I'm no Brigid in the kitchen, but if I do say so myself as shouldn't, I'm not too bad a cook (within a limited range, anyway!). Tonight I made oven-baked portobello mushrooms for Miss D. and myself.
4 large portobello mushrooms, about 5"-6" across, with stems
2 ground turkey Italian sausages
1 small to medium onion
20 grape tomatoes
2-3 baby sweet peppers
Goat's milk cheese (soft)
Dried rosemary, dried garlic flakes OR garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). While it's heating, remove the mushroom stems and chop them small. Do the same with the onion and peppers. Remove the skins from the sausages and discard them, using only the meat. Cut the grape tomatoes in half.
In a frying-pan over medium-high heat, sauté the chopped onion with the sausage meat in a little olive oil, mixing thoroughly until the meat is browned. Drain if necessary, although if you use ground turkey meat, this usually isn't required. Add the grape tomatoes, sweet peppers, and the chopped stems of the portobello mushrooms, and cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. (Don't go overboard on the seasoning - you want to let the flavor of the mushrooms and the cheese come through.)
While the topping is in the pan, place aluminum foil on a baking sheet or cookie tray, folding the edges upward to contain juices. Lightly coat the round tops of the portobello mushrooms with olive oil, then place them oiled side downward on the foil. Cut thin strips of goat's milk cheese (quantity to taste - I like more cheese, but some people prefer less). Place the strips of cheese over the upturned mushrooms. (If, as often happens, the soft goat's milk cheese won't cut evenly, never mind - just put cheese crumbles and chunks on the mushrooms.)
When the topping is ready, spoon it over the cheese and spread it to cover the entire surface of the mushroom. Place the mushrooms in the oven for 15-18 minutes, until the cheese is nicely softened and the mushrooms are sizzling. Remove and serve immediately.
- For a spicier mix, try medium or hot salsa instead of chopped grape tomatoes. Don't mix it with the topping - spread it on top of the cheese before adding the rest of the topping.
- Regular Italian sausage, made with ground pork, will also work, but may be a bit heavy for this dish. I think the turkey version works better, but you can decide for yourself.
- If you don't like goat's milk cheese, use mozzarella.
- You can lightly sprinkle parmesan cheese over the topping before placing the mushrooms in the oven, if you wish. Don't use too much, or the resulting dish will be dominated by cheese flavors. For that reason, I prefer to skip this, but YMMV.
My tummy is still digesting happily . . .