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!
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)
Two packages containing four medium size portabella mushrooms (or 2 extra large ones). Remove stems, chop and save.
1 package spinach - 6 oz. or 1 bunch (cut-off stems), well-rinsed and roughly chopped.
1 can (4-6 oz.) of crab, 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 of grated dried parmesan.
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.
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.