In the early days when I first started falling into this whole craze of cooking, I remember coming across a lovely piece of food photography, printed on a matte-finished page of cooking magazine: a top-down shot of a tray of oven-baked stuffed mushrooms, seasoned simply with sprigs of thyme, a crack of sea salt and black pepper and a good swig of olive oil. Ever since that day, I’ve longed to make a portion of stuffed mushrooms to call my own, especially with Portobello mushrooms. But because they’re far from being the cheapest option in the mushroom section at the store, they never stood the chance of sitting in my kitchen larder.
Alas! Yesterday was a day of good harvest! When W and I headed to the store for a little weekend groceries shopping trip, we were most fortunate to stumble upon Portobello mushrooms going at half price! Needless to say, it was a grab-and-go moment; no second thoughts, no hesitation. And of course, I finally had the opportunity to make some stuffed mushrooms for us.
Soft cheese stuffed Portobello mushrooms
- 2-3 Portobello Mushrooms, depending on size and appetite
- 45-50g of soft cheese, those flavored with garlic are perfect
- 1 generous pinch of fresh thyme
- 1 swig of olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper, to season
Prepare the mushrooms for stuffing by brushing the grit off with a dry tea towel. Try not to wash it as you really don’t want unnecessary moisture to mess up the lovely texture.
Gently stuff the mushrooms with the soft cheese. Don’t be over-zealous like me and go overboard with the amount in each mushroom. (It was divine, but oh-so-rich!) But of course, if you really like cheese, go crazy with the stuffing, just don’t let it overflow! The reason for using soft cheese is that it’s easy and neat to use for stuffing mushrooms; any other kind of cheese works as well. Just don’t forget to factor in the saltiness of the cheese you’re using when seasoning with sea salt later!
Set the stuffed mushrooms in a baking tray. Remember that as mushrooms cook, they release juices so you don’t want to be using a baking sheet. Lay on the sprigs of thyme and season with sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle with a good swig of olive oil.
Bake at 180°C for approximately 15 minutes. You will know when it’s ready when juices start collecting in the tray.
Oh boy, were they grand! The juicy yet unctuous bite of the nutty mushroom, perfumed with the sweet hint of thyme, sang a smooth mellow note with the fragrant melt of the garlic soft cheese. Each bite more luxurious than the first. It was no surprise that the mushrooms were gone in a blink of an eye. I’m more than happy that we bought an indulgent additional portion of Portobello mushrooms yesterday. (:
A few weeks on, we did something similar with Cheddar and simple white mushrooms!
Oh, and here’s the recipe card!