Updated Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 08:29 AM
You don't need a turkey to put stuffing on your Thanksgiving table. Many Americans long ago abandoned the fuss of cooking the stuffing in the bird. In addition to cutting the time it takes to cook the turkey, this also frees up the side dish to be enjoyed by vegetarians.
But rather than simply placing the stuffing into a casserole dish, we took it a step beyond. We spooned a delicious savory cornbread stuffing into portobello mushroom caps. The result is as attractive as it is delicious.
And for do-ahead ease, you could prep these up through the stage of stuffing the mushroom caps, then refrigerate them until closer to serving.
Cornbread Stuffing Mushrooms
Start to finish: 30 minutes
8 large portobello mushroom caps
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 medium leek, green and white parts, sliced
1 medium carrot, grated
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups diced cornbread
Vegetable broth, as needed
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Arrange the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet, gill sides up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and leek and saute until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, thyme and rosemary and cook until tender, about another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and gently fold in the cornbread.
When the mushrooms are done, pour any liquid that has collected on the rimmed baking sheet into the cornbread mixture. If the mixture is dry, sprinkle in a bit of vegetable broth. Gently mix. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and return to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories; 50 calories from fat (28 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 5 g protein; 430 mg sodium.
MATTHEW MEAD / AP
Cornbread stuffing mushrooms.