Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

So along with the 5 pounds of berries I brought home from Maryland, I also brought home four gigantic portobello mushrooms.  My mom is a big believer in Cost Co. because everything there is super-sized and a good value, and these mushrooms were no exception.  I'm not sure that I have ever seen portobellos this huge before!  But seeing as we had the mushrooms and had nothing defrosted or planned for dinner last night, I decided to make stuffed mushrooms.  Growing up I loved the stuffed mushrooms at an Italian restaurant near my parents' house in Maryland, they had meat, cheese and bread crumbs in them and were totally delicious.  For last night's version I decided to go vegetarian (for once we actually did a Meatless Monday - go us).  We tossed in fresh herbs, cheese, spinach and some of our homemade Italian-Style Bread Crumbs.  Then we just threw it in the oven until cooked and broiled it for a minute to toast up the bread crumbs on top.  It was as simple as that.  And the mushrooms were delicious.  They were hearty and savory.  I didn't miss meat in the filling at all.  In fact, I think they were even better without meat in them.  I'm not sure that I tasted the individual components of the filling in every single bite (particularly the spinach, although you could taste the garlic and the red pepper flakes) but they all came together really nicely.  Alex and I both agreed that we would definitely make the mushrooms again.  If you served one mushroom per person they would make a nice appetizer and two per person is more than enough for an entree.

Recipe after the jump!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

2 tbsp evoo
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gills scraped out
1 cup homemade Italian bread crumbs
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parm-Reg
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, defrosted according to package instructions
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
2 tsp oregano, chopped
1 tsp thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 tbsp evoo, plus additonal good quality evoo for drizzling
4 cups baby arugula
sea salt

Whisk oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 garlic clove in small bowl for marinade. Place mushrooms on rimmed baking sheet. Brush marinade over both sides of mushrooms, arrange hollow side up, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.

Mix 3/4 cup bread crumbs, next 7 ingredients, and remaining 2 garlic cloves in medium bowl. Season with s&p.  Drizzle 2 tbsp evoo over bread crumb mixture and toss. Divide bread crumb mixture among mushrooms, packing down slightly. Top with remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with 1 tbsp evoo.  Bake mushrooms in baking sheet, stuffing side up until juices begin to bubble at edges of mushrooms and mushrooms begin to shrink and turn a deeper brown, about 10-12 minutes. 

Broil mushrooms until bread crumbs are golden brown, about 1 minute (it could be anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on the strength of your broiler). 

Serve mushrooms on a bed of arugula.  Drizzle with good quality evoo and sprinkle with flaked sea salt just before serving.

Italian-Style Bread Crumbs

The Young Man & the Sea: Recipes & Crispy Fish Tales from Esca
By Dave Pasternack & Ed Levine

1 loaf Italian bread
1 1/2 tbsp evoo
1 tsp garlic, finely diced
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp finely ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear bread into roughly 2-inch chunks. Place on a baking sheet. Bake until the bread is dry and crunchy, about 15 minutes. Put the chunks in a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of the evoo in a small saute pan. Add the garlic and stir until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the bread crumbs, parsley, and the remaining 1/2 tbsp evoo. Stir well. Season with s&p and remove from the heat.

Bread crumbs can be stored in a covered container until ready to use.

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