Saturday, December 26, 2009

Portobellos with Sausage Stuffing

We needed a smallish meal to place between the luscious carnivore extravagances of the holidays.  This recipe stretches one link of grocery store Italian sausage to flavor a great meal for two.

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 Italian sausage link (approximately 6" long by 1" diameter)
  • 1-2 shallots, finely minced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs or plain bread crumbs and Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 Tbl. olive oil, divided
  • romaine lettuce
  • salad dressing
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F
  2. On top of the stove, heat 2 Tbl. olive oil in a largish oven-proof skillet 
  3. Remove the stems from the portobello mushroom caps, taking care not to break the caps, and mince the pieces of stem
  4. Scrape the gills out of the mushrooms with a spoon and discard them
  5. Squeeze the sausage meat out of its casing and break into small pieces
  6. Sauté the sausage meat, onions, garlic, and stem pieces until the meat is done
  7. Add the parsley and sauté just long enough for the parsley to wilt
  8. Remove the meat mixture to a bowl large enough to mix the stuffing, making sure to get as much as possible out of the skillet
  9. Coat the portobello caps inside and out with olive oil and place open-side down in the skillet
  10. Bake for 8 minutes
  11. Let the meat mixture cool and then mix in the bread crumbs, half the cheese, and the egg to make a stuffing
  12. Remove the mushroom caps from the oven and flip them so that the open side is up
  13. Mound the stuffing on top of the mushrooms and top with the remaining cheese
  14. Bake another 15 minutes
  15. Make a salad of dressed romaine lettuce on each plate and place the stuffed mushroom on top.
A complete and satisfying meal!  And it dirties only one pot ... and a knife, the cutting board, a bowl to mix the stuffing and to dress the romaine, ...

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.