Saturday, July 05, 2008

stuffed mushrooms

I have a confession to make. I am not a meal-planner. I go to the market and am seduced by the smells and colors and I buy what I think looks good, and next thing you know, I am eating arugula pesto over mushrooms and red onions with a side of corn on the cob.

However, when I don't meal plan, I am forced to be creative, and I hate wasting food, so I usually end up with a meal I call "Making Do With What You Have." Some of them have turned out well, some not so much... but tonight I have to confess I rather outdid myself.

I pulled together my last 2 portobello mushrooms (I had brilliantly thought ahead and saved the stems from the previous 4), a handful of weary rainbow chard, a clove of garlic, a sad shallot that I actually had to trim a bad spot from, some quinoa, the last splash of vegetable broth, and the remainder of my peppered chevre from the Cowgirl Creamery, and voila! Stuffed mushrooms that were beautiful, nutritious, and extremely satisfying. Try to think of this recipe in broad strokes; you can easily recreate these mushrooms with a variety of grains, greens, and cheeses. Think brown rice, spinach, and blue cheese, or couscous, sundried tomatoes, olives and feta!

Stuffed Mushrooms with Quinoa, Chard, and Goat Cheese

Ingredients: I am not going to give measurements here. I was cooking for one and your amounts will depend entirely on the size of your mushroom caps and how many you're making. Enjoy playing around with the fillings you have on hand!

olive oil
vegetable broth
portobello mushrooms, caps cleaned and stems chopped
shallot or onion, minced
garlic, minced
rainbow chard, or other green, chopped
goat cheese or other soft cheese
salt and pepper, to season

Directions: In a large skillet, heat your garlic and shallot in a glug of olive oil until fragrant. Add the dry quinoa chopped mushroom stems, and toss to coat. Season well and add broth or water, a little at a time, then cook as you would risotto, waiting for the liquid to absorb and adding more, stirring frequently until the quinoa is al dente. Add the greens toward the end of the cooking process so they wilt without overcooking.

Heap your stuffing into your mushroom caps and top with cheese, then broil until golden brown and delicious. Enjoy!!

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