Mushroom delight

Stuffed portobello mushrooms - Photo courtesy Wendy Rahamut
Stuffed portobello mushrooms - Photo courtesy Wendy Rahamut

Fresh mushrooms are readily available at our supermarkets and many of them are grown locally, and even better, the prices are affordable when compared to the imported ones. The mushrooms are also flavourful and very tasty.

Among the available varieties are the basic white mushrooms which can be used in any recipe including salads. They have a tender texture and soft, earthy flavour. Portobellos tend to be darker and firmer and hold up well in vegetarian dishes. Their flavour is stronger and can also be enjoyed stuffed, grilled and breaded.

Oysters are the most expensive. They are white with white gills and are my choice for a vegetarian dish. They make delicious breaded mushrooms and their meaty texture makes them the ideal vegan entrée.

Try some local mushrooms when next you see them. Don’t forget to store them in a brown paper bag in your refrigerator.

Stuffed portobello mushrooms

Mushrooms - Photo courtesy Wendy Rahamut

6 slices wholewheat bread

12 medium portobello mushrooms, preferably local, stems removed and reserved

2 tbs unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 red pimento peppers, seeded and finely chopped

1 tsp finely chopped hot pepper

¼ cup finely chopped celery

½ cup finely sliced chives

2-2½ cups breadcrumbs

1 tbs fresh French thyme

½ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Serve as an appetizer or as part of a main course, average 3 per person.

Place bread into a food processor and process to crumbs, set aside.

Gently wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth, remove stems.

Chop stems and set aside. Place mushrooms on a baking sheet.

Melt butter in a medium skillet, add garlic onion and pimento pepper.

Sauté until fragrant, a few minutes, add hot pepper and cook until onions begin to brown slightly, add the fresh herbs and cook for a few minutes more.

Add salt and pepper, stir then add the chopped mushroom stems, cook for a few minutes more.

Add 2-1/2 cups breadcrumbs. Remove from heat and place into a mixing bowl, stir well to bring the mixture together, using your hands works here.

Now take about 1 tablespoon or more of the stuffing and press it onto the mushroom cap, pressing it down and mounding it well. Repeat with the other mushrooms.

Preheat oven to 350F

Bake for 10 minutes until golden.

Serves 4

Makes 12

Mushroom and pigeon pea curry

2 cups pigeon peas, precooked

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp garlic

1 large onion, pureed with one-inch piece of ginger

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground coriander seed

½ tsp turmeric or saffron powder

1/3 cup pureed tomatoes

1 cup sliced white mushrooms

½ cup cooking cream

2 tbs chopped chadon beni

Heat oil in a sauté pan, add cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle, add the onion and ginger puree with the garlic, stir and cook this mixture until it begins to brown.

Add geera or cumin, chili powder, coriander and turmeric, stir well and cook for a few seconds more.

Add pigeon peas, and stir, add mushroom and stir, cook for a few seconds, add tomato.

Cook for about 2 minutes, add milk and cover.

Simmer stirring occasionally until mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes.

Add a little water or broth to prevent sticking if necessary.

Add chadon beni and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mixture should be thick with a little sauce.

Serves 4

Breaded oyster mushrooms

1 cup milk

1 tbs vinegar

½ oyster mushrooms

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Coconut oil for frying

Combine milk and vinegar, leave for 10 minutes

Gently wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth to remove any excess dirt.

Combine flour with salt, paprika, garlic and cayenne powder.

Dredge mushrooms in flour mixture, dip into milk mixture and then back into flour mixture.

For extra-crunchy mushrooms you may double-dip them.

Place in a single layer onto a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in deep frying pan and fry mushrooms until golden brown.

Drain and serve with your favourite dip.


"Mushroom delight"

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