Willard Stinson on Deer Isle gave me this recipe for seafood on portabella mushroom caps and it’s pretty and delicious. I had the great good fortune to be at the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society a couple weekends ago to give a talk (“Twenty-One Things You Need to Know About Maine Food”) and visited the beautiful new exhibit space in the barn at the Sellar’s House. Willard was on hand and we got to talking about food, surprise, surprise. As he described how to put this together, I could see it form up in my mind’s eye and felt hungry right away.
Then we got onto Lyle’s Golden Syrup, and bless him, he ran home and came back with some to share. That conversation had started with “what do you put on French toast when you don’t have maple syrup,” which was really about adaptive cooking: when you don’t have the ingredients that you really want, what do you do instead?
That morning, Toby and I decided to have French toast for breakfast, but staying in a summer place and not having brought maple syrup with us, we had cobbled together a delicious topping out of some jam and sugar and water.
But to get back to portabella mushrooms: here is a recipe that you could probably tinker with, too. As you will see, you use the mushroom as a platform for a scallop and some shrimps made a bit tastier by mozzarella and parmesan. I think you could make a lovely little hot hors’ouvre by using small portabellas, marketed by name as Baby Bellas, with one or two little Maine shrimp or a small bay scallop. It might be worth the experiment.
Since it is summer, and Maine shrimp are a winter fishery, to make this dish you will need to have frozen Maine shrimp stashed away somewhere or else use smaller-sized fresh shrimp. Or else just keep this recipe until January sometime.
Seafood Stuffed Portabella Caps
One large portabella mushroom cap per serving
Grated mozzarella cheese
One scallop for each serving
Several Maine shrimp
Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or use a microwave.) Remove the mushroom stem. Put a sprinkle of grated mozzarella on the upside down mushroom cap, and place a scallop in the center. Arrange the shrimp around the scallop in a pinwheel. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the shellfish. Bake on a barely oiled baking pan for twenty minutes or until the scallop is opaque and cheese melted. Otherwise, cook for two minutes in a microwave.
Makes as many servings as there are mushrooms.