23 June 2011

My newest meatless main dish.  I saw a recipe for cheese-stuffed portobellos in last month's Food Network Magazine and I thought it sounded awesome.  Then I read through it and didn't really like the way they made them.  They used ricotta, which I don't like, and they put it on top of the breadcrumbs.  I thought it sounded really weird to put the breadcrumbs on the inside.  Wouldn't they just get soggy?  So I started brainstorming and came up with my own version of cheese-stuffed portobellos.  I used Laughing Cow cheese instead of the ricotta and put the breadcrumbs on top so they would get browned and crispy.

Cheese-Stuffed Portobellos

4 (6”) portobello mushroom caps
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pkg (8.75 oz.) Laughing Cow Cheese 
1½ tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tsp fresh herbs, finely chopped
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp olive oil

Remove stems and gills from mushroom caps.  Preheat the broiler.  Brush a foil-lined broiler pan with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Place mushrooms gill-side down on the pan; broil for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pop cheese wedges out of the foil packets into a small bowl.  Add lemon zest and stir to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine Panko, fresh herbs, Parmesan, and 2 tsp olive oil.  Stir to thoroughly distribute the olive oil.

Remove mushrooms from broiler and turn them gill-side up on the pan.  Season with salt.  Spread cheese mixture evenly over each mushroom.  Top with breadcrumbs.  Return to broiler and broil another 1-2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.  Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

They turned out really well.  The addition of the lemon zest to the cheese really makes a difference.  The brightness of the lemon zest really cuts the richness of the cheese.  Jim really liked that part.

I didn't specify which fresh herb to use.  You can use whatever you like.  I felt like trying something new, so I grabbed Savory, which I had never used before.  It worked well in this dish.  Most people would probably choose parsley, but since I don't like it, I have to get creative with substitutions.  

I used Creamy Swiss Laughing Cow cheese, but it would be good with any of their varieties. Next time I would like to try it with the Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil variety, and use basil as the fresh herb.

I served this on a bed of "risotto".  I put that in quotes because, as you can see in the picture, it doesn't look like risotto.  So much of my attention was focused on the ingredients for the mushrooms that I did not tend to the risotto like I should have and it turned out more like regular rice.  Oh well!  I also served this with roasted asparagus.

Jim raved about this dish, so it will be going into my regular meatless main rotation!

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