Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms ♯

The spelling on my scribbled note written when I first prepared this dish was “Portabela,” which didn’t look exactly right, so I looked it up online. I found I was wrong, but not by far, for the spellings “portobello”, “portabella,” and “portabello” are all used. The first of these is alleged to be the most common, and so appears here. The name also appears capitalized, as if it referred to a place name, and not capitalized, as if it doesn’t. Uncertain which is preferred, I use the capitalized version.

I was surprised to learn that except for color, age, and size, the Portobello is the same as other mushrooms commonly found in my supermarket, viz., the button mushroom, white mushroom, champignon mushroom, Italian brown, and cremini (or crimini), among other names. All go by the latin name agaricus bisporus. Portobello is the name given to the mushroom when it is large and mature. I knew that my palate could not distinguish among any of these, as it’s not as young as it used to be. But maybe you can.

The Portobello stands out from the others, though, in that it is big enough to stuff as an entrée. The others, when stuffed, are appetizers, at best. My recipe below produces a wonderful repast for the mushroom lover and a pleasing respite from a chopped beef steak, should you need one. You can make it entirely vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using vegetable broth to reconstitute the textured vegetable protein (TVP).

  • 2 large Portobello mushroom caps
  • ¼ cup TVP
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • ¼ cup bacon bits
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 oz Swiss cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup carrot, grated
  • ½ tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp <salt>
  • 1 tsp Flavor Shaker
  • ¼ cup X*
  • olive oil spray

Put the TVP in a microwavable dish with the beef stock and zap for 30 seconds at high setting. Let this sit for about 10 minutes to reconstitute the TVP.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms, chop them finely, and put into a mixing bowl. Add the TVP and all remaining ingredients and mix well to form the stuffing.

Spray the cap side of the mushrooms with olive oil, turn over, and stuff the cup side with the TVP mixture, heaping it to make a rounded top side. Put the mushrooms on a non-stick baking pan, stuffing side up.

Bake in a 350° F preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 2;