This morning we went to the Edmonton Mom, Pop, and Tot Fair. Our main goal was to let the little one see Toopy and Binoo, which is a Canadian cartoon of a mouse (Toopy) and his friend a cat (Binoo). The little one was just enamored with them when they came out on the stage. He got to see some farm animals: chicken, pig, goats, and ponies. Other than seeing Toopy and Binoo, I think he was just excited running around everywhere. Now, he’s down for a nap…hopefully.
So, on to last night’s supper. I chickened out on making the quiche…again, but I promise we’ll have it tonight. I need to use up the basil before it goes super bad. So, last night we had portobello mushroom steak with mashed potatoes and green beans. The green beans weren’t anything fancy. I just got a can of fancy French cut green beans and sautéed them in a pan with a little bit of salt and pepper.
The mashed potatoes, I cut up four russet potatoes and boiled them for a good 30 minutes and left them in the pot until I was done with the mushrooms to make sure they were super soft. That way I wouldn’t be fighting to get them mashed. I added some butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Voila!
The mushrooms, on the other hand, weren’t as simple. I’ve seen them referred to as “portobello” and “portabella” mushrooms, but I think the most commonly accepted is “portobello.” Either way, the mushrooms are good and surprisingly filling.
I can’t remember how I came across this recipe, but it’s from Produce on Parade. The author is a vegan living in Alaska. Yeah, I know. Alaska and Texas would seem like two of the hardest places to be a vegan, but she manages it. My hats off to her!
When I first made this dish, I thought cooking portobellos would be like cooking regular little mushrooms. I didn’t realize you had to clean them first. This is what underneath looks like.
To clean them, you pop the stem off. It’s pretty easy to do.
Then you’ll scrape the gills out. It’s all of that dark brown stuff. I use a teaspoon and gently scrape along and around.
This is what it’ll look like when you’re done scraping.
Now, I should tell you that you don’t have to scrape the gills out if you don’t want to. It’s just that if you choose not to it’ll turn your dish a muddy color. There’s nothing really bad or inedible about them.
If you do scrape them out, when you’re done I rinse them. You’ll noticed that on the cap (the top of the mushroom), it looks kind of like feathers if you go against the grain when you rub them.
When you’re done prepping your mushrooms, go ahead and work on getting the sauce mixed.
When you buy mirin for this recipe, make sure there’s no MSG in it. Don’t just look for the label saying “No MSG,” read the ingredient list and look for monosodium glutamate. I had some mirin and didn’t realize that MSG was in it (which is unfortunately the case with a lot of Asian foods), so I had to get some without. Mirin is a Japanese condiment that’s similar to sake but with lower alcohol content and a higher sugar content, so it adds a mild sweetness to the dish.
So, anyways, mix your ingredients for the sauce.
Next, which is one of my favorite things about a recipe, is you start off with putting some butter in a pan. Then you add some of your vegetable broth and cook your onion and garlic. When your onion is cooked, pour in the sauce and then put your mushrooms in.
Leave them on this side to cook for a while so the bottom can soak up the sauce. The recipe says to leave them for about eight minutes, but I think I left mine sitting for about 10 minutes. Then flip them over. I spoon the sauce all over mine just to make sure they soak in. Is it that obviously I really like this dish?
When you’re done just serve them with whatever side dishes you have picked out. In this case, we had them with mashed potatoes and green beans. Make sure you spoon that lovely sauce all over the mushroom again too. :o)
Portobello mushrooms are a perfect substitute for a steak in your vegan or plant-based diet. They’re perfect to use in a burger as well. I haven’t tried that yet but as soon as I can be bothered to go out and grill, you can bet your sweet bum I will.