Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
July 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
J: In another effort to break out of our culinary rut, Erik and I decided to go out on a limb and try our hand at stuffed mushrooms. These aren’t your little delicate hors d’oeuvres stuffed mushroom caps — no sir, these hearty portobellos are full meals in themselves. They took a bit of effort, so don’t plan on making them if you just want a quick dinner, especially if you’re cooking by your lonesome. That said, if you’ve got a cooking buddy and/or you want to spend some quality time in your kitchen, these are well worth the time you’ll put into them.
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Bell Pepper Sauce
For the stuffing:
4 portobello mushrooms
2 small squash, cubed (we used an 8-ball squash and a pattypan squash)
1/3 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 slices bacon
3/4 c breadcrumbs
1/4 c cilantro, minced
For the sauce:
2 roasted red bell peppers (you can buy them in a jar if you like, or roast them yourselves like we did)
1/6(ish) white onion, diced
1 c chicken stock
2 tbsp heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
If you’ve bought fresh bell peppers to use for the sauce, roasting them is probably the first thing you should do. If you have a gas stove, you can set the peppers on a burner and roast them that way (or, of course, use a grill if you’ve got one fired up!); otherwise, heat up your oven to 450, put the peppers on a baking sheet, and slide them on in. They’ll probably take about 30 minutes, but you should check in on them every 10 minutes or so to rotate them so that they blacken as evenly as possible.
While those peppers are roasting away, you can get to chopping and prepping all your other ingredients: you’ll need to cook the bacon, of course, and toast up some bread so that you can pulverize it into breadcrumbs (because we know that you would never use those horrid “breadcrumbs” you can buy at the store).
When you’re all chopped up, heat up some olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onion for the stuffing. Sauté for a few minutes, until it’s getting somewhat soft and translucent, and then add the garlic and cubes of squash.
When the squash is a little softened — after maybe 5-7 minutes — remove from heat and drain. Let the squash, onion, and garlic cool a bit while you deal with other things.
To make the sauce, peel and de-seed the red peppers, unless you bought them in a jar, in which case you’ll be spared the joy of attempting to de-seed collapsed and squishy red peppers.
Chop the peppers roughly and put them in a blender or food processor with the chopped onion. Blend them together until they’re in a paste-like consistency, and then transfer that paste to a small saucepan. Pour in the chicken stock to thin it out a little, and cook down.
It’ll take roughly 30 minutes over medium-to-medium-low heat to get it thickened up. Stir occasionally, keep an eye on it, and use your judgment to figure out when yours is about ready. When it’s cooked down, stir in the heavy cream. We didn’t have a sieve, so our sauce turned out a bit awkwardly thick and globby — if you do have a sieve, by all means, break it out for this! It’ll give you a much smoother sauce. When you’ve sieved to your heart’s content (or cried a little over not having a sieve), season the sauce with salt and pepper to your own tastes.
Meanwhile, you’ll be wanting to get rolling with your mushrooms. Place them in a baking dish (we used a glass casserole dish) and cook them “facedown” for about 10 minutes at 400. While they are cooking, transfer your squash, onion, and garlic to a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs and cilantro, and crumble the bacon into the mixture. Stir that all together — and you’ve got your stuffing!
When the mushrooms are done with Phase 1 of their cooking time, take them out of the oven and flip them over so they’re “faceup” — i.e., resting on the caps, so that they can be stuffed. Pile on the stuffing generously.
Return the mushrooms to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, still at 400. When the mushrooms are done, serve them up, pour the sauce over them, and sprinkle with some grated cheese if you like. We used asiago, and it was fantastic; the earthiness of the cheese worked well with the earthiness of the mushrooms. Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine.