Portobello Mushrooms win at life. They are the best mushrooms out of all that exist. They're large, meaty and satisfying. They also don't have that overwhelming earthy flavor that white and other small mushrooms have. You can grill them, roast them, fry them, bake them and my favorite, stuff them. The trick to making a great stuffed portobello is to find one that is thicker and a bit deep on the inside. Use a spoon to gently remove all of the brown, stringy guts unless you enjoy them. Then by all means leave them. But I find it easier to remove them because it also leaves more room for the stuffing.
This can easily be a vegetarian dish but why not add some meat to an already meaty vegetable. It makes for a deliciously satisfying dinner. Before assembling the mushroom, you want to pretty much cook everything through separately. The meat should be cooked all the way through when you pack it on the mushroom and the portobello needs to bake a little on its own so that any excess moisture can be soaked up. You could assemble everything and then bake it but it will most likely lead to a mushy, greasy mess of over cooked and under cooked ingredients. And who wants that?
I've made a delicious mini stuffed mushroom for Christmas in the past. They're cremini mushrooms stuffed with a cheesy, garlicky breadcrumb mixture. Inspired by those, I created a breadcrumb mix to add as a crust of sorts to the sausage. The sausage is browned and broken up and then mixed with cubes of cheese which make it this gooey, meaty mixture. It. Is. Delightful. The breadcrumbs on top give it a nice crunch after baking and have plenty of flavor themselves with the Parmesan cheese and herbs. It is to die for if I may say so myself. Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think if you try it.
SAUSAGE STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
2 large Portobello Mushrooms
1/2 pound Sweet Italian Sausage
4 ounces Gouda or Gruyere Cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 Onion, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Basil
1 tablespoon Oregano
1 tablespoon Thyme
4 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 tablespoon Parmesan, grated - plus more for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Brush each portobello cap with one tablespoon of olive oil each and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 10 minutes. Drain any extra liquid from the mushrooms by dabbing them with a paper towel.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together breadcrumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, basil, oregano and thyme. Set aside.
3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add in onion and bell pepper cooking until softened, about another 6-8 minutes.
4. Mix the sausage mixture with cubes of cheese. Scoop into the portobello caps. Sprinkle each mushroom with the bread crumb mixture and sprinkle again with Parmesan. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Serve.
How do you normally like to stuff your portobellos?