Friday, August 5, 2016

Parmesan and Herb Mashed Cauliflower Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

I live in a tiny village. One small grocery store (that does not carry tofu), one small Dollar Store (that sells great canned refried beans), one little coffee shop (it’s NOT Starbucks), and one drug store (walking distance from my home and a regular stop when I run errands).

We DO have a fantastic bakery (I’ve been known to eat a cookie or two) and butcher shop (I’ve never stepped foot in it), and we DO have a great library (if they don’t have the book, they will gladly send for it). 

I didn’t grow up in a small town, so it’s always nice to be reminded of the ‘small-town’ feel that surrounds me. People smile and say hello! We wave at each other! Our community Facebook page is *mostly* filled with praise for local businesses, tips on local services, and compliments on particular events. (Oh, we do have our complainers, but let’s ignore them for now.)

Last week at the grocery, Dawn (my cashier, the daughter of my neighbors, and at whose home we store our boat all winter), commented on my mushroom purchase. We had a nice little mushroom conversation; other people in line even chimed in. So nice. Small town. Friendly. Hopefully, I educated about what to do with large, beautiful, delicious Portabella mushrooms.

I hate the name of this recipe, but I wanted to get in all the elements. Please try this! I’m planning to serve this the next time I have a dinner party. A true culinary creation!

Here’s what you need for the Parmesan and Herb Mashed Cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets, non-dairy butter, non-dairy milk
½ C cashew Parmesan (1 C raw cashews, ¼ C Nutritional Yeast, 1 t salt, high speed blender)
Lots of fresh herbs (basil, chives, cilantro, dill, parsley)

Here’s what you do:
Place the prepared cauliflower florets in boiling water and cook until very soft. Place in food processor and whirl until creamy. Add margarine, salt and pepper, and only a tiny bit of milk. Use a spatula to encourage any stray pieces to stay under!

Add the Parmesan and herbs and whirl until blended. Season with salt and pepper. You’ll have way more than you need for 4 giant mushrooms, but you can eat the leftovers exactly like mashed potatoes.

Here’s what you do for the portabellas:
Remove the stem and gills from the underside of the mushroom using a small spoon. Cook on a grill pan, drizzling a tiny bit of oil on the round side of each mushroom. A little salt will help draw out some of the mushrooms’ moisture, and that’s a good thing. Turn the mushrooms over once in a while and do not rush them….you want them completely cooked and knife tender. Use a foil tent to help them steam a bit. They're not going to fall apart, so keep grilling them till they're nice and soft. 

Remove the mushrooms to a baking sheet. Fill with the cauliflower mash. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. DIVINE!!! Super elegant! 

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