Thursday, January 01, 2015

Recipe : Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (Veg Option also)

I know I have not posted anything on my blogs for awhile. Please excuse me, we have been in the middle of another International Relocation and this time the paperwork to move our cat with us was quite maddening! It led the dh to exclaim "It would be easier to take a 100 illegal labourers from India to the UK, than to legally move a cat!"

Christmas was extremely quiet after a very long time. We have hosted the family Christmas in our house for the last few years, so it was a bit depressing to be just the 2 of us and the cat for Christmas Day. Especially since Christmas for me has always meant spending it with family. This is the 3rd Christmas of my life, when I haven't been able to spend it surrounded by my parents and siblings.

To make me feel better and snap out of missing everyone at home, we visited the Southbank Christmas Market, went for the Carol Service at St Pauls, Christmas Mass at the 12th Century St James Church next door to our house and finally Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. Christmas here is very different from Christmas in the US (and also India, Egypt and Dubai) All the locals seem to leave town and the city is filled with tourists from the rest of UK and the rest of Europe.

In all our jaunts across town, I rarely hear English being spoken between people, unless it is a business transaction. The guys from whom we bought our phone connections were from India and Sri Lanka. Our Coffee Shop guys all speak fluent Italian (I still follow bits of conversation) and I had a broken Arabic conversation with an Algerian managing a French Pattiserrie.. We had a brilliant meal last week at Daquise - a Polish restaurant. Our neighbours in the building are from Japan and Australia. Yes, we seem to have landed in the middle of a much larger melting pot.

I've been using the oven a lot here (until our shipment of personal furniture and crockery arrives in February, I am making do with rental stuff and they are more conducive to roasts and baking, than dal chawal type meals)

So today I just quickly whipped up a batch of these Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms in about 20 minutes from start to finish and they were very yum.


Ingredients:
4 Large Portobello mushrooms
salt & pepper to season
Mexican chipotle flakes (my new favourite ingredient, they lend a lovely sweet, spicy, smoky taste to everything - you can substitute with regular chilli flakes)
a handful of bacon lardons - chopped (Marks & Spencer had a special festive bacon lardons on sale which added more flavour to the dish)
a handful of meltable cheese - grated (I usd a mature cheddar)
2-3 drops of oil

Method:
Dab the bottom of the mushroom with a bit of oil to prevent sticking.
Preheat the oven to 200C
Season the mushrooms with salt, pepper and chilli flakes (or any herbs of your choice)


Add a few chopped lardons on top of each mushroom.


Top with grated cheese



Pop in the oven for about 10 minutes (depending on the size of your mushrooms)


Serve hot with bread (to mop up the mushroom juices)

Optional : Garnish with chopped herbs of your choice


Option : 
You can make it Vegetarian, by omitting the bacon and mixing 2 types of grated cheese and some chopped herbs like chives.

If you want more substance, substitute the bacon with seasoned mashed potatoes

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