Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Perky Portobello Mushrooms

Mystery surrounds the heritage of the Portobello mushroom. Was it named for Portobello Road (a cheeky lane of high end and antique stores) in London, or did it get its name from Italy, where it is called "cappellone", meaning “big hat”? In either case, what we do know is that the portobello is a much bigger version or the crimini mushrooms, which lately have been nicknamed “Babybellas”.

Because of its dense, weighty texture, the large portobello is often a substitute for meat in many vegetarian recipes.
Because they are widely cultivated, you can purchase these mushrooms from your local grocery store year round; they are packaged with the caps and stems, caps only or pre-sliced. I recommend that you buy them in their most natural state, stems, gills and all! Choose, plump, pliable mushrooms and avoid dried-out or slimy looking ones. You know that you have chosen well when your portobello mushrooms possess an earthy smell.

When you get them home, simply wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and store wrapped in paper towels in the refrigerator; properly stored, the portobello will stay fresh for almost a week. It is best not to wrap them in plastic wrap, and instead allow the air to circulate around the mushrooms. You do not want to soak off any dirt or grime in water. Remember, mushrooms absorb every liquid they come in contact with, but they can’t discriminate—so submerge them in the yummiest of flavors when cooking – not washing!

Grilling the mushrooms in a grill pan or on an outdoor gill produces delicious results, but you can also roast, sauté and stir fry the Portobello; using them as a lower calorie substitute for meat in a recipe, offers the additional benefit of faster cooking and prep time. Portobello mushrooms are so versatile that you can incorporate them into recipes that span breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check out these new recipes and see what I mean:
Inside Out Mushroom Omelet
Veggie Enchiladas with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Corn and Black Beans
Portabella Mushroom Parmesan

When you try the recipe, come back and write a comment to let us know what you think!!


danu said...

I like mushroom.


Rumela said...

I like this Perky portobello mushrooms recipe. these mushrooms recipe are sure to taste great and are extremely nutritious as well. I am going to make it for the holidays when my kids will be at home. I'll be sure that what they are eating is healthy. Thank you for shearing your post.


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