Puggy Portobellos

Smoked Herring Stuffed Portobello

Smoked Herring Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

The portobello mushroom apparently is just an over-grown crimini mushroom.

Meaty – yes, flavor – mild, calories – low, nutrition – potassium and fiber rich.

Always loved mushrooms and my son and I routinely look for them on appetizer menus when we eat out.  I’ve made stuffed mushrooms myself and they are a real treat!

The ingredients you choose for your stuffing is what will add flavor to these and really, you can be as creative here as you wish!  Me, well, I like a lotta flava!

While making this, I thought I made too much stuffing however it all fit into these colossal portobellos.  Each one could satisfy two people with a side salad or sautéed spinach.

Smoked Herring Stuffed PortobelloSmoked Herring Stuffed Portobello

Here’s the recipe.

Smoke Herring Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

2 Large Portobello mushrooms

½ C Mozzarella cheese – part skim
3 T Pecorrino Romano cheese — grated


1 T olive oil
1 medium onion — chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic – minced
1 sweet pepper – chopped
¼ t salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
spinach – blanched, liquid removed
mushroom stems
1 can of Smoked herring – drained (I used Trader Joe’s)
2 T butter
1-2 C Bread crumbs

Process:  remove the stems and wipe the mushrooms; cook the stems in water – enough to cover them, this will create a vegetable stock.  In a large pan, sauté the onion, garlic and sweet pepper in the olive oil; add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and continue to cook until ingredients are softened; add the cooked spinach, smoked herring, mushroom stems – cut into small pieces, and butter; cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the bread crumbs and mushroom stock a little at a time so the stuffing is not overly moist; remove from heat and allow to cool.

Stuff each Portobello cap with the stuffing mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and then the pecorino Romano.  Bake in a 400F oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Smoked Herring Stuffed Portobello


Before the Garden Gets Grim: Basil & Kale Pesto

Basil & Kale Pesto
Pasta and Chicken with Basil & Kale Pesto



While writing this I was looking out onto my balcony and watched as the cooler-than-usual breeze blew my yellowing plants from side to side.

Yes the reality of summer’s close is difficult to accept.  This year has been a wonderfully weather-permitting summer and I made it to the ocean and pool quite a number of times.  Got a bit sun-scorched recently at the ocean as the elements worked so well in my favor lulling me into a deep sleep during which the sun managed to burn through the clouds as well as through my light layer of sunblock.

My friend’s garden has also reaped the benefits of this amazing summer producing a bounty of herbs and veggies.  I was fortunate to be in her thoughts and was recently gifted with some.  Basil was the last gift from her garden of plenty and I combined it with organic kale, almonds and the usual suspects to make pesto for pasta, meats, and sandwiches or whatever the heart’s desire.

I’ve made this before but never posted so here it finally is in all of its great green glory.  Enjoy this easy-to-make pesto.

I added it to rigatoni, chicken breast pieces and sundried tomatoes then topped with mozzarella and sweet vine tomatoes from my favorite Greek grocer. Such a wonder of flavor combinations and it was enjoyed!




Basil & Kale Pesto


1 ½ cups organic kale, washed and cut
1 ½ cups organic basil, washed and cut
½ cup toasted almonds
3 garlic cloves, blanched or lightly roasted
1/3 cup pecorino Romano cheese
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup olive oil​
dash of red pepper flakes
dash of cayenne – optional

Process:  add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.

Pasta and Chicken with Basil & Kale Pesto


4 cups cooked rigatoni pasta
1 cup cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 ½ cups basil & kale pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
some basil leaves
dash of red pepper flakes

Process:  toss the pasta, sun-dried tomatoes and chicken with the pesto; add to a roasting pan prepared with a thin coating of olive oil; top with the cheese and sliced tomatoes; add the basil leaves and sprinkle with pepper flakes; bake for about 15 minutes in a 350F degree oven until cheese has melted and tomatoes are lightly browned.

pesto pesto