March 4th, 2010

Family Food Find: Poblano Cheddar Stuffed Portobellos (& A Quick Update)

Photo: Dana Treat

Yes! Those portobellos look good—and they are—but let me start with a quick update. Immediately upon returning from New Orleans, I got hit with a stomach bug. With a big project coming to a head (exciting details coming soon!) and having already taken a week off, the timing couldn’t have been worse. So, though I’m almost fully recovered, I feeling maxed out. Not good timing with so much to do and still having to put dinner on the table every night!

I know that you know the feeling. I’ve learned—the hard way—that I have to prioritize my work and life demands as soon as I start feeling maxed out. Otherwise, I run the risk of driving myself into the ground (yes, I’m one of those people). I hope you’ll be patient over the next few weeks as I close out my big project and rely heavily on go-to recipes, many of which I’ve already shared with you (ie, i’ll have fewer new recipes to post). During this time, I may not be able to consistently maintain the Weekly Digest and I’ll probably point to other people’s recipes more than usual.

Having to say that I can’t keep up 100%—even for just a short while—feels like, well, like I’m failing you. But one of the reasons I started ChowMama was to show that good food can realistically fit into our lives as parents. So, I figure, if I’m not honest about when I need to rely on shortcuts or serve the same 7 recipes every night for a few weeks, then I’ll really fail you. (Think I’m kidding? Here’s the run down: Turkey Paprikash, Zucchini Orzo Risotto with Feta, Pork Chili Verde with enough for leftovers a second night, 20 Minute Sesame Noodles, Quickest Curried Eggs and 10-Minute Lemon Thyme Scallops. Phew!)

Back to new recipes! All this talk of failure seems silly when I still have such great recipes to share. This one, for Poblano and Cheddar Stuffed Portobellos, is from one of my new favorite sites, Dana Treat. It’s become a go-to resource since making a commitment to eating more vegetarian meals. Dana not only writes a fabulous blog, but also offers weekly cooking, catering and cooking class services. Check it out if you live in the Seattle area. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Poblano Cheddar Stuffed Portobellos,
(barely) adapted from Dana Treat
(can be adapted for kids 8+ mos)*

Tip: You can make either the rice and chiles, or even the whole stuffing, a day ahead of serving. Just store in an air tight container in the fridge overnight.

2 organic poblano chiles*
4 organic jumbo portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed
organic olive oil
salt & pepper
1 small organic yellow onion, finely chopped
5 oz organic baby spinach, washed
1 c cooked organic rice (white or brown)
1/2 c shredded organic sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped organic cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chiles on a baking sheet and bake until skins start to turn black, turning once, about 20 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and carefully wrap a piece of foil over the chiles. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and remove the skin from the chiles. Remove the seeds and membranes (the more thorough you are about this, the less heat which is important to keep in mind for young eaters), and finely chop. Set aside.

2. Preheat the broiler. Drizzle both sides of the mushrooms with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil the mushrooms, turning, until softened, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a plate, stem side down; let drain and cool.

3. Preheat oven to 325. In the meantime, place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the baby spinach (you may have to do this in batches) and cook until wilted. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid in the pan has cooked off. Place in a bowl and mix the spinach with the rice, cheese, cilantro and chiles. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Season cooled mushroom caps with salt and pepper. Spoon the rice mixture into the mushrooms, mounding it slightly. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Note: Other than making sure to chop or mash all of the ingredients to an age appropriate texture, the poblanos are the only variable that may be of concern for younger eaters. While there is nothing inherently wrong with feeding these peppers to children 8+ mos, they do pack some heat. Dana originally called for 3 peppers, but I use two since my ChowBaby is a little bit—but not very—sensitive to spicy. Thoroughly de-veining and de-seeing these peppers is key to reducing their heat but, if you’re little one doesn’t like spicy foods, you’re best bet is to set aside some poblano-free stuffing for their portion.

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