Thursday, January 15, 2015

Italian Stuffed Portabella Caps


So, let's talk comfort zones. 

It's the start of the new year and getting out of your comfort zone 
seems to be all of the rage for 2015. 

Make a change, make a difference, etc. 

Well, for me…
that involved making Italian Stuffed Portabellas.

Jerry has been talking about Portabella mushrooms for months now
and I have been politely, half-heartedly listening. 

Finally, we were grocery shopping together and I couldn't put it off any longer. 

He was pushing for two packages of mushrooms but 
I convinced him that we were good starting with just one.  

I decided to make them for dinner last week and
you would think that there was some life changing decision at hand
the way that I hemmed and hawed around the kitchen,
procrastination at it's finest.

That is when I know I am out of my comfort zone…
I procrastinate!

What characteristics do you demonstrate when you are out of  your comfort zone?

Eventually, the count down to dinner was dwindling and I had to get a move on. 


So, I opened the package of Portabella mushrooms and 
turned them over to see what awaited me on the flip side. 

A stem and lots of dark gills. 

Doesn't leave much room for stuffing. 

I probably should have mentioned that I've never been much of a mushroom fan…
which was a big part of why it was out of my comfort zone. 


I removed the stem and attempted to scrape out the gills with a spoon. 

Probably would have been better if I hadn't broken off part of the mushroom cap…
but thankfully we live and learn
and it didn't seem to interfere with the tastiness of the dish. 

In order for me to branch into stuffed mushrooms, 
I wanted to stick with something familiarly delicious as the stuffing. 

Spinach and Tomatoes.


Started with a tablespoon of olive oil2 cups of spinach and some coarse Kosher salt
to cook the spinach. 


Once the spinach was wilted, 1 can of diced tomatoes was added. 


And simmered to remove some of the moisture
and concentrate the flavors! 


Since the stuffing was pre-cooked, 
the mushrooms needed to be as well. 

They were put in under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, 
until they were showing signs of warming. 


The tomatoes and spinach were scooped into the caps
and baked at 375 F for about 10 minutes. 

Then, generously topped with shredded mozzarella
and baked for another 3 minutes. 


Until the cheese was just starting to brown. 


Much to my surprise,
these Italian Stuffed Portabella Caps
were fabulous…
and thankfully, 
not too mushroom-y.  

They were enjoyed by all and I am thankful for being pushed out of my comfort zone,
I now have a new avenue of flavors and dishes to explore. 

RECIPE:
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 Portabella Mushrooms
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cups of spinach
Coarse Kosher salt
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of shredded mozzarella

Directions:
  • To prep the mushroom, remove the stem and gills, brush off excess dirt with a damp paper towel. 
  • Cook spinach in a pan with olive oil and salt over medium heat. 
  • Add tomatoes and simmer until thickened. 
  • Broil mushrooms for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Remove mushrooms, reduce oven temp to 375 F. 
  • Fill caps with stuffing. 
  • Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes, top with cheese and bake another 3-5 minutes until cheese is browned.