Friday, March 8, 2013

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Lasagna-Like Filling

Okay, so mushrooms are not very photogenic. They will never win a beauty contest award. After taking the pictures of the stuffed portobellos, I loaded them on the computer and asked Greg for his opinion on the best shots. He kept commenting that they were scary looking and that they looked like fungus. Right. Well that is because mushrooms ARE fungi! So yes, they aren't too pretty. But they are dang good!

I got the idea to make these from one of my friends. Both of us had seen the recipe on Annie's Eats recently, and one of her friends had already made them and said they were awesome. On Tuesday we decided that if we were off of work on Wednesday for snow, we would make them for dinner and compare notes later. Well, we were off of work, but it wasn't for snow. It was for rain! East Coast Beast - yeah right! But hey, I'll take a day off from work any day. Since we were off, and since the weather wasn't bad, I ran out to the store to get the ingredients. I made them, and they were amazing! They were fairly easy to make (the hardest part was getting the gills out of the mushroom), and they didn't take too much time. I thought I would need to eat more than one mushroom, but they were bigger and more filing than I thought they would be. I ate one with a side of pasta, and Greg had two. Last night we ate the leftover mushrooms with steak. The lasagna stuffed mushrooms can be an entree serve with salad, a side to meat, or a supplement to pasta. If you like mushrooms and cheese, I think you will love this meal. Enjoy!

Recipe for Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Lasagna-Like Filling

5 large portobello mushroom caps
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of part-skim Ricotta cheese
1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 ounces of grated fresh mozzarella cheese, divided
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. of Panko bread crumbs
1 cup of tomato sauce*

*If you are making the homemade tomato sauce, start it first since it has to simmer for 45 minutes.

Rinse mushrooms and pat them dry. Carefully cut off stems and then use your fingers or a light spoon to VERY carefully remove the gills from the mushroom. If you use too much pressure, the mushrooms can break.

Place an oven rack on the second highest position in the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the pressed garlic and olive oil. Line a baking sheet with  foil. Place the mushrooms on the baking sheet. Spoon some of the olive oil garlic mixture into each mushroom and spread to coat the insides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

While mushrooms are cooking, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 2/3 of the mozzarella cheese, egg, spinach, Italian seasoning, and Panko bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Use a fork to beat ingredients together until very well combined.

Fill mushrooms with the cheese mixture. Add desired amount of sauce on top of the cheese, then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top of each. Sprinkle each one with a little freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Place mushrooms back into the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Annie's Eats