Years ago when I was learning how to cook on my own, eggplant parmesan became one of my “special” dishes to make. But like with anything else if you don’t practice it you forget how to do it. I had not made eggplant parmesan in many moons but it came to mind when I was trying to think of a new dish to try out. My family likes roasted and fried eggplant but I wasn’t sure they would like eggplant parmesan. Instead of making “another casserole dish” as my hubby would say, I decided to stuff a portobella mushroom with eggplant parmesan.
After I assured my hubby I was not making another casserole, I told him he needed to test a stuffed mushroom recipe for me. At first I was surprised when he told me no because it sounded fattening. I asked him, “how are mushrooms fattening?” Then I had to laugh when he said it sounded like I was going to use some kind of bread stuffing and gravy on the mushrooms. Once I explained what I meant by stuffed portobella mushrooms he was on board to be my tester. Just to be on the safe side I decided to rename the dish and changed it to “Portobella Mushrooms with Eggplant”.
That episode reminded me how important a name can be when presenting a dish. You never know what might turn someone off from even trying something new. Keep it simple and appealing has become one of my mottoes!
Still, I hope folks remember not to judge a book solely by its cover. Most of the time you need to read a few pages to determine if a book is truly interesting. I love to read and have learned not to discount a book just because the title seems funky, stupid or weird thanks to book recommendations from by my book buddy Karen. The same thing can apply to a recipe. Check out the ingredients and see how hard it is to make a recipe even if the name makes you say “No Way!”. You may be surprised just like my hubby.
He liked the dish….
Portobella Mushrooms with Eggplant
4 large portobella mushrooms (stem and ribs removed)
1 small eggplant cubed
1 small onion chopped
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
2 cloves fresh garlic or 1 large clove roasted garlic chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 14 oz can of spicy red peppers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Clean outside of mushrooms with a damp towel and set aside.
Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add eggplant, onions, tomatoes and seasonings. Cook until eggplant and onions are soft. Remove from heat and place veggies in a bowl with ½ cup of parmesan cheese and ½ of the mozzarella cheese. Stir until well blended. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside of each mushroom. Fill each mushroom with eggplant mixture and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place mushrooms on cookie sheet and bake for approximately 35 minutes until mushrooms are soft and cheese is slightly brown.