Stuffed mushrooms for Ajay

By • November 23, 2012 0 Comments

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Stuffed mushrooms for Ajay

Author Notes: Ajay is a friend of ours from Jaipur, in Northern India. We met him at his jewelry shop which is a large labyrinthine affair with an unassuming doorway. The first time we went there, he showed me a pre-Victorian opera length emerald necklace. Each of these emeralds was faceted, larger than robin's eggs and mouthwateringly lustrous. Each of these emeralds was surrounded by the most brilliant diamonds I had ever set my eyes on. I knew this was way beyond my reach and this was confirmed when he mentioned the price - could have bought a nice condo in Honolulu. Next one of his assistants brought out a lovely little choker - a large emerald bead inscribed with words from the Q'uran strung from four strands of Basra pearls. He said that it had belonged to the Emperor Akbar - the greatest of the Mughal emperors of India. When he mentioned the price of 25000, I smiled - I could afford it. I quickly did a mental calculation and wrote a cheque for 650 US dollars. He smiled shyly. He was ineffably gentle in telling me that it was 25,000 dollars and not Rupees. I was mortified at my stupidity and deeply appreciative that he was polite and did not treat me like a clod. Despite his affluence, he is one of the most humble men we have met. He is due in Montana tomorrow from New York, and so we decided to create a gastronomic experience for him. Bill, my husband, rated it at an 8 or even a 9 on a scale of 10. AnnaChacko


Serves three, for ajay, bill and me

Large Portabello Mushrooms. softened sweet butter, grated Fontina cheese

  • 3 large portabello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons softened sweet butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated Fontina cheese
  1. snap off the stalk of the mushrooms and scoop out the gills. Reserve these for the stuffing.
  2. clean the mushroom caps gently and coat them with half the butter.
  3. pour the remaining butter into the caps. Roll the caps around to insure that the butter is spread evenly.
  4. Heat the oven to 350 and set the mushrooms in individual ramekins. Bake for 10 minutes or until the butter in the caps starts bubbling
  5. spoon the grated fontina equally into each of the caps and return the ramekins to the oven for 5 more minutes or until the Fontina melts.

Now for the stuffing and topping

  • 3 tablespoons freshly made Hollandaise sauce - Julia Child's cookbook is a wonderful source for the recipe for Hollandaise
  • 2 cups finely shopped baby spinach
  • 2 pieces kale leaves with the central stem removed and then chopped like the spinach
  • 3 pieces thick bacon
  • 1.5 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Salt & groundpepper to taste
  • stalks and gills chopped into small bits
  1. Fry the bacon until the meaty portions turn red. Cut the bacon into small pieces discarding the rubbery fat.
  2. In the same saucepan with the melted fat from the bacon, saute the onion until soft. Add the spinach and kale to the onion- bacon mixture and saute until spinach is reduced to about 1.5 teaspoon in volume. Finally add the mushroom bits to the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Distribute stuffing equally into each of the mushroom caps. Slather on the hollandaise on top of the stuffing and serve in the ramekins.
  4. It may be easier to include a steak knife and a grapefruit spoon so that it easy to access mushroom, fontina, stuffing and hollandaise in one mouthful.

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