Showing posts with label Portobello mushroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Portobello mushroom. Show all posts

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Portobello "Street Tacos"

Mr. Wendy and I have a tendency to fall into food ruts.  We'll get on a roasted cauliflower kick, and eat it twice a week for months.  Or we'll start obsessing about chili, and pretty soon we'll have leftovers from three separate batches in the fridge at the same time.

So every now and then, I try to shake things up.  This time, I didn't have to look for an opportunity:  opportunity found me!

We belong to a produce co-op (members contribute about $15 every other week, the money gets pooled, and the organizers get fantastic bulk deals ... then divvy up the produce among all the members).  When I put in my last co-op order, I asked for a regular basket plus a bonus "Mexican night" basket.  We ended up with all sorts of goodies (including a killer pineapple that formed the basis for next week's recipe).  The Mexican bonus pack included tomatillos, a bunch of poblano peppers, cilantro, green onions, garlic, and a whole mess of limes.

Fresh green onions and cilantro!

And from that delightful bounty, the idea for roasted pepper and tomatillo salsa was born.  But what to serve it on??  How about street tacos?

OK, I guess technically "street tacos" are tacos from a street vendor.  But I associate them with small, soft tacos that are filled will particularly vibrant ingredients.  These little bundles definitely fit the bill.  The tequila/citrus marinade for the mushrooms gives them a subtle kick that partners beautifully with the creaminess of the beans, cheese, and sour cream and the bright heat of the salsa.

Portobello Street Tacos with Roasted Pepper and Tomatillo Salsa


1/4 c. oil
3 Tbs. orange juice
3 Tbs. lime juice
2 Tbs. tequila
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

4 portobello mushroom caps, stemmed, de-gilled, and sliced into wide pieces
fresh flour tortillas
grape tomatoes
cheddar or Mexican cheese, grated
refried beans (we used canned)
sour cream
tomatillo and roasted pepper salsa*

Combine all of the marinate ingredients in a bowl, toss with the sliced mushrooms.  Cover and allow to marinate at room temperature for about an hour.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are nicely browned.  (Meanwhile, heat beans in a small saucepan over medium low heat.)

Heat tortillas in the oven or toaster oven until just warm.  Create tacos by spreading a spoonful of beans on a tortilla, top with some sliced mushroom, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, and a dollop of the brilliant salsa.

*Tomatillo Salsa:

About 6 large peppers, mostly poblano
10 tomatillos, husked and rinsed, patted dry
large bunch of cilantro leaves (3/4 c.?)
lime juice to taste (probably 1/4 c.)
heaping Tbs. minced garlic
5-6 green onions, white and light green parts only
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. sugar

Tomatillos and peppers under the broiler

Charred nicely

Preheat broiler.  Put tomatillos and peppers on a baking sheet and broil until starting to blacken (about 5 minutes per side).  Put peppers in a large bowl, cover with plastic, and let steam about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile coarsely chop green onions, garlic, cilantro, and tomatillos.  Remove peppers and de-stem, peel, remove seeds, and coarsely chop.  Add to the other ingredients, then throw in the salt and sugar.  Pulse in a food processor until blended but not pureed.


Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook. She also writes the Pet Boutique Mysteries under the name Annie Knox; you can follow Annie on Facebook, too!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stuff This! with Guest Blogger Diane Kelly

Hi all ... please join me in welcoming Diane Kelly, author of the brand new Death and Taxes humorous mystery series featuring Tara Holloway.  Diane and I go way back (before either one of us could claim "published" status), and I was actually fortunate enough to read some of Diane's work then.  Man, I knew right away it was just a matter of time before her quirky, flirty stories found their way into print.  And, a woman after my heart, Diane is dropping by today with an easy, tasty Thanksgivingish dish that I plan to add to my burgeoning holiday menu.


Not inclined to gobble turkey?  Can’t bear the thought of sticking your hand up a butterball’s hoo-ha?  Stuff a mushroom instead!  It’s easy, and it’ll save you from having to wake at the crack of dawn to baste a bird.  This recipe is also an easy and yummy option for any vegetarians who may be attending your holiday meal since it makes use of many ingredients you’ll already have on hand.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

One box of stuffing (or use your leftover stuffing)
olive oil
4 portobello mushrooms
1 can of French-fried onions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare the stuffing (or round up your leftover stuffing).  Coat the bottom of a baking dish with a thin (1/8”) layer of equal parts olive oil and water.  Wash the mushrooms and fill each cap with enough stuffing to create a level surface.  Place the mushrooms stuffing-side up in the baking dish.  Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for twenty-five minutes.  Remove the foil, add a generous layer of French-fried onions on top of the stuffing, and bake uncovered for another five minutes.  Makes four servings.
Variation:  Stuff button mushrooms instead and serve as an appetizer or side dish.

I hope all of you have much to be thankful for this year!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Diane Kelly is the author of the Death & Taxes humorous mystery series.  Her debut novel – Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure – is in bookstores now or can be ordered from online booksellers.  Visit Diane at!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ode to My George Foreman Grill

Good News!

It's official, boys and girls ... I signed a contract for a new cozy mystery series.  I'll be writing this new series, about a woman who owns a boutique for pets, under the name Annie Knox (an homage to my parents:  my mom's middle name is Ann and my dad's middle name is Knox).  I love these new characters, and I can't wait to share details with you in upcoming posts.  But, for now, on to the food ....


When Mr. Wendy and I were newly affianced (I love that word!), a good friend gave us a George Foreman grill.  I will confess that I thought it was an odd choice of gift for a couple who had nearly 20 years of combined vegetarianism.  But, you know the saying about gifts and horses.  I smiled and thanked her.

And the George Foreman sat in a box in the cupboard for a few years.  Yes, you read that right:  years.  Then, one day, I came home to find Mr. Wendy leaning against the kitchen counter, the Foreman and its various bits spread out behind him amidst a sea of plastic bags. 

"I wanted a sandwich," he said.

Fair enough.  Even better, he made one for me.  It wasn't anything too fancy, just nice bread and a few slices of good cheese.  But, dang, the George Foreman transformed it from a mere sandwich to a panini. I was completely smitten with the melty cheese and toasty bread, all without the added fat and potential sogginess of butter or margarine.

We spent a couple of weeks putting the grill through its paces.  We tried all sorts of sandwich combos, along various other vegetarian savories (vegie burgers, marinated tofu, eggplant and zucchini . . . ).  We hit a couple of sour notes along the way (the barbecued seitan made a sticky, hideous mess).  But, in short, our lives were changed forever.

Recently I had a craving for something rich and tomato-y and cheesy.  This recipe for Portobello Parmesan was born (with the George Foreman making an important cameo appearance for flattening and pre-cooking the mushroom).

Portobello Parmesan

4 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and gills scraped out
2 small vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced and the seeds removed
2/3 c. ricotta (low fat or nonfat is fine)
1/3 c. grated parmesan
1/4 c. fresh basil (minced or chiffonade)
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
4 slices mozzarella

Preheat a George Foreman grill or panini press.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Cook each mushroom cap on the grill/press for about 4 minutes (until flattened and fragrant, but not mushy).  Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

When the mushrooms are done, place them on a rack set over a 9x13 pan (or on a broiling pan - something that will allow the liquid from the mushrooms to drain off as they cook).  Top each mushroom cap with a few slices of tomato; divide the soft cheese mixture among the mushroom caps; and, finally, add a slice of mozzarella to each.  Place the mushrooms in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes (until the cheese is nicely melted).

Meanwhile, make spaghetti and your favorite red sauce (you can use jarred, or a simply concoction of olive oil, a smidge of garlic, crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt, and a dash of sugar).  Serve the mushrooms over pasta and sauce.  For more dainty eaters, a single mushroom cap would work for one person.  For us, it was two apiece.


Wendy (aka Annie Knox) is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cleo Coyle: Frozen Pizza Doctor and Pizza Toppings Poll!

Super Bowl Sunday is almost here. In order, I am looking forward to (#1) the half-time show because I love, love, love The Who, Who, Who and they’ll be performing Live, Live, Live... (#2) all those crazy, creative commercials; and (#3) the game. 1 Plain Cheese Frozen Pizza
(The Steelers are my team and they’re not in it this year, hence the game has fallen in priority.)
So...what’s to snack on?! While there are loads of delicious ideas around our blog, I’m sure many households will simply order pies from a local pizzeria.
Oh, sure, pizza delivery is fast and easy, but those $$$ can really add up, and the convenience isn’t always worth it. If you’ve ever had a pie arrive cold at your door with toppings that are less than spectacular (canned mushrooms on your pie, yikes!), then consider my quick & easy prescriptions for doctoring frozen pizza. (Unless of course there’s someone in your house who wants to flirt with the cute pizza delivery person, in which case these ideas are moot!)

The patient: Frozen Pizza
The diagnosis: No Pizazz (ok, no groaning!)
The perscription (Rx): See options below...

FROZEN PIZZA DOCTOR Rx #1: Start with a good brand. My favorite is Mystic Pizza. Yes, the same “slice of heaven” that inspired the screenwriter of Julia Roberts’ 1988 movie. I’d love to know your favorite brand. Just leave a note in the comments section below.

(If you never buy frozen pizza, I’ve got you covered. Check out the wonderful homemade pizza crust recipe from our recent Guest Blogger, Mary Jane Maffini, by clicking here. Or try Julie Hyzy’s solution—Caprese flatbread by clicking here.)

FROZEN PIZZA DOC Rx #2: Best tip of them all. Drizzle olive oil around the rim of your frozen pizza before putting it into the oven. You want to drizzle it against the inside rim of the crust (not on the crust). During the high-temperature baking, the oil will seep into the crust and help keep it moist. It adds great flavor, too!

FP DOC Rx #3: Fresh mushrooms! Add 1 cup of fresh, sliced Baby Bella mushrooms to your frozen pizza. These young Portobellos are meaty and chewy—adding texture as well as flavor. Button mushrooms are fine as another option or mix your mushrooms. Sauté in olive oil and a bit of butter before putting on your frozen pie and popping it in the oven.

FP DOC Rx #4: Jimmy Dean Sausage. What?! Not Italian sausage? No. I'm not kidding here. A mild/sweet breakfast sausage is delicious on pizza! Break up about 1/3rd of the 1 pound package with your fingers into a pan on the stovetop; cook it through completely and drain the fat before spreading over the frozen pizza. You’d be surprised how many people assume that the sausage should be put on the pie raw. Not a good idea! Even if the raw sausage does cook through (and it probably won’t, given pizza’s quick bake time), you’ll end up with a lot of grease. So cook, drain, top, bake, and enjoy!
FP DOC Rx #5: Freshly shredded mozzarella cheese and leaves of fresh green basil. Just spread them on the top and bake. The floral fragrance of the basil cooking is really lovely. It brightens and enlivens a frozen pizza and takes no time at all.

Finally, I’d like to learn about your favorite pizza toppings. According to industry sources gathered by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, here are some favorites from around our planet…

Australia: shrimp and pineapple, BBQ
Brazil: green peas
Costa Rica: coconut
France: a combo called “Flambe” with bacon, onion, and fresh cream
Japan: squid and eel
India: chicken tikka, Tandoori chicken, pickled ginger
Netherlands: “double dutch” double cheese, double onions, double beef
Pakistan: curry
Russia: red herring
Saudi Arabi: Hold the pork—all meat toppings must be 100% beef!


Click below to vote on what pizza
you would order if given this list.

Yes. This is my Doctored Mystic Pizza. It started out frozen in a box. We inhaled it last night. :)

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

LIAR, LIAR: Still wondering what was true and what was false in our "Creative Writer Bald-Faced Liar's Award"? Congrats to Lesa Holstine for guessing the truth! My very first lie was true. I was a cub reporter at The New York Times and I did indeed interview a group of interfaith peace activists who were taken hostage by Nicaraguan rebels. They all came home, I'm glad to report, safe and sound!

TRUTH IN FALSEHHOODS: My other two lies were based on a bit of truth, which is the best way to consturct lies, as most writers know! My sister was indeed the Community Health Director for Bethel, Alaska, and I did visit her there and meet a female musher and her dogs, but I didn't participate in the Yukon-Kuskowkim 300 Dog Sled Race (although I wanted to)!Finally, although I did attend Carnegie Mellon U., my internship was in journalism (via American U. in Washington, D.C., and not in the creation of SF film concepts). I do love SF, however, and although I didn't contribute any ideas to the original, cutting-edge movie Tron, I'm adapting the screenplay of the upcoming sequel Tron: Legacy into a junior novel for Disney Books. Click here for an awesome Light Cycle ride!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Say Cheese for a Naked Burger!

I saw Krista's Saturday post and had to laugh. I was going to post about a no-cook way of enjoying cheese (which I'll do next week), but I was experimenting in the kitchen and came up with an absolutely fabulous Naked Veggie Burger and had to share. This is not "comfort" food. This is pure natural goodness with goat cheese to boot!

Here's how it all started. I was shopping and I wanted to try an assortment of different cheeses on hamburgers and see what was my favorite. But I thought I should also have a veggie burger and bought a fabulous looking Portobello mushroom.

I love shallots baked in oil, so I purchased a cluster of shallots, some sweet red peppers, some pretty leafy lettuce to display it all on, and avocado. Let's face it, avocado, as far as I'm concerned, tastes good on anything. [That's a serving platter to the right. The Portobello was huge.]

Being a celiac, I decided to forgo a bun with this burger, hence the name Naked Burger.

Next, I roamed the deli counter and asked the cheese monger for his favorite goat cheese. He mentioned Cypress Grove Purple Haze, which I'd had once before on a cheese tasting plate and had loved. It has flavors of lavender and fennel and is nicely tart. So I bought it.

And here's what I came up with. A burst of flavors that turned out to be vegetarian, light, and yummy!

With Goat Cheese, Shallots and Peppers

(for one salad)

1 Portobello mushroom, stem removed
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 tsp. chives, diced
1 oz. Purple Haze Goat Cheese
1 shallot, baked in 1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. white wine
1 slice avocado
Leafy green lettuce
Chives for garnish


Roll the shallot in 1 tsp. olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté the Portobello mushroom in 1 Tbsp. olive oil, coating generously on both sides. Grill for 4 minutes. Add the water and white wine and deglaze, flipping the mushroom once during the process. Add 1 tsp. of snipped chives and the red pepper, diced. Cook 2 minutes longer.

Remove all from heat.

Prepare broiler. Set the Portobello mushroom on a baking sheet. Crumble the goat cheese on top. Broil for 4 minutes. Remove from broiler. Smooth the cheese on top using a knife. Broil 1-2 minutes longer.

Set leafy green lettuce on a plate. Add a slice of avocado and garnish with baked shallots, chives, and extra red pepper. Set the “naked burger” on the lettuce. Dust with paprika.

Serve warm.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I'm sure it could be served on a whole wheat bun. I served it with a malbec from Argentina called Arido. [Don't be fooled by the screw-top.] It's bursting with flavors of cherries and jam.
For more recipes and to learn more about The Cheese Shop Mystires, check out my website Avery Aames.
Say Cheese!