By Barnabas Lim Jit Tong, Barney’s
The meaty and succulent Portobello mushrooms are the larger and mature version of brown button fungi. A good stuffing is what portobellos need to amp up its earthy flavours – spinach, cheese and chorizo sausage meat. Plus a good sprinkling of grated cheese before baking.
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 persons
8 Portobello mushrooms, approx. 100g each
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
C: Chorizo Meat Stuffing
4 chorizo chicken sausages, casings removed
80g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g mozzarella cheese, grated; set aside some for sprinkling
100g breadcrumbs, with some extra for sprinkling
D: Mixed Salad
2 heads butter lettuce, washed and leaves separated
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1 avocado, peeled and cut into cubes
½ carrot, peeled and julienned
100g almond flakes
E: Honey Mustard Dressing
250 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1. Honey mustard dressing: In a jar, combine vinegar, honey and mustard. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, stirring continually until the mixture emulsifies. Chill until ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 2000C for 10-15 minutes. Preparing mushrooms: Pluck off stems; use a teaspoon to remove gills. Using a pastry brush, coat mushroom cavities with a layer of vinaigrette.
3. Bake mushrooms for 12 minutes – this helps to tenderise the fungi. As mushrooms bake, they will sweat and shrink. Drain liquid and pat cavities dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper napkins. Set mushrooms aside.
4. Meanwhile, make stuffing. Using a fork, break up sausage meat. Heat up a non-stick saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes until aromatic – no oil is needed as the fat in sausages oozes out during cooking. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
5. Add remaining C ingredients to combine.
6. Stuffing mixture gets sticky as cheese melts. Use a fork to mix it until well combined.
7. Divide stuffing equally among the number of mushrooms. Roll into balls before stuffing them into mushroom cavities.
8. Place each ball of mixture into mushroom cavity; press slightly to flatten and fill it up. Sprinkle with extra cheese and breadcrumbs.
9. Bake stuffed mushrooms for 10 minutes until tops turn golden brown.
10. While mushrooms are baking, prepare the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine vegetables except for almond flakes. Drizzle 4-5 tablespoons of dressing over the salad. Toss it well. Divide it among 4 servings. Sprinkle almond flakes over salad before plating with baked mushrooms.
11. When mushrooms are baked, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Apportion 2 mushrooms per persons. Pair it with salad. Serve immediately.
BUYING TIP: Chorizo sausages are commonly eaten in Spain and Mexico. Made using either pork or chicken meat, they are spiced with paprika which has a distinctive smoky flavour. Chorizo comes in two forms – soft (similar to frankfurters) which require cooking; and the drier cured ones which are eaten raw and sliced just like salami. For this recipe, buy soft chicken chorizo. Consume soft sausages within 2 weeks.
Barnabas Lim started out selling pizza from his father’s coffee shop in 2000 until he moved into his own restaurant in 2002. He is the owner of Barney’s in Kluang (Johor, Malaysia), which serves omakase (Japanese for Chef’s recommendations) dinners as well as Western staples like pasta and pizza.
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