Friday, January 9, 2009
Stuffed Mushrooms for Dinner
My clients who hate mushrooms are in Paris at the moment. I thought it would be a perfect time to recreate the meal I made for my family on Christmas Eve (minus the dessert) for my other clients. This mushroom dish is a real favorite of mine and one I have wanted to make for my clients for a long time - I just had to wait for the mushroom haters to leave town.
If you, like so many other people, are watching what you eat this January, or are trying to eat more vegetarian food, this is a great place to start. It is very satisfying and filling and you can vary the amount of cheese to suit your taste.
Let's talk about chiles. This recipe calls for poblano chiles and, as with so many other chiles, the heat can vary. Poblano isn't a particularly spicy specimen, but when I made this on Christmas Eve, there was a definite spice in each bite. Last night there wasn't. So, if you are sensitive to spice, taste your roasted chiles first and then decide how much to add. On to roasting. You will often see suggestions to roast chiles (or simply peppers) directly over a gas flame. I am not a fan of doing it this way. Yes, the skin comes off very easily, but the chile (or pepper) is raw inside. I like them cooked a bit more so I always roast chiles (and peppers) in the oven as I describe in the recipe below.
Poblano-and-Cheddar-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Adapted from Food and Wine
You can make the rice and chiles a day ahead, or even all of the stuffing a day ahead and keep it, covered, in the refrigerator.
3 poblano chiles
4 jumbo portabello mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
5 oz. baby spinach
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the chiles on a baking sheet and bake until skins start to turn black, turning once, about 20 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and carefully wrap a piece of foil over the chiles. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and remove the skin from the chiles. Remove the seeds and membranes as well and finely chop. Set aside.
2. Preheat the broiler. Drizzle both sides of the mushrooms with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil the mushrooms, turning, until softened, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a plate, stem side down; let drain and cool.
3. Meanwhile, put a medium skillet over medium heat. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the baby spinach (you may have to do this in batches) and cook until wilted. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid in the pan has cooked off. In a bowl, mix the spinach with the rice, cheese, cilantro, and the chiles. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Preheat the oven to 325. Season the mushroom caps with salt and pepper. Spoon the rice mixture into the mushrooms, mounding it slightly. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.