Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Portobello mushrooms stuffed with wild rice,leeks and corn

It was a real treat to have these for dinner tonight. These 6 inch giants were meaty, well seasoned and delicious. The filling was extremely flavorful and topped with some salty cheddar and gooey mozzarella, all you needed was a salad on the side. The perfect vegetarian main course!

Portobello mushrooms stuffed with wild rice, leeks and corn
3 large portobello mushrooms approx 4 -6 inches in diameter
1/2 cup California wild rice
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar and shredded mozzarella mixed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups vegetable broth or water with powdered bouillon
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. While the oven preheats, cook the wild rice. Wash the rice well and add it to 2 cups boiling water or broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 55 minutes. Drain the excess water and transfer to a mixing bowl. 
  3. Heat an 8" non stick sauté pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chopped leeks with 1/8th teaspoon kosher salt. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes till the leeks soften. Remove from the pan and add it to the cooked and drained wild rice. Boil the corn for a couple of minutes to defrost and drain. Mix the drained corn with the wild rice and leek mixture.
  4. Clean the mushrooms with a moist paper towel and set aside. Grease a large porcelain baking dish with olive oil. If your dish is not large enough to hold all the mushrooms, use two. Place the mushrooms in the baking dish, gill side up. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon olive oil on each of the mushrooms. Then ladle 1/3 of the wild rice mixture on top, with a pinch of chili flakes. 
  5. Place the baking dish in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and top each mushroom with 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Cover the baking dish with a foil. Reduce oven temperature to 400 F and place the covered baking dish for 20 more minutes in the middle rack. At the end of the 20 minutes the mushrooms should be cooked and will look like the picture above with a little browning of the cheese.
Serves 3 as a main course with a side salad.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Baba Ghanouj

Baba Ghanouj in Lebanon and Baba Ghanoush elsewhere - both are delicious, somewhat the same with a few nuances to tell them apart. This is a Baba Ghanouj the way I like it!
A few simple ingredients, no work on the stove is a perfect way to cook these days, since life has been too busy otherwise.
Roasted eggplants, spiked with tahini ( a sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon and parsley with a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil - it is as easy as that. If you are able to roast the eggplants over an open flame, the smokiness acquired by the eggplant add additional flavor. It is important to use good quality tahini for this dish as it is a very strong flavor and could completely change the flavor of the dish if not of good quality.

Baba Ghanouj
1 large eggplant - preferably without seeds
2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small clove of garlic minced
1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. 
  2. Wash the eggplant and make a few slits but not all the way through. Place on a foil lined baking tray and place the tray in the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. The skin should start to shrivel and peel off easily. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Once cool, peel the eggplant and place in a food processor along with the minced garlic and pulse a few times till the eggplant is almost a puree. Add the tahini, salt and lemon juice and pulse a few times. Now add 1 tablespoon  olive and pulse a couple more times. Finally add two tablespoons of parsley and pulse till there are green flecks remaining.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl. Before serving, stir in 2 tablespoons of minced parsley and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Serve with warm pita bread.
Serves 4