Sunday, September 23, 2012

Portobello Mushroom Quesadillas

I went to Whole Foods for the first time ever this week for fresh figs, and it was one of the most magical experiences ever.  So magical that I talked it up and down all week.  Apparently most other people (that is, most people outside of my immediate family) don't find grocery stores exciting...


I was telling my mother how everyone else had already been to Whole Foods or regularly shops there and didn't understand my fascination, and she just laughed and said that we were "country folk."  We aren't really country folk... The town in which I grew up is not that small, nor is it that far from a big city, but my mother was very entertained with herself.

You see, my mother loves to impose fiction on reality and amuses herself with it at every opportunity:  I cannot tell you how many times she has slipped Mrs. Bennet quotes from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice into everyday conversation.  At the very least, I suppose that Mrs. Bennet is as suitable character as any for her to choose, as she, like Mrs. Bennet, has many daughters.


Either fortunately or unfortunately, I cannot say that I have not inherited her Jane Austen nerd-iness, as I have been known to imbue my conversation with Pride & Prejudice quotes as well:  rather too recently, my mother invited one of my sister Hannah's friends to come practice on her piano whenever he wished, and I could not help but tell him that he "would be in nobody's way, you know, in that part of the house."


Because my food nerd-iness (re:  my excitement over a grocery store trip) approaches the level of my Jane Austen nerd-iness, here is yet another portobello mushroom recipe to follow my BBQ porotobello mushroom burger.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
1 to 2 large portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack)
1 to 2 Tortillas (I used two 8-inch whole wheat tortillas per mushroom)
Extra filling (optional):  I used caramelized onions from my portobello mushroom burger, but fresh vegetables, like peppers, would be good, too, depending on what you typically like in your quesadillas.
Toppings for serving (optional):  salsa, sour cream, guacamole


Instructions
  1. Clean the mushrooms, and remove the stems.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Using a pastry brush, coat all surfaces of the mushrooms with the marinade.
  3. Using a gas grill:  Heat grill to medium.  Starting with the gills facing up, grill mushrooms over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.  When the mushrooms are cooked through, they will be tender when pierced with a paring knife.  Remove the mushrooms from the grill when they are tender and slice into thin strips.  On a cookie sheet, assemble the quesadillas.  First, spray one side of each tortilla with non-stick cooking spray (like Pam).  Next, lay the tortillas on the cookie sheet, and, on half of the each tortilla, layer the sliced mushrooms, shredded cheese, and any other fillings, distributing the fillings evenly between the tortillas.  Fold the other half of each tortilla over the fillings, and grill each side for approximately 3 to 4 minutes, or until fillings are hot (the cheese will melt, and there will be grill marks on your tortilla).
  4. Using an oven:  Place mushrooms on a cookie sheet with edges.  Broil on high for about 5 minutes with the gills side up, then flip and broil with the gills down for another 5 minutes or so.  When the mushroom is tender when pierced with a paring knife, remove from the oven and slice into thin strips.  On a cookie sheet, assemble the quesadillas.  Lay the tortillas on the cookie sheet, and, on half of the each tortilla, layer the sliced mushrooms, shredded cheese, and any other fillings, distributing the fillings evenly between the tortillas.  Fold the other half of each tortilla over the fillings, and bake at 375 for approximately 4 to 6 minutes, or until fillings are hot (the cheese will melt, and the tortilla should get a little crispy).
  5. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.


Notes:  To save time, cook one or two extra mushrooms, as they are excellent meat substitutes.  They can then be used for other meals:  bake them into quiche, add to your omelet, or layer them on sandwiches.

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