Tag Archives: special occasion

Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

We recently had these gems as part of our New Year’s Eve dinner. Any festive occasion such as anniversary, graduation, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or you just feel a little decadent one day, they are an easy, healthy and festive main or first course for any special celebration.

Try to pick four equally-sized large portobello mushrooms. Check the gills to see if they’re fresh by looking for a paper-thin layer of white cap. The perfect mushrooms will be damp and springy but not overly moist, mushy, or dried out.

Break the stems off of the portobello mushrooms and scrape the gills out of them with a spoon. Wipe the caps with a damp paper towel, and then lay them gilled side up in the dish before setting them aside.

Once prepped and filled, bake the mushrooms until they are soft, the filling is heated through, and the topping is browned, which should take around 30 to 32 minutes. Let the mushrooms cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then top them with additional scallions before serving (if desired).

Unbelievably delicious, we paired ours with Baked Scallops with Couscous and Leeks for a romantic New Year’s Eve dinner at home. We will be making them again as an hors d’oeuvre for an upcoming dinner party, but will use smaller cremini mushrooms. However, be prepared for sticker-shock over the price of lump crab meat… but special occasions call for treating yourself, right?

A few weeks later we made the appetizer size for the house party. Using the same amount of ingredients for the stuffing, it filled about 30 button mushrooms and took approximately 25 minutes to cook.

Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms
  • 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning blend such as Old Bay
  • ¼ tsp. salt, optional
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 5 to 10 dashes of Tabasco hot sauce
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs, plus 3 Tbsp., divided (gluten-free if desired)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1 Tbsp., divided
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped jarred and drained roasted red pepper or pimento
  • 8 oz. lump or jumbo crab meat
  • 1 Tbsp. melted salted butter
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Break stems off portobello mushrooms. Scrape gills out of them with a spoon. Wipe caps with a damp paper towel. Lay gilled side up in the dish. Set aside.
  2. Beat cream cheese, Old Bay, salt and Tabasco with an electric mixer on medium-low until creamy and the seasonings are fully incorporated into the cream cheese. Add egg white and beat again to combine.
  3. Add scallions, ½ cup breadcrumbs, ½ Parmesan and red pepper and mix on low until combined. 
  4. Stir crab, gently by hand into the cream cheese mixture until just incorporated.
  5. Scoop the filling into the mushrooms, dividing evenly.
  6. Stir the remaining 3 tablespoons panko with butter and paprika until the breadcrumbs are evenly moistened and reddish orange. Sprinkle over the mushrooms. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan.
  7. Bake the mushrooms until they are soft, the filling is heated through and the topping is browned, 30 to 32 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes. Top with additional scallions before serving, if desired.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Original recipe by Katie Webster

One-Pan Baked Scallops with Couscous, Braised Leeks and Tarragon-Orange Vinaigrette

The fabulous entrée tastes surprisingly complex for the short amount of time it takes to prepare. The scallops and leeks really do release flavor into the couscous, and the vinaigrette definitely completes the dish. It is a great “special occasion” meal that anyone who loves scallops is sure to remember.

Cooking the scallops on a bed of Israeli couscous, leeks, and white wine is easy and allows the pearls of pasta to absorb the scallops’ briny liquid. To ensure the scallops finish cooking at the same time as the rest of the dish, jump-start the leeks and couscous in the microwave, adding garlic and a pinch of saffron* to subtly perfume the dish.

Stir in wine and boiling water (with the blooming saffron, if using), which starts the dish off hot and shortens the cooking time. Using a very hot oven and sealing the pan with foil promises perfectly, and efficiently, cooked scallops that steam atop the couscous. A quick tarragon-orange vinaigrette to drizzle over the finished dish provides an appealing accent that complements the scallops and leeks without overpowering them.

It is recommend that you buy “dry” scallops, which don’t have chemical additives and taste better than “wet.” Dry scallops will look ivory or pinkish; wet scallops are bright white.

TIPS: For an accurate measurement of boiling water, bring a full kettle of water to a boil and then measure out the desired amount. *If using saffron threads, pulverize them in a mortar with pestle and then put them in the hot water to bloom.

One-Pan Baked Scallops with Couscous, Braised Leeks and Tarragon-Orange Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch saffron threads (optional, *see above tip)
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1½ lbs. large sea scallops, tendons removed
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. grated orange zest plus 1 Tbsp. juice

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine leeks, couscous, 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and saffron (if using), in a bowl. Cover, and microwave, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in boiling water and wine, then transfer mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Pat scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Nestle scallops into couscous mixture and cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until couscous is tender, sides of scallops are firm, and centers are opaque, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 3 tablespoons oil, tarragon, vinegar, mustard, orange zest and juice, and ⅛ teaspoon salt together in bowl.
  4. Remove dish from oven. Drizzle vinaigrette over scallops and serve, passing extra oil separately.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe by America’s Test Kitchen