Friday, August 13, 2010

Shrimp Stuffed Portabellas

Cubans aren't known for eating mushrooms. A mushrooms is a fungus and we don't eat fungi, my mother would say. I don't even know of any Cuban recipe that calls for mushrooms.

The first time I ever ate a mushroom was probably as a pizza topping in my late teens, and I wasn't introduced to portabellas until my thirties when my vegetarians friends encouraged my husband and me to try a portabella appetizer at an Italian restaurant. After that day I would order them at restaurants whenever they were offered on the menu, but I never really made them at home.

I was tempted to buy these portabella mushrooms at the supermarket the other day thinking I'd make something with them for Meatless Mondays. Well, that idea went out the window because I decided to make a shrimp stuffing that turned out delish.

2 large portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped cooked shrimp
1/4 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped or pressed
6 Saltine crackers, crushed
1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise
olive oil

Wash your mushrooms and remove the stems and dark scaly parts with a spoon. Do not discard this. It is quite edible and we are going to incorporate it into the stuffing. Chop the stem into small pieces.  Drizzle olive oil into a skillet and sauté your onions, garlic and mushroom pieces. Add your cooked shrimp and crushed saltines and mix together. Add your mayonnaise, mix and turn off the heat. If you want to grill these, then brush the outside of the mushrooms with olive oil before stuffing. If you're going to bake them in the oven as I did, then coat a baking dish with olive oil and place your mushroom in the pan, stuff with the filing and bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice into wedges and serve as tapas, or you can eat a whole one as a meal. (I cut up some red peppers as an afterthought  and sprinkled on top.)


  1. lol. Cubans consume mushrooms usually in the dish "Champignones al Ajillo" (spanish garlic sauteed mushrooms) sometimes for a change it is rather tasty in meat stews that are tomato based together with potatoes and carrots.

  2. Ivonne, you and your mother are correct. In all the years I lived in Cuba (until I was 19) I never had mushrooms (let alone see them being sold anywhere) unless you went to a French restaurant in Havana or bought one of the Soviet or Bulgarian-made canned or dehydrated soups containing them. I do like them, and since I came to the U.S. have consumed them more or less regularly in different guises. Your dish looks just fabulous. There is also a way of making Portabellas in such a way that it tastes like a hamburger when you put it in a hamburger bun with all the trimmings. I had it once at a fancy restaurant in Beverly Hills years ago. If i find the recipe, I'll send it your way. Hugs and kisses.