Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pork and Sun-dried Tomato Portabella Mushrooms

 I am trapped at home today, waiting on the gas man. Which for some reason the Word for Mac dictionary thinks should be one word.  Gasman.  I don’t think so.  It’s not that I am completely out of gas, because, while the big red 14kg tank is empty, the smaller 12kg tank is still ready to cook.  

The question is, for how long?  The blue guy’s been on since before I got back to KL a month ago and that makes me nervous.  I’ve called and put in my order and supposedly he’s coming.  So I wait.

Meanwhile, my plan for dinner included chicken breasts by special request, but I don’t have any.  At 8:30 this morning that didn’t seem like a problem. The gas man would come, I would go out and buy breasts and all would be well.  I have come to realize as the clock ticks closer to 4 p.m. that dinner will have to be whatever I have on hand.  Time to peruse the refrigerator drawers. 

I find baby portabella mushrooms, so stuffed mushrooms come to mind.  But what to stuff them with?  This requires a trip to the outside freezer where some ground pork looks handy.  And a flavoring?  I’m thinking onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, perhaps.  Maybe a little of my new friend, quinoa, mixed in.  Just remembering I have feta leftover from yesterday’s dinner.  That would add salt and flavor!  This is where writing down the recipe becomes tricky because I tend to splash and dab and sprinkle and measurements are not so accurate. But I will try. 

1/2 pound or 250g of ground or minced pork
8 baby portabella mushrooms
1/2 medium onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
2.5 oz or 70g feta
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes (if in oil, drained, if still dry, soaked in warm water until soft)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or more if you like things spicy (Optional)
1/4 cup or 40g quinoa
1/2 cup or 120ml water
Sea salt
Black pepper

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Brown the pork in a large skillet with a little olive oil. 

Meanwhile, put the quinoa in a small pot with the 1/2-cup of cold water and a 1/4-teaspoon of salt.  Bring to a low boil and then simmer, covered for about 10 minutes. 

Chop the onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and add to the pork.  Add a little more olive oil if the pork is too dry.  Sauté until the onions and garlic are translucent.

Check on the quinoa and add a little more water if necessary and cook another couple of minutes, still covered, still simmering.  When the grains are soft enough, drain in a fine sieve.

Clean the mushrooms and remove the stems. Cut the hard ends of the stems off and chop the rest in small pieces and add to the pork pot.  Let the mushroom stems cook down.  Add some crushed red pepper if desired.

Add the pork mixture to the cooked, drained quinoa.

Crumble the feta cheese and mix it in well. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.   Chances are you won’t need much, if any, salt because of the feta.

Allow the mixture to cool, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. You need it cool enough so your egg won’t cook on contact.  Now lightly beat your egg, then add in.  Mix well. This will help the filling hang together in the mushrooms.

Using a spoon, stuff your mushrooms with the filling and place on an ovenproof dish.  Drizzle the tops with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes.

They ended up pretty full by the time I had used all the filling.

What am I serving with the mushrooms?  At this point, STILL waiting on the gas man at 6:30 p.m., a leafy green salad because I always have the makings of a leafy green salad in the fridge.  

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