This weekend I went to austin to see my friend Jen and we went out to La Condesa. Normally, I would say that I do NOT like mexican food, b/c living in Texas, there are Tex-Mex places on every corner and every Texan will list Tex-Mexican as their favorite food. I find the food at these places just too heavy for me and i feel like rolling over and taking a nap after eating endless bowls of chips n salsa, fajitas, cheesy things. blahhhhhhh. However, knowing that Jen loves delicious food as much as i do, I was excited to see what was in store for our Mexican dinner. First off, the restaurant is beautiful! such unique decor and beautiful atmosphere. Also, the cocktail list was yummy and fun. I had something delicious with Jim Beam and the waiter lit an orange peel on fire and rubbed it on the rim of the glass before plopping it into my drink. So cool! and tasty!
Anyway, on to the meal. I have to say, the food was fantastic, and I was so happy to have some very tasty, creative Mexican Mexican food! Also,I am now obsessed with one of the dishes we had: Hongos Y Huitlacoche (I had to look that up!). From what i remember, the dish was a crunchy corn crust, topped with portabello mushrooms, some of that crumbly mexican cheese and truffle oil. HOLY CRAP this smelled like heaven!! the combination of earthy, meaty portabello against the rich truffle made this such a decadantly delicious nibble. I thought my mouth was doing a happy dance with each bite I took!
So now, back home, I obviously can’t stop thinking about this dish and had to experiment with my own version. I haven’t reached the level of amazingness of the La Condesa dish, but I think it is a nice variation. Great for an appetizer or a quick snack. I can see how these ingredients could also translate well into a pizza/flatbread/bruschetta.
Ingredients (Makes 4 appetizers):
- 1 large portabello
- Some sort of thick cracker or flatbread (I used WASA)
- Corn (frozen or canned is fine)
- Shredded mozzarella
- Fresh figs
- Truffle oil
- Salt, pepper
- Heat the oven to 350 and line & spray a pan with tin foil.
- Place 4 crackers on the pan. I picked up these crackers b/c from the box the looked like the right consistency. They are a little bit less crunchy than i had hoped for. Any suggestions for a crunchy, corny cracker?
3. Wash portabello and squeeze dry in a paper towel. Slice in 1/4 inch strips and line up about 2-3 strips on each cracker. Carefully, lightly sprinkle some truffle oil on the mushrooms and sprinkle with some sea salt.
4. Slice the figs along the latitude lines intos nice little circles and lay them on top of the mushrooms.
5. Sprinkle with some corn and a little more salt.
6. Pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes until you can see the mushrooms start to get a little bit darker/more shrunken. Pull out of the oven and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Pop back in, turn onto broil for about 3-5 min to melt the cheese and brown the edges of the cracker. Remove from heat and serve quickly.
I am so in love with the truffle oil on portabello. They are like lovers that are even better together than they are on their own! I dug the fig too. That little tiny bit of sweet. I might even try some balsamic on the figs next time!
With the extra portabello I had, I whipped up a quick, light veggie pasta dish:
Ingredients (2-3 servings):
- 1 portabello mushroom
- 2 roma tomatoes
- small handful of yellow grape tomatoes (optional)
- handfull of fresh cilantro
- 4 basil leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- some pasta (I used bowtie!)
- Shredded parmesan cheese or asiago
- Boil the pasta and set aside when done.
- Mince the garlic, dice the tomatoes, Portobello, cilantro.
- Heat some olive oil in a pan. Add minced garlic and stir about 30 seconds, add Portobello and dash of salt/pepper. Then tomatoes (red & yellow) and sautéed some more. Adding salt/pepper/sugar to taste. I generally prefer my tomato dishes with a touch of sugar to mellow out the tartness. Don’t overdo it! Just a dash to cut the tart.
- Cook about 5 min til combined well. Add chiffonaded basil and toss once. Pour over bowl/plate of pasta. Top with coarsely chopped cilantro and shredded cheese, if you please. 😉
MMM. Super light, but still very tasty and filling. I also sauteed some of these greens I found at the asian store. They are kind of like watercress, but smaller, more tender. I have no idea what they are, but they are very green and tasty!
Hope you enjoy trying out these portobello recipes! Remember, these puppies are a great source of fiber, selenium, potassium and lots of other good stuff.