Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Portabella Crab Rockefeller

Like an Ex-President George W. Bush Jr. - era billionaire's tax break, or a President Obama Wall Street half trillion dollar infusion from TARP, The 99 Cent Chef's Portabella Crab Rockefeller is a rich edible windfall; one that will make you feel like you're dining in a private jet heading to a convention on the Las Vegas Strip, paid for by a lobbyist from the turgid military-industrial complex.


After enjoying this luscious entree, you'll eat another few meals with the dollars I've saved you; while you go back to perusing website job boards and praying for that unemployment extension bill to pass.

Or serve this at your next Tea Party gathering; your guests will be envious of all the green they'll see, and I don't mean Benjamins -- but chopped spinach, blended into a rich cream sauce with real crab, nestled into a meaty portabello mushroom and topped with melted mozzarella. And it's all made with dollar store ingredients!

This newly minted dish is named after a high priced, members only, country club classic, Oysters Rockefeller - in which fresh baked oysters are topped with a creamy spinach sauce. I haven't seen oysters at dollar stores yet (except as canned pieces), but I often see canned crab, which makes a fine substitution.

This dish looks expensive, while easy to prepare - involving minimal chopping and some quick sauteing. While canned crab doesn't compare to fresh lump crab, it still adds a sweet seafood flavor to creamy spinach -- especially when served on a tender portabello mushroom.

I've been picking up small packages of portabella mushrooms and canned crab at my local 99c only Store. Spinach and half & half cream comes cheap at most markets.

After dining on The 99 Cent Chef's Portabella Crab Rockefeller you'll feel like a million bucks, even in these cash-strapped times -- so open the humidor and light up that fat cigar you've been saving for the arrival of a new grandchild (never mind that your adult kid is moving back in with it).

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • Portabella mushrooms - Two packages containing four medium sized (or 2 extra large mushrooms). Remove stems, chop and save.
  • 1 package spinach - 6 oz. or 1 bunch (cut-off stems), well-rinsed and roughly chopped.  
  • 1 can of crab - (4-6 oz.) drained
  • 1 cup of half & half - cream or whole milk is fine.
  • Cheese for topping - I used 3 oz. pack of mozzarella, or your favorite.
  • 1/4 onion - chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic - chopped
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese - I used dried, grated from can.
  • 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs - or 1 tablespoon of flour, as thickener.
  • 1/4 cup of 99 cent white wine - optional, for deglazing.
  • 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.


Directions
Roughly chop spinach - wash well, and cut off stems if it is a fresh bundle. Remove stems from portabella mushrooms and chop -- you can also take a spoon and gently scrape out, and discard, the feathery "gills" from the stem side for a more meaty portabella.

In a medium heated frying pan with oil, add chopped onion, garlic and stems. Saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Deglaze pan with white 99 cent wine. Pour in cream and mix well. Add chopped spinach and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Finally, shake in grated parmesan and bread crumbs (or flour). Sauce will thicken when heated through another few minutes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain can of crab. On a baking sheet or large pan with a grate, arrange mushrooms, cavity side up. Spoon in enough spinach and cream to fill the portobello mushroom. Stack on a couple of spoonfuls of crab. Finally top with plenty of mozzarella cheese (or your favorite). Bake 25 - 30 minutes; check sometimes to make sure the cheese doesn't burn.

3 comments:

WayneJ said...

Hi Billy,
Tried this today and it is Very
Tasty! Love reading your stories
and like trying many of the recipes
you've come with. You have a
wonderful sense of humor! Best 2
you and your wife.

Billy Vasquez said...

Thanks Wayne, just because one is light in the wallet, doesn't mean being miserly in wit!

Nica said...

Hi, I found your blog after watching Food(ography) after making this recipe from memory (I left a few things out), and wanted to tell you how yummy it is! I am on a special diet and could devour an entire mushroom, well I can't devour anymore, but I did take small bites. Thank you for this. You've got a great concept and great personality to match!

Nica

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