Sometimes, when I have way too much time on my hands, I think about how it was discovered that certain foods are edible.
I'm sure everyone's thought about who the first guy was to eat a chicken egg - imagine his wife's face when that happened. "Honey, what are you doing? Don't play with that. Stop bothering the chicken! What are you doing with that frying pan...? OH MY GOD."
Similarly, the potato (once deemed poisonous), escargot (Seriously, who thought that one up? Whoever you are though, thank you!), and caviar seem equally as unappetizing when the attempt is made to look at them as if you'd never seen them before. Who's going to pull up a plant, see some weird looking round tuber thing stuck to its roots...and then decide to put it in their mouth? Also, how many raw potatoes were eaten before it was discovered that they're way better cooked?
All that being said, the mushroom is another one of these mystical, extremely tasty foods that frequently makes its way to our dinner plates that, at any point in our culinary history, could easily have been discarded as poison - or just plain gross. I mean, picture it in your head, walking through the damp woods your boot kicks over a bit of leaf litter revealing a spongy, brown plant. It's covered in dirt and leaves, possibly some kind of protective mucus - who's first thought is, "Gee, I should put this in my mouth"? (I know that question mark isn't where it's supposed to be - sue me.)
Again, whoever it was that tried them first - thanks. Because mushrooms are insanely delicious. Especially when they're stuffed with spicy shrimp, cheese, and spinach and then baked until they're hot and bubbly with yummy goodness.
My brother-in-law gave me the idea of pairing shrimp with sriracha - a spicy Asian condiment - while I was in Florida. For this idea I will be forever grateful. It's quite possibly my new favorite thing in the world. If you've never tried sriracha (pronounced sir-a-cha), or never tried shrimp cooked in a little butter and sriracha - you must immediately drop everything that you are doing and go make some right now. NOW.
I decided that instead of using ridiculous amounts of mayo or cream cheese to hold it all together that I'd use Laughing Cow Cheese. It's a spreadable cheese (great on Wheat Thins) that's only 35 calories per serving. I used the Garlic & Herb one - they're pretty tasty. I keep those and the little Babybel cheeses in the house at all times. They're been a great snack while I've been trying to lose weight (23 lbs. so far! 10 more, I'll be at 120, and life will be good!). Now that I recognize the versatility of the spreadable ones though, I definitely won't be giving them up when I quit trying to lose weight.
Even if you don't try the whole recipe, for whatever reason, I cannot stress this enough. Every single person in this world (except those allergic to shrimp) should try shrimp cooked in sriracha.
It will change your life.
Shrimp & Spinach Stuffed Portobellos
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained of all water
1/4 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Laughing Cow Spreadable cheeses
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Babybel Light, cut into small pieces (substitute mozzarella or other light cheese)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sriracha
2 portobello caps
Preheat oven to 375 F
In a medium mixing bowl combine spinach, onion, garlic, cheeses and mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter. Cook the shrimp until just pink, toss with sriracha. Set aside. Place the portobello caps gills side up in a casserole dish. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Top each cap with half the shrimp and half the spinach mixture. Return to oven and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the spinach is heated through and the cheese is warm and bubbling.
This is a nutritional estimate, I do not claim it to be exact - although it is pretty close.
1 serving equals one whole stuffed portobello cap
CORRECTION 6/27: I am a numbskull and forgot to include the tablespoon of butter in my nutritional estimate. Therefore, the new estimate is:
I would also like to point out that in omitting the mayonnaise saves 180 calories and 20g of fat, effectively halving the fat content of the recipe. This would make each cap only 206 calories and 10g of fat.