Appetizers are dishes that we serve prior to the main course to whet our appetites and also to set the right tone for the main meal.
‘Appetizer’ specifically refers to building an appetite. Hors d’oeuvre, another word for Appetizer, literally means “outside of the masterpiece”.
The varieties of appetizers are limitless. They could be preparations of raw or cooked, marinated meats, fish or vegetables served hot or cold in small portions. They require little to no preparation, even simply served as roasted nuts, brined or raw cut fruits or vegetables.
Appetizer Recipe of the Day - Stuffed Portobello Mushroom
Portobello mushroom is of Italian origin and gets its name from Portobello, a small town in Italy. It has a very memorable, rich flavour and a meat-like texture that enables it to be substituted for other meat-based proteins thus making it a delicious vegetarian option.
Portobello Mushroom retains its flavour even after cooking, which makes it work well in the soups, stews, baked or grilled. However, it is best used when stuffed with ingredients such as fresh herbs, variety of cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and onions, due to its large size.
The Portobello mushrooms are stuffed with a stuffing made with sautéed garlic, mushroom stems, sundried tomatoes and fragrant herbs, topped with cheese and breadcrumbs for a delicious flavour and crunchy texture.
|Portobello mushroom||4 pieces|
|Olive oil||for brushing|
|For the Stuffing|
|Garlic (minced)||4 cloves|
|Rosemary (fresh/dried)||a sprig|
|Oregano (fresh/dried)||1 tsp|
|Parmesan cheese (grated)||¾ cup|
|Sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)||10 pieces|
|Mozzarella (diced)||1 cup|
|Bread crumbs||1/2 cup|
|Olive oil||2 tbsp|
|Salt & pepper||as required|
Method of Preparation
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
- Wash the mushroom and pat it dry.
- Remove brown gills from the undersides of mushroom caps using a spoon, and discard Remove and chop the stems.
- In a sauté pan heat olive oil and sweat garlic then add mushroom stems, sundried tomatoes and herbs, season lightly with salt & pepper (cheese and sundried tomatoes are salty). Take off heat add parmesan cheese stir, and set aside.
- Brush the tops of the mushrooms with olive oil.
- On a baking tray, divide the mixture evenly into the 4 mushroom caps and mozzarella cheese then top each with the breadcrumb and drizzle with olive oil.
- Put it in the oven and bake until cheese is melted for about 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.