The Portobello mushroom is frequently referred to as "vegetarian meat" because it has a rather firm, meaty texture. Stuffing these large brown mushrooms is a fabulous way to substitute vegetables and grains for some or all of the meat in a dish.
Portobellos are brown crimini mushrooms that have grown to be about 4" to 6" in diameter. There are only 37 calories and, surprisingly, 4 grams of protein in a 6 oz. Portobello. Large or small, crimini mushrooms are an excellent source of the minerals selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. They are also an excellent source of B vitamins including vitamin B2, pantothenic acid and niacin.
When shopping, look for mushrooms that are firm, plump and clean. Avoid those that are wrinkled or have wet slimy spots. They will keep in the refrigerator, in a paper bag or loosely covered with a paper towel, for 4-5 days.
Portobello mushrooms are extremely versatile and can be grilled, sautéed, or baked. To grill, first brush mushrooms on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. When sautéing Portobellos, remove the gills prior to slicing and discard them. Sauté the mushrooms in a little olive oil, along with onions, peppers and garlic.
As with many other mushrooms, do not immerse them in water. They are so porous that they will quickly absorb the water and become soggy. The best way to clean mushrooms is wipe them with a slightly damp paper towel.
Baked Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
4 Portobello mushrooms
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced, cooked chicken
1/3 cup dry quinoa or rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper sauce
1 cup finely chopped spinach
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring 2/3 cup water to boil in a small saucepan. Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cold water. Add quinoa to the boiling water, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, clean mushrooms with a slightly damp paper towel. Cut the stem to be even with the gills. Lightly rub the rounded side of each mushroom with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the mushrooms, gills side up, in a shallow baking pan.
In a medium skillet, sauté onion and bell pepper in 2 teaspoons olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper sauce. Stir in diced chicken and cooked quinoa. Finally, add the chopped spinach and stir until wilted.
Divide the mixture evenly and mound it on top of the 4 mushroom caps. Mix the panko bread crumbs with the parmesan cheese and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of this mixture on top of each mushroom. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Bake uncovered for 15 to 18 minutes, until the mushroom is soft and the stuffing is hot.
Contact Victoria at Victoria@northcountyoutlook.com
or by phone 360-658-9903.