I am a mushroom fiend. I speak, of course, of the perfectly legal and edible varieties that do not cause me to trip my face off. I’ve never done that kind, actually. If I did, I would probably tell you. No, my affection is reserved for plump portabellas, cute little creminis, and that humble-but-worthy standby, the white mushroom. Mushroom risotto, down-and-dirty stroganoff (so named because it involves packaged burger crumbles and Tofutti sour cream), and clam chowder where the clams are really oyster mushrooms: Mmmmmm.
Aside: I once saved my friend from alcohol poisoning through the use of mushrooms. She hates mushrooms, loathes them with an unholy ardor. The smell of mushrooms sautéing makes her nauseous. One evening, she came home rather drunk. Drunk enough to curl up on the bathroom floor and moan. Clearly, she needed to puke and go to bed. She knew it, too, but just couldn’t seem to manage. I’m not one for sticking my fingers down someone else’s throat, so I told her that I was going to cook some mushrooms. As I had hoped, the very idea made her spew rancid booze vomit. After a few rounds, she was recovered enough to stagger to bed, where I held her hand and smoothed her hair and told her she’d be fine in the morning.
So, anyway, Red and I made 30-Minute Vegan’s Stellar Stuffed Mushrooms the other night, using four big portabella caps. It was ridiculously easy: blend spinach, mushroom stems, green pepper, cream cheese, and spices, then plop into caps. (Stick blender represent!) Twenty minutes in the oven, and you’re good. Each of us only needed one, they were so big and satisfying. (Let’s see what Google searches this blog comes up under now!) They would definitely be a good appetizer using smaller mushrooms, which is what the recipe originally calls for, and the filling would be a delicious dip or spread.
My only gripes: portabella juice can make whatever it touches look kind of blah and muddy (hey, it’s a superpower) and while the rosemary was pleasant, I have issues with anything twig-like. Maybe I need fresh rosemary, as the dried version is very twiggy indeed. Or maybe I’m just sensitive about the whole, “Huh, do you eat, like, twigs and bark and stuff?” thing.
Portabella 'shroom photo ripped from What's Cooking America.