Monday, February 28, 2011

Portobello Panini

I made this little "sandwich" for my husband last week as a special treat just for him. It's true, I have really embraced the mushroom lately, but I still am not quite sure if I'm ready for this Portobello Panini. Why? Because it is a sandwich where you use two halves of a portobello mushroom in place of the bread. This blew my husband's mind, in the best possible way! I tend to like my bread, so I think I could probably do this one if I sandwiched the portobello in bread, but in the meantime let me tell you about this one.

So this is an Ellie Krieger recipe, as so many of the things that I've been making lately have been. I love the fact that her cookbooks are so easy to revisit again and again and again. As my tastes change, I'm amazed at how looking through her cookbooks just makes me want to try so many more new things! It's like the gift that keeps on giving, kinda.

But back to this panini. It's so simple, and it just takes mere minutes. Simply split a large portobello mushroom cap in half lengthwise, then assemble the innards of your "sandwich." I deviated from Ellie's version a bit here, making it with prosciutto, jalapeno cheddar, and the recommended sun-dried tomatoes which have been reconstituted with some hot water. I wanted to do this as a Meatless Mondays entry, but then I remembered that I had thrown the prosciutto in there! Whoops. This would be very easy to transform into vegetarian, though. That's the way Ellie did it!

Once you have your sandwich, you can grill it up as you would a regular panini. Just brush some oil on there, throw it on a grill pan or griddle, and cook until dark brown and the cheese is melty. That's it. And when my hubby's eyes lit up at the sight of this panini, I felt so good knowing that I can whip this one up again and again with next to no time or effort taken up by it.

Portobello Panini
adapted from Ellie Krieger
makes 1 "sandwich"

1 large portobello mushroom cap
Vegetable cooking spray
1 or 2 large sundried tomatoes, reconstituted in hot water and sliced thinly
1 oz. jalapeno cheddar cheese (or any cheese of your choice)
1 oz. prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. olive oil

1. Slice the stem off the mushroom so it can lie completely flat. Slice it in half lengthwise and lay open (I turned the bottom, "gilly" part over so that it was hidden on the inside of the sandwich).

2. Spray a large nonstick skillet or grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over medium-high heat. Top the bottom half of the mushroom with the sundried tomatoes, cheese, and prosciutto. Cap with the other mushroom round. Brush one side of the sandwich with half the olive oil, then lay it oil-side down in the hot skillet. Brush the other side with the remaining oil.

3. Cook the panini for 2 minutes per side, until the mushroom is nice and dark-brown and the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more about Ellie's books! When I first joined the group and bought the book, I worried that I had made a mistake because the majority of the recipes sounded foreign to me. Now I flip through the books and think I would like to try making almost everything in them!

    I will have to admit that portobello mushrooms still scare me a bit... I think it's the "hair". Do you play Angry Birds by chance? Well, sliced portobello mushrooms remind me of the mustaches on the pigs lol Anyway, I've seen this recipe and wanted to try it now that I'm liking mushrooms, but I haven't worked up the nerve yet. Glad to hear it got good reviews!