Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Would you like some fungi with that? (Portobello Medallions au Poivre -- Vegetarian)


The word itself brings images of disgusting feet and moldy walls to my mind.  What a clever trick of nature to make this often disgusting creation be so tasty and good for you -- if you eat the right kind, that is.  The kind you find on the foot of an athlete, yeah... you might want to avoid that.

Portobellos. Yum.  These rather large capped mushrooms work well in so many ways, bringing a very healthy bit to your dinner.  Think of any measly sounding nutrient that your body needs (which proves that it is not so measly after all) and you can probably find it in this fungus: Selenium, copper, manganese, niacin, and so much more.  Sounds kind of like that multi-vitamin you forgot to take this morning, right?

All you need is a mushroom.  Grill it, add some flavor-filled sauce on the top, and you have an award winning meal. 

No, that hamburger-patty looking thing is not a slab of cow.  It is a mushroom that was dipped in flour and cooked in a little olive oil, topped with a delicious sauce homemade by me.  Serve it up with some egg noodles and green beans, and you have a healthy meal that everyone can enjoy -- meat lovers and vegetarians alike. 

For more information about the health benefits of mushrooms, click here.  Be prepared to be astonished and amazed.  And maybe next time you hear something about fungus growing somewhere you will be excited at the fact that it just might wind up on your plate.

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps (about 2 pounds total), stemmed and gills scraped out
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy  
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard


  1. In a large, resealable plastic bag, combine the flour and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In an extra-large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Rinse half of the mushrooms quickly and shake in the bag of seasoned flour, then add to the pan and cook, turning once or twice, until golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  2. Add the scallions to the pan, lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Carefully pour in the cognac, simmer until nearly evaporated, then stir in the peppercorns, bouillon base and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the cream and mustard. Return the mushrooms to the pan and simmer, turning the mushrooms occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to serving plates and continue to simmer the sauce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the mushrooms.
COST = $5.90      PER SERVING (3) = $1.97
Plus salad and mashed potatoes: $3.25 per serving

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

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