cup small dice, tomatoes

Bacon fat, butter or oil for frying the rice

Chili Filling

8 ounces 80/20 ground beef

1/2 cup small dice, yellow onion

Salt & pepper

2 teaspoons freshly minced, garlic

3/4 cup salted, tomato sauce

1/3 cup canned pinto beans, drained, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus a small pinch

1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder, to-taste 

1 teaspoon smoked paprika


1 block of Monterey Jack cheese 

Roasted Mushrooms

18 large white mushrooms 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter 

Melon scooper 

Pastry brush

Olive oil 

Salt & pepper 

Parchment paper

12"x17" baking sheet


Lime wedges 





Note: small blender such as a bullet blender works best for this recipe due to the small volume of ingredients being used. A small saucier spoon with spout will make it easier/cleaner to add the paste for the iris. 

Cilantro Jalapeño Paste

Add all ingredients to the blender and pulse until puréed smooth. Scrape out into a small container with a sealable lid and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. 


Slice an olive in half lengthwise and cut out rounds using the decorating tip. 

Mexican Fried Rice

Note: Rice can be made 1 day ahead to save time.

Add the rice to a large bowl and fill with cold water. Rub the rice between your hands to remove starches, drain and repeat 2 more times. 

Add the butter to a sauce pan and heat over medium temperature. Once butter is hot, add the onions and turmeric and season with some salt. Continue cooking until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, jalapeño and drained rice and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, salt, saffron and tomatoes. Reduce temperature to low, cover and cook until all of the stock is absorbed. Do not stir during cooking. Remove from heat and using a spatula, lift the rice up from the bottom of pan to release some steam but don't stir. Set aside and let cool completely. 

Chili Filling

Heat a skillet over medium temperature, add the ground beef and onion and chop the beef up into small pieces using a wooden spatula. Season with salt & pepper and cook until the beef is browned and onions are translucent. The 80/20 beef should render enough fat to cook the onions. If not, add a little olive oil. Spoon off any excess fat, add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients, season with more salt & pepper if needed, mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

Roasted Mushrooms

Place oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 425F. 

Wash & dry the mushrooms. Remove the stems and using the fruit scoop, carefully hollow out the insides removing as much of the gills as possible without cracking the mushrooms. Arrange all of the mushrooms hollow end up onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the insides and top edges of the mushrooms with olive oil and then lightly season with salt & pepper. Turn the mushrooms over, brush the tops with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Place in the oven and roast until all of their juices have released and evaporated and the bottom edges start to caramelize. About 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.


Gently turn the mushrooms over and using a small spoon, fill each one 3/4 full compacting with your finger as you go. Grate some of the Monterey Jack cheese and mound on top of the filled mushrooms, being sure not to go over the edges of mushrooms. Don't overfill to allow the sauce to bubble up and give an irritated red appearance. Place in the oven at 400F just long enough to warm the mushrooms and melt the cheese. About 4-5 minutes. Don't let the cheese overheat or brown. Once melted, remove from the oven and place in a working area to finish assembly. It's necessary to finish assembly while mushrooms are still hot from oven, so the cheese will indent easily.

Working in batches, indent the center of 3 to 4 mushrooms using the measuring spoon. If the spoon sticks, dip the bottom in some olive oil. Using your saucier spoon, neatly fill the indentions with some of the cilantro jalapeño paste to make the iris. Carefully place an olive pupil onto the center of the iris and gently press. Repeat until all the mushrooms are assembled/decorated. Place in the oven with the door open to keep warm and start frying the Mexican rice. If your oven is not still warm from roasting the mushrooms, turn the temperature to 200F and close the door. Keep an eye on them to make sure oven isn't too hot, to prevent more cooking. 

Add 2-3 tablespoons of preferred fat to a large non-stick frying pan and heat over medium to medium-high temperature. Once hot, add the cooled rice and press flat using a spatula. You may need to do it in batches. Cook until the bottom is lightly golden and then flip the rice over in increments and repeat. Slide the rice off of the pan into a chafing dish and arrange the mushrooms on top. If serving in a baking dish, place back in the warm oven until ready to serve. Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley can be sprinkle over the rice. Serve with sliced limes. 



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