Cheesy Baked Portabella Sliders

I had leftover red wine after opening a bottle for New Year’s Eve and wanted a dinner that would complement it.  Cheese goes well with red wine, and when I opened my fridge and found a package of portabella mushrooms, I knew exactly what to cook.  Portabella is a tasty mushroom that is very easy to handle in the kitchen – you just do a quick cold water wash and pat it with a paper towel to dry.  It is also very healthy, and is a great substitute for meat.  For the dish I planned, I needed tomato sauce, but didn’t have one.  Good thing I had some grape tomatoes in my fridge which I used instead.

For this recipe, you will need: portabella mushrooms, grape tomatoes, shredded mozarella cheese, olive oil and your staples – salt and pepper.  That’s it.

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Ingredients:

3 portabella mushrooms (about 1-1.5 oz per mushroom)

2 cups of grape tomatoes

1 cup shredded mozarella

extra virgin olive oil

Prep Time: About 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Recipe Protocol:

Bring a pan to medium heat and set the oven to bake at 425F (220C).   While waiting for the pan to heat, dice and chop the grape tomatoes.  Drizzle the pan with a  little olive oil and sear portabella mushrooms for about two minutes each side.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set the mushrooms in a baking dish.

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With the pan used for searing, saute the diced tomatoes in olive oil for about five to seven minutes, until the tomatoes are tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  (You can save time here by using tomato sauce).  Layer the tomatoes on the portabella and top with mozarella cheese.  Drizzle the baking dish with extra olive oil.  Bake for about  20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is light brown and bubbly.

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I enjoyed my portabella slider with grilled cheese sandwich, a side of baby lettuce and a glass of Malbec.

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Kain na!

A hello is in order

Hello!  I am a scientist by day and an amateur cook by night.  If I can, I try to cook a simple dinner for myself, even after a long day of work.  I find being in the kitchen a stress reliever.  Or maybe it’s something that reminds me of home and my childhood.  Growing up as the eldest of four children, my mom taught me the ways of the kitchen at an early age, from being her sous chef to going on Saturday morning trips to the market.  One favorite memory is when my mom allowed me to go with her to the wet market to buy fresh meat and seafood.  You see, she would usually leave me with her favorite vegetable vendor after we make our rounds of the produce area and she would go off into the wet market section.  I can’t remember exactly why she did that (maybe she didn’t want me to see all the meat- chopping, seashell-chucking and fish-cleaning).  When she told me I can finally step into the wet market, it felt like I just received such great honor and privilege – I’m officially a “marketer” – if there is such a word!  I think I was in third or fourth grade then.  I learned to cook several Filipino dishes from Cebu, my hometown.  My friends always request this noodle dish called bam-i from me.  I think I’ve mastered this recipe and I’m sure my mom will give me her thumbs up.  My Dad also cooks occasionally, and he taught me a couple of tasty dishes that is popular among my friends – one of these is pork blood stew.

Since I moved to the US, I’ve been exposed to different cultures and different cooking ingredients.  This helped me become innovative and adventurous in the kitchen.  More recently, I started living by myself and it became a challenge to cook for only one person.  For a while, it felt like that, but once I got the hang of it, it’s not that bad at all.  I would usually prepare for two servings, and the leftovers I bring to work for lunch the next day.  By preparing food yourself, you can control portion sizes and you know exactly what you are eating.

As a new year’s resolution, I decided to commit to a blog that would feature simple recipes consisting of five ingredients or less (with salt and pepper as staples) with preparation time under an hour.  Hopefully you find inspiration in whipping up a hot and healthy dinner or a quick food fix-up  for yourself through this blog.

Kain na! (Bon appetit in Filipino).