Grilled Portobello Mushrooms in Phyllo Cups
The basics of these appetizers are grilled Portobello mushrooms mixed with caramelized shallots. I added the mixture to layers of phyllo dough squares molded in a muffin pan and sealed with a piece of Reblochon cheese. I then topped the appetizers with a mound of herbed cream cheese and a little sprinkle of Gruyère cheese. A quick turn in the oven and the phyllo cups came out crisp, golden and absolutely gorgeous.
Even though we have all sorts of gadgets in our kitchen, I'm not a fan of "uni-taskers" because they generally become a waste of space. I spent Labor Day de-cluttering our cupboards, pantry and garage, removing any unnecessary items. I found many different-sized muffin pans, but contrary to what you might think, they are excellent "multi-taskers". For this recipe, I used a 12-cup tinplate. The cavities of the pan form cups, which are ideal for individual servings. I’ve also used muffin pans to make parmesan cups, popovers and many other appetizers, as well as muffins, of course!
Yields: 12 appetizers4 Portobello mushrooms
2 tablespoons garlic chives, snipped
¼ cup olive oil
4 shallots, cut into thick slices
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
½ cup curly parsley, finely chopped
12 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
7 ounces Reblochon cheese, cut into squares
3/4 cup Gruyère cheese
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1-½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
Preheat oven at 350°F.
For the herbed cream cheese: In a mini blender, combine 1/3 cup parsley, garlic and 2 tablespoons oil until smooth. Add the green mixture to the cream cheese. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the shallots: Heat a small non-stick pan. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced shallots. Cook until translucent and soft. Add the garlic chives. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepping the Portobello mushrooms: Using the edge of a spoon, scrape and remove the gills of the Portobello mushrooms. Wipe the inside clean using a paper towel (see tips). Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil. Place the whole mushrooms on a hot grill. Cook until you get grill marks on both sides. Remove from the grill. Once the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, cut into long strips then cut the strips in half. Add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley to the shallots. Set aside.
Working with phyllo dough: Using a silicone brush, lightly grease the bottom of each muffin cavity for easy clean up.
Brush a sheet of phyllo dough with a thin layer of melted butter using a silicone brush. Using scissors, cut the sheet into 12 squares. Stack the phyllo squares and line each muffin cup with the group of squares. Repeat until all the phyllo sheets are used.
Place a piece of Reblochon cheese into each cup. Fill the cups with mushrooms and caramelized shallots, leaving as little liquid as possible in the phyllo cups. Top with a mound (about 1 teaspoon) of herbed cheese for extra creaminess.
Sprinkle with Gruyère cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and crispy.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the rest of the parsley.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Reblochon is a raw cow's milk cheese with a nutty taste and a soft center. You could substitute it with Munster or other "gooey" cheeses.
The cheese adds flavor and creaminess to the appetizer. It also acts like a sealant for the phyllo cups. The grilled Portobello mushrooms release a little juice when grilled. The melted cheese is a way to prevent the phyllo cup from turning soggy.
Removing the gills of Portobello mushrooms prevents the dish from turning dark once cooked. This step is only for the aesthetic of the dish and does not affect the taste.
When working with phyllo dough, I use a spray bottle filled with water to maintain the same level of moisture and I cover the dough with a dampened cheese cloth. But most important, the key to not tearing phyllo dough is to work fast with no interruptions!
For a healthier version, you could replace the butter with olive oil or (butter-flavored vegetable spray) and use an egg white to seal the bottom of the phyllo cups.
I use a non-stick 12-cup muffin pan for easy unmolding.Published By: on September 7, 2010.