I Want It That Way. With Mushrooms.
I’ve mentioned before that when I first got into this blogging business I had zero intention of posting recipes. Ever. I originally thought that would be like Elmer Fudd writing articles on behalf of PETA, or the Backstreet Boys trying to teach us the artistry of compelling lyrics.
It just didn’t make sense.
I’d wanted to reveal our finished kitchen, but the problem was, it wasn’t finished. So in a desperate attempt to fill some space, I showed you the (burned) spinach salmon bundles I’d made for dinner that night. They were burned, people! I’m so not good at this. But for some reason, some of you told me you liked the post. And some of you even tried the recipe. Which is pretty damn cool.
So I started showing you more of my recipe endeavors. Not because I’m a great cook – I’m not even a very good cook. But like I said in that first recipe post:
I’m not really a “pinch-of-this, dash-of-that” type of person, but more of a “put-the-measuring-cup-on-the-counter-and-bend-down-to-eye-level-to-make-sure-I’m-getting-just-the-right-amount” type person.
Cooking doesn’t come naturally to me. But I can follow instructions – if I haven’t had too much wine. (At least Erin doesn’t have to worry about that nasty business anymore, eh?) And I guess I’ve been justifying the continuation of the recipe posts by thinking there are more of you out there, like me, who’ve been afraid of cooking well into “adulthood” and just need a little encouragement in the way of pictures and “been-there-done-that” mess-up stories.
Because I’ve finally learned that IT’S OKAY TO MESS UP IN THE KITCHEN.
At least I hope it is, because I do it all the time. So, I’ve come to you today with another recipe. But if these are starting to bore you and you really couldn’t give two hoots about what I’ve stuffed into my expanding waistline last night, do let me know. It won’t hurt my feelings – they aren’t even my own recipes!
But I do feel especially compelled to share what I made last night. It was so… different. So out of my usual comfort zone, and it turned out delicious, so yes. I have to share.
Aside from acquiring some of the ingredients, it was deceptively simple to make. It contained some of my usual friendly ingredients like pasta and butter. But it also contained a couple I’d normally shy away from, like Japanese mayonnaise and chili garlic sauce. I stopped at a local Asian market to pick up those things, and let me just tell you – I will be back. The food they had there was incredible! And scary. But mostly incredible! Oh, the sushi I could (attempt to) make…
So the original recipe that caught my eye yesterday can be found here. The only thing I changed was cooking up a bed of pasta for the main dish. You know, ’cause I like to keep it light.
Portobello Shroomies with Creamy Scallop Topping
Do NOT be scared of this concept. Beef-less as it is, this was fit for company.
To make them, you will need:
- 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 4 large Portobello mushroom caps (My little po-dunk grocery store lets me buy these pre-packaged or in bulk, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding them.)
- Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 lbs. scallops (I bought the super cheap 4 oz. bags of “mini” scallops. They were 2 bags for $3, so I bought 4 bags. Even though that’s only 1 pound, the amount turned out to be perfect to cover the mushroom caps.)
- 1 cup Japanese mayonnaise (I bought the recommended Kewpie brand. It has a freaky little cartoon baby on the front. I hope this mayo isn’t made out of babies.)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (They actually had this at the commissary on post, but I bought the jar at the Asian market. I’m a wuss when it comes to spicy food, but I actually wish I’d added a bit more of this. The flavor was great, and I found the mayonnaise a little overpowering.)
- 2 Tbsp. green onions, chopped
- 8 oz. linguine (optional)
- Drizzle of olive oil (optional)
*Missing from team photo: Garlic powder and pasta. I think they were spotted fooling around under the bleachers.
1. Defrost your scallops (assuming you’re not lucky enough to live somewhere you can get fresh seafood and had to buy frozen) according to the package directions. And if you decided to make a lovely bed of pasta for your shroomies, go ahead and get your water boiling.
2. Thoroughly rinse your Portobello mushrooms. Don’t be scared of the gills – they actually feel kinda good to the touch. (Is that weird??) Divide the 3 Tbsp. of butter into 4 equal pieces. Melt a piece in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add a mushroom cap and cook until soft in the center. (This took approx. 2-3 minutes per side for me.) Repeat with the remaining mushroom caps and butter.
*I found this to be a bit meticulous. If I make this again, I’ll probably use my large grill pan and cook all 4 caps at once. Cooking them one at a time forced me to rinse the pan between mushrooms because the butter would begin to burn.
3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. As the mushrooms cook, place them on the sheet gill side up, so they make little “bowls.” Mmmmm… fungus bowls. Generously sprinkle them with garlic powder.
Oh, and your pasta water should be boiling by now, so salt it and add the linguine.
4. Preheat your broiler and set the oven rack about 6″ away from it. Do you use your broiler? I do all the time. It’s FANTASTIC. Just remember to leave your oven door cracked open a couple inches while your food cooks. That’s all there is to it!
5. Melt the last tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté your scallops until they’re lightly browned. If you’re using larger scallops, they’d probably be great seared. But mine ended up kind of boiling in the pan because they were cheap and frozen and filled with water. No worries, though – they still turned out great.
Fill each mushroom cap with the scallops.
6. In a small bowl, mix together the cup of Japanese mayonnaise and 1/2 (or more) teaspoon of garlic chili sauce.
*Be careful not to let go of the foil top of the chili sauce while you’re opening it, lest you splatter red sauce all over your counter and walls. I’ve been putting my backsplash to good use. But that’s probably just me.
This Kewpie brand Japanese mayo looked strange. It came in a very flimsy plastic bottle inside a loosely wrapped plastic pouch. But the mayo itself was very similar in consistency to the mayo we’re used to – just a bit of a different flavor and probably worth purchasing if you’re going to try this recipe.
Anyway, mix the mayo and chili sauce together and spoon that mixture over your scallop-filled mushrooms.
7. Stick the pan under the broiler until the topping turns bubbly and slightly brown (about 3-5 minutes). WATCH CAREFULLY. The broiler can do wonderful things, but it can also burn food in an instant.
8. When your pasta is done, drain it and add a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from getting dry and sticky. I also added a bit of the mayo/chili sauce topping, which worked really well.
9. When your mushroom topping is nice and bubbly and starting to brown, take them out of the oven. Chop up a green onion (or two) and sprinkle on top of the mushrooms. I ended up only using the green part of the onion.
10. Assemble! Dish some pasta onto a plate, then use a STRONG spatula to maneuver a mushroom cap onto it. I say this because I used a WEAK spatula for the first one, and it splattered upside-down (of course) back onto the baking sheet.
Yes, these things happen to me.
All. the. time.
Sorry, no picture to commemorate my humiliation.
But I do have these:
This should have some plain roasted asparagus sitting next to it. Yum.
So think you might try it? Or is this just a little too freaky for you?