Thursday, February 19, 2009

What to Cook After Torching

Turkey Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Don't know what to make for dinner after a long day at the torch? This is an amazing recipe that's compatible with the South Beach Diet (Phase I - 'tis the season, after all). Succulent spicy turkey sausage, healthy fresh spinach, meaty portobello mushrooms, and creamy melted cheese. If I were you I'd double the recipe and plan to spend extra time at the torch on leftover night!

4 large portabello mushrooms (get the biggest ones you can find)
12 oz. mild or hot Italian sausage (use turkey Italian sausage for South Beach Diet)
1-2 T olive oil (for browning sausage and onions and brushing on mushrooms before grilling)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic (or use chopped garlic from a jar)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
8 oz. coarsely chopped spinach leaves
2 T chopped fresh basil (I used pesto and it came out great)
2 T chopped fresh parsley (probably optional, but recommended)
1/2 cup grated mozarella, plus 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top (I used low-fat mozarella)

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to high heat. Heat a small amount of olive oil in heavy frying pan, then crumble Italian sausage into pan and cook about 5 minutes, breaking apart with back of the turner as it cooks. When sausage is well-browned, remove to bowl. If needed, add a bit more olive oil, then saute onions until they're starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are starting to brown, a few minutes more. Add Italian sausage back into pan, then add red pepper flakes and tomato sauce and simmer 2-3 minutes while you chop the spinach. Add chopped spinach and let it wilt and cook down, stirring so it's evenly distributed in the sausage/onion mixture. Turn off heat and stir in 1/2 cup mozarella, chopped basil and parsley.

Remove stems from mushrooms caps, being careful not to break them. Scrape out brown gills from inside mushrooms if desired, then brush both sides of mushrooms with olive oil. Put mushrooms on grill, inside facing down, and cook about 4 minutes, until mushroom is slightly browned and starting to soften. Remove mushrooms from the grill. Carefully stuff the inside of each mushroom with sausage/spinach/cheese mixture, then top each mushroom with about 2 T grated mozarella. Carefully put mushrooms back on grill, stuffing facing up. Cover grill and cook about 5 minutes, checking often and removing from grill when mushrooms are cooked through, and cheese is melted and starting to brown, and stuffing mixture is hot. Serve immediately.

Here is a great site for new South Beach Diet-friendly recipes.

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