Tue Mar 6, 2012
Humor me for one more week of this veggie-wave I have going and you'll be well rewarded with an explosion of meat very soon. For now though, I'm still stuck on the idea of what will be the first thing I cook at my first competition, which just happens to not be meat. Bridging a gap here, I have these spinach and cheese stuffed portobellos, and portobellos are just "like a steak," right?
Wrong! That's how my wife tricked me in eating portobellos for the first time—for a lover of meat and hater of mushrooms, this is in no way an apt comparison. Since I've become a semi-regular fungus eater now, I do get part of that angle—portobellos are large and "meaty," with the ability to fill you up—but taste and texture doesn't come close to that of a honest to god steak. While I'll take the meat any day, there have been the rare occasions where a giant mushroom adorned my plate.
It helps to coax me to accept this as meal with some additions though. For these mushrooms, things couldn't have gotten much more delicious—chopped spinach and Boursin cheese were combined to make a flavorful filling. I don't know how things work around your kitchen, but put Boursin anywhere near mine, and that stuff is gone before there's even a chance for seconds.
The spinach and cheese mixture—worthy of being a dip on its own—was then stuffed into the portobello caps and the whole thing was grilled as one.
It took about 20 minutes over indirect medium heat for the mushroom to be well cooked and the cheese stuffing to get bubbly and look all around gorgeous.
If you're going to sell me on something being "like a steak," then serve me a dish that obviously contradicts that statement, it better be these stuffed mushrooms, which have the power to make one momentarily forget the initial promise of steak. While you'll never find the flavor of meat in here, the spinach and cheese filling is incredibly rich and delicious. It provides most of the flavor of the dish, and makes the mushroom—which does add a nice earthiness to the affair—seem merely a vessel to get the real star from plate to mouth. The wife and I tried to eat these as a main course, but they're definitely more appetizer territory, which left us at the grill again, cooking hot dogs, in order to feel completely fulfilled in the meal.
Grilled Spinach And Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Adapted from Taming the Flame by Elizabeth Karmel.
- Prep Time:
- 5 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 20 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 25 Minutes
- 8 servings
- 8 small portobello mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 nine-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
- 1 container goat cheese (5.3-ounce) with garlic and herbs, or Boursin cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Clean mushrooms and remove gills using a spoon. Brush all over with olive oil and set aside.
- Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. While the fire is lighting, mix the spinach, cheese, and garlic together in a bowl to make the filling. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each mushroom with a generous portion of the filling.
- When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place the mushrooms on the cool side of the grill, stuffed side up, cover, and cook until filling is bubbling and the mushrooms are well seared, about 20 minutes. Remove from grill and serve immediately.