Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
Stuffed mushrooms are the way I learned to love mushrooms as a kid – apparently I would eat almost anything with stuffing in them. I still love stuffed mushrooms, so once in awhile I make myself a large portobello version for a light lunch or dinner. I tend to make just one for myself, but that’s not very useful for you, so I suggest this recipe to serve four. The filling is very similar to my usual – fresh bread crumbs, sauteed spinach, a little cheese (I tend to use Parmesan, this calls for goat cheese, either/both delicious).
My Grandma Meyer’s Fire-King pie plate cracked in the oven (ping!) while I baked myself a mushroom for lunch today. I’ve baked a lot of pies in that plate and I always think of her – and all the delicious pies she baked – when I do. I’m really sad that it’s broken.
The recipe below is from an excellent publication I picked up at the grocery store – Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 (subtitled The Year’s Best Recipes Lightened Up). It’s a short cookbook, really, in a magazine-type format, and like all Cook’s Illustrated publications, it is packed with information. I’ve made two delicious recipes from it so far and at $7.95, it’s a steal.
America’s Test Kitchen Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Note: the mushroom caps shrink significantly as they cook, so be sure to choose dense mushrooms that are 4-5 inches in diameter.
1 slice high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
10 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, and caps wiped clean
12 oz. baby spinach (about 12 cups)
2 Tbsp. water
2 onions, minced (about 2 cups)
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. dry sherry
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the upper oven rack, and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pulse the bread in a food processor, about 10 pulses. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in 1 tsp. of the oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Spread the crumbs on a second rimmed baking sheet, place it on the lower rack, and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry, 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. Use a sharp knife to score a crosshatch pattern on the tops of 8 of hte mushroom caps. Cut the remaining mushroom caps and reserved stems into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.
4. Brush both sides of the caps with 1 Tbsp. more oil and season with 1/4 tsp. salt. Carefully place the caps, gill side up,on the preheated baking sheet and roast until the mushrooms have released some of their juice and begin to brown around the edges, 8-12 minutes. Flip the caps and continue to roast until the liquid has completely evaporated and the caps are golden brown, 8-12 more minutes.
5. Meanwhile, place the spinach and water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl and microwave on high power until the spinach is wilted and has decreased in volume by half, 3-4 minutes. Using potholders, remove the bowl from the microwave and keep covered for 1 minute.
6. Carefully uncover the spinach and transfer to a colander set in the sink. Using the back of a rubber spatula, gently press the spinach against the colander to release the excess liquid.
7. Combine the remaining 2 tsp. oil, chopped mushrooms, onions, thyme, and 1/8 tsp. salt in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 8-10 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 4-6 minutes longer.
8. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the sherry and cook until almost no liquid remains, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cheese and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and the vegetables are well coated, 1-2 minutes longer. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with the salt and pepper to taste.
9. Flip the mushroom caps gill side up and distribute the filling evenly among them. Top each cap with the bread-crumb mixture and broil the mushrooms until the crumbs are deep golden brown, about 1 minute. Serve.
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