Side Dishes

Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Today is a special day. Partly because I am presenting you with these outrageous stuffed mushrooms just in time for you to make for Thanksgiving, but I’ll get to that in a second. It is also my stepmom’s birthday. You should be wishing her a happy birthday, buying her presents and even throwing her a party! Because if it was not for her you would not be staring at these tempting, fragrant grilled stuffed portobello mushrooms. In fact, if it wasn’t for my stepmom you would probably be reading a blog about chicken fingers, noodles and fish sticks right now, although that does sound rather delicious.

My palate growing up was mostly limited to “kid’s food,” but my stepmom opened up a whole new world for me. Artichokes, couscous and eggplant, oh my! And mushrooms, thank heavens for the mushrooms. The greatest gift my stepmom has ever given me, aside from love, support and all that good stuff, is the gift of mushrooms. Although she didn’t gift them to me in the literal sense, as that would be a little silly and hard to wrap, I had never given mushrooms a second glance until she cooked them for me. And as they say, the rest is history.

Fast forward to today where these mushrooms sit on your computer screen exploding with juicy sausage bits, creamy marscarpone cheese, nutty Parmesan, crunchy bread crumbs and tantalizing herbs and spices. The mushrooms themselves have been grilled to perfection as they are hearty in taste, but delicate enough in texture to yield to your fork’s cut. Are you still with me or did you you already run to your kitchen to start making these? If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for?! Perfect as a side dish, main dish or even in place of traditional stuffing for a tasty twist this Thanksgiving, gifting these mushrooms to your guests might result in future spontaneous house calls around dinnertime. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Grilled and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces marscarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • 6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Crumble the sausage and add it to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring often.
  2. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute then remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Add the marscarpone, parsley flakes, oregano, bread crumbs and ½ cup of the Parmesan to the cooked sausage and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Lightly coat the pan with olive oil or cooking spray then place the mushrooms stem side down on the grill pan. Lightly coat the tops of the mushrooms with olive oil or cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms for 4 minutes.
  6. Turn the mushrooms over and cook them for another 2 minutes.
  7. Carefully fill the mushrooms with the sausage mixture. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese then tent some tin foil over the pan to help the Parmesan melt. Grill for another 6 minutes then remove from the heat and serve.
Notes
I used fully cooked roasted garlic chicken sausages from Trader Joe's and would highly recommend them for this recipe. If you use them as well follow these adaptations to the recipe above:
*Omit the minced garlic
*There is not a thick casing so you can simply crumble and tear the sausage with the casing intact
*Still complete the first step of the recipe even though they are cooked because it will help brown and warm the sausages

Recipe slightly adapted from Giada at Home.

French Onion Green Beans

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? It seems like I was just saying I couldn’t believe it was already November! I won’t be cooking for Thanksgiving, but I’m going to be posting Thanksgiving recipes for the next few posts for all of you who will be cooking this year. Although great as a Thanksgiving or winter holiday side dish, these French onion green beans are also easy enough for any day of the week this winter.

When I think about Thanksgiving, not only do savory side dishes and plates piled high with pie slices come to mind, but also post-turkey food comas and stomach aches. Between the mashed potatoes and gravy, sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole and macaroni and cheese, there are many heavy side dishes that end up on the Thanksgiving table. I made these green beans as a light addition to your table that also won’t take up space in your oven. They have all the flavor of a green bean casserole without any of the creamed soup, milk or fried onions.

The original recipe called for a Lipton Onion mix packet, but I found a copycat recipe to use since I like to know exactly what ingredients I’m putting in my food (and can avoid unnecessary “ingredients” like caramel color and partially hydrogenated soybean oil). Everyone will be gobbling up their vegetables this holiday with these green beans on the menu. Enjoy!

French Onion Green Beans
 
Yield: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups pearl onions
  • 1½ pound haircots verts
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup minced dried onion
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium beef bouillon powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of celery seed
  • Pinch of sugar
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pearl onions, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, boil some water, add salt and cook haircots verts for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place the greens into ice water until cool. Drain the greens.
  3. Add the garlic, Worcestershire and spices to the onions then stir.
  4. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the haircots verts and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, zest and season with pepper.
Notes
Make sure you use the low sodium beef bouillon powder or the dish will be too salty.

Recipe adapted from November/December 2013 issue of Cuisine at Home and Food.com.