Thursday, May 24, 2007

Grilled and Stuffed Portobellos

Because I live in an apartment, an actual grill isn't exactly easy to come by, even for recipes as tempting as this. But any grill pan will do the trick if you don't need the masculine satisfaction of lighting things on fire and/or smokey aspect of cooking.

For the record: combination bread crumbs, two kinds of cheese, and mushrooms = heaven.

The Italian flavors at work create depth and subtlety in flavoring, and make them a great appetizer to any European or Mediterranean themed meal (as mine was). To make them a bit healthier than they currently are, one could reduce the amount of cheese and make the topping a bit crunchier in nature, and less melty. The cheese melted on top is pretty fantastic, however. You have been warned.

Like a nitwit, the second I found my camera, I forgot to take pictures. But I promise they look really cool. I served them as one mushroom cap per person, but you could also chop them into slices and serve as finger food, which I'm pretty strongly considering for the future. For a sit-down meal, however, the one cap per person is a great way to make sure your guests don't gorge themselves on finger foods before the actual meal comes out.

Recipe is from Bon Appetit, 2006.

ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
6 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed

1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, melted

preparation

Whisk oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 garlic clove in small bowl for marinade. Using spoon, scrape out gills from mushrooms and 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.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Mix panko, next 5 ingredients, and remaining 2 garlic cloves in medium bowl. Drizzle butter and remaining teaspoon vinegar over panko mixture and toss. Divide panko mixture among mushrooms, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges and packing down slightly. Place mushrooms on grill, stuffing side up; cover grill and cook until cheese melts and juices bubble at edges of mushrooms, rearranging mushrooms occasionally for even cooking (do not turn over), about 6 minutes.

*Panko can be used in any recipe calling for dry (not fresh) breadcrumbs — such as eggplant parmigiana, chicken tenders, or meatloaf. It is available in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets and at Asian markets.

Bon App├ętit, July 2006

Rick Browne

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