Fans of stuffed mushrooms stand up and cheer when the type being stuffed is portobello. Stuffed portobello mushrooms are very similar to the better-known stuffed button mushrooms, except that portobello mushrooms are considerably larger and so will require a greater amount of stuffing. Some popular fillings for portobello caps include shellfish, sausage, or vegetable combinations such as artichoke hearts and spinach.
Stuffed portobello mushrooms typically begin with a base of bread crumbs, although some cooks experiment with potato or rice. One time-saving tip is that store-bought bread crumbs flavored with herbs and spices eliminate the need to crush and season homemade bread crumbs and tastes just as wonderful. Most mushroom stuffing combinations include butter or oil to keep the breading moist and allow it to nicely brown. An egg is another typical ingredient as it fluffs up the filling so it doesn’t become too dense and also binds the ingredients together.
One much-loved stuffing for portobello mushrooms combines minced onion and garlic as well as a little green or red bell pepper with cooked sweet or spicy ground sausage. The clever cook creates the stuffing, then divides it in half, and adds cheddar, jack, or mozzarella cheese to one half while leaving the other alone. After the cook spoons filling into the portobello mushroom caps and sprinkles them with Parmesan cheese, it’s time to bake them until they’ve browned on top. Some cooks add a drop or two of hot sauce or a couple of shakes of dried hot pepper to the mix for added spark.
Creamy shrimp or crabmeat-stuffed portobello mushrooms are hits as a cocktail hour nibble or as a dinner entrée. This one uses mayonnaise to bind bread crumbs, minced onion, and the shellfish together. Fresh basil and rosemary add subtle taste. A dab of real butter atop each stuffed cap, along with a shake of a good-quality grated cheese such as Romano, gives the stuffed caps a gloriously browned finish when they are baked. Portobello mushroom caps are quite large, so cooks who want to serve them as hors d’oeuvres will first cut each cap into four to six wedges.
Vegetarian-stuffed portobello mushrooms are a cinch and will please carnivores as well. One version combines spinach, artichoke hearts, and cottage or mozzarella cheese with olive oil and a splash of balsamic or fruit-flavored vinegar. Either rice or bread crumbs make a solid foundation, although many cooks leave them out and go with a simpler stuffing of just veggies and cheese.