Trader Joe’s is a great local store to pick up things you can’t get elsewhere, like Kerrygold Irish butter made from grass-fed cow’s milk. A NYTimes food tasting survey led by Melissa Clark a few months ago pronounced another butter as the “best” butter around. It started with a “P” but I can’t remember the name of it now. I made a special trip to Whole Foods to buy some to try it out but wasn’t impressed.
My daughter, M., told me about Kerrygold butter while we were out in Seattle and it was the best butter I ever tasted, melted and eaten with chunks of Dungeness crab. In contrast, Kate’s Butter, a locally made butter that I’ve been using, has very little flavor and a wax-like texture compared to Kerrygold’s buttery, creamy taste. While I was at Trader Joe’s this morning, I saw some beautiful large portobella mushrooms for $2.99 that I thought I’d cook up for dinner tonight although I wasn’t sure what to do yet.
At Barnes and Noble on the way home, I saw a photo of large mushrooms stuffed with spinach and breadcrumbs in a European cookery magazine. Perfect for tonight because I have some tired baby spinach I’ve used for smoothies and a heel of sourdough bread in the fridge that might make a tasty stuffing for the mushrooms.
Here’s the recipe steps:
First, I cleaned the huge mushrooms with a paper towel and browned the flat end of the mushrooms in butter, placing them in a large copper au gratin pan.
2, Crushed a large clove of garlic into little bits, browned it in some butter and dried parsley.
3. Toasted a third of a leftover loaf of sourdough bread. Put the toasted slices in a VItamix and crumbled it into smooth breadcrumbs.
4. Added fresh breadcrumbs into browning garlic and parsley, added a sprinkle of Lawry’s garlic salt and coarse pepper, stirring the tender garlicky breadcrumb mixture and cool.
5. Melted another dab of butter, added chopped shallot and two handfuls of baby spinach; stirring until it quickly wilted; turned the warm spinach onto a board and chopped it finely with a cleaver.
6. Added finely chopped spinach, moistened with a little cream, to garlicky crumb mixture, adding salt and coarse pepper as needed. Maybe sprinkle on a little nutmeg (which I forgot.)
8. Grate a little fresh gruyere cheese and add on top of mushrooms.
9. Bake at 375 oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown and mushrooms are cooked through. We couldn’t wait that long and split the smallest one which was done the soonest and let the other two cook a little longer.
While they were finishing in the oven, I sauteed some cleaned asparagus and squeezed a little lemon on it. That’s all.
This was a satisfyingly simple meal with just two dishes to eat for our Sunday night supper. We knew there was pumpkin spice cake for dessert so it was easy to be satisfied with stuffed mushrooms and asparagus.
A special treat will be a chilled can of Cabot’s whipped cream (I love that stuff but can’t stay away from it) to serve on top of the warmed slices of cake tonight while we watch the new season of “The Good Wife” and that new show, “Madam Secretary” featuring Tea Leoni as Secretary of State.
Oh, and that’s after we watched the Patriots struggle against Oakland in their first home game this afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady missed a couple of touchdown tries and they only won when an Oakland touchdown was disqualified at the very last minute.
Still, fun, fun, fun!
P.S. I learned that choosing smallish large mushrooms works better because they cook more quickly than the really thick ones–and the combo of the stuffing with the thinner mushroom works well.
The portobella mushrooms stuffed with creamed spinach/crumbs was so delicious that I’m thinking of making them as a side dish for our Christmas Eve dinner!