This recipe is very simple to put together, yet decadent enough to impress as an appetizer or entree for a dinner party. I LOVE mushrooms, so I spoiled myself with these as a late dinner.
The first thing to do is remove the stems, and the dark gills from the portobellas. Although the caps are large and “meaty”, they’re rather delicate, so be careful. Use a spoon to lightly scrape the dark gills away, and wipe the caps off with a paper towel to clean them. NEVER use water!
Lightly coat the caps with olive oil, and liberally season with salt and pepper. Broil gill-side down for about five minutes to release some of the extra moisture, and “toughen” up the bottom of the mushroom base.
Meanwhile, finely dice the stems you removed, one celery rib, and one small onion. Put them in a mixing bowl.
Next come the seasonings. One tbsp of tarragon, one tbsp of oregano, and one tbsp of thyme.
Add 1 tbsp of minced garlic, and 1 can of salad crab. Carefully pick over the crab to remove any shells. Fresh lump crab can also be used.
Lastly, the binders. 1/4 c of grated Parmesan cheese, 1/3 c of whipped salad dressing, and 1/2 c grated Havarti. I used light Parmesan and salad dressing, but full-fat Havarti. Any smooth-melting cheese can be used, such as Gouda or Fontina.
Finally, mix all of the ingredients very well. I use the back of a large serving spoon and “mash” the ingredients so the mixture is blended well.
Evenly divide the mixture over the portobello caps we prepared earlier. Make sure the caps are placed on the baking tray gill side up, and mound the stuffing over them. I’ve found it easiest to make a bit of a cake with the stuffing, and flatten it over the portobello caps.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for fifteen minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and hot. Garnish with a couple of curls of Havarti, and some parsley flakes.
If serving as an appetizer, these are a decadent start to any gourmet meal. For something a little more substantial, consider serving with crostini or toast points.