Friday, October 15, 2010

Stuffing Portabella Mushroom

This one almost fell through the crack of my iPhoto.
Here is a fancy version of that from bootcamp

This post will talk about how to stuff your own portabella mushroom.  Portabella mushroom contains selenium which reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Its meaty texture and the amazing ability to absorb flavour makes it great for low carb, vegetarian or vegan diet.  However, the mushroom is black and once you cook it, it can look wrinkled and burned: not very appetizing. If you want to impress your vegetarian date or guests, working with this mushroom is a must.

Stuffed is one way to 'pretty' up this mushroom, and I don't know about you, but I love stuff things in more things. The 'filling' or topping can be anything you want.

First you start with your mushroom....
The stem is chewy and not very tasty.  Removing the stem requires some extra care because it can easily tear the mushroom cap ruining your stuffing base.  One trick Chef Walter taught me was: with your palm, hold the mushroom against the edge of a table with the stem side lying on the table. The table and your hand will stabilize the cap, while you gently slice off the stem with the other hand.

With a spoon, gently scrape off the black stuff on the underside of the mushroom. Don't throw it out though.  Soak these with the stem in warm water, which can be used to as stock when making your topping.

Rub olive oil, salt, and pepper on both side of the mushroom.  Put it into the oven at 375F for 10-15 minutes, or until the mushroom is cooked.  How do you tell it's cooked? I have no idea.  I think it looks wrinkled and really dark.  Then you can set it aside while you prepare your topping.

Filling... let's see... The fancy one from boot camp was stuff with prawn béchamel (flour, butter, cream, prawn), topped with a slice of gouda and then another prawn.  Prawn béchamel was cooked when stuff it on the mushroom.  The top prawn was raw and sliced.  The entire stack was placed into the oven for a good 5-10 minutes to cook the top prawn right onto the cheese.

The ugly one is my first trial fun.  It is completely vegan: caramelized onion, chopped white mushroom sautéed with tons of garlic, oregano, and sherry vinegar, and topped with soy cheese.  It looks like the cheese just burn instead of melt or cook, so I will probably just go with real cheese next time.

Or you can go with something super easy like this: chicken with proprietary Hibachi sauce (Japanese steak and BBQ sauce with sake).  I bought this lovely sauce from Market Meat, and I totally recommend. 

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