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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

I like to create recipes that break away from the expected. I wanted to create a Portobello recipe that stands on its own, has dramatic flavor, looks inviting, and provides a hearty side dish that could even serve as a main dish. It has to be different from a grilled or stuffed mushroom and so irresistible it brings people back for seconds. I think I've succeeded and couldn't wait to share it.

Those who adore the earthy flavor of Portobellos will definitely gravitate to this dish because it zaps the mushrooms with a knockout sauce laced with hickory smoke flavor. As an accompaniment to a meal, it works great because it provides such a delightfully robust "chunky condiment," much like chutney might add to an Indian meal.

Going to a potluck? Double the recipe. Bet there'll be no leftovers, and it might even be a conversation starter.

Smoky Portobellos


Yield: 3 to 4 servings

    3 to 4 large Portobello mushrooms, about 3/4 pound
    1 large purple onion, cut into half-moon slices
    1 green bell pepper, cut into 3/8-inch wide strips
    1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into 3/8-inch wide strips

    1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons dry red wine
    1/4 cup (60 ml) tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon hickory smoke flavoring

    2 teaspoons maple syrup
    1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder

    1/4 bunch parsley, for garnish
    2 or 3 lemon slices, for garnish
    1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

  1. Wash and dry the mushrooms. Using a serrated or very sharp knife, slice the mushrooms into 3/8-inch (1 cm) thick slices and set aside, along with the prepared onion and bell peppers.
  2. To make the Sauce, put the dry red wine, soy sauce, olive oil, paprika, and smoke flavoring in a large, deep skillet or flat-bottom wok over high heat. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble, add the mushrooms and vegetables.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, toss the mixture constantly to coat the mushrooms and vegetables on all sides with the sauce. Adjust the heat to medium-high and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.
  4. Add the maple syrup and chipotle powder and cook 1 minute longer. To serve, put the mushroom mixture on a serving platter or into a bowl. Place the cluster of parsley at the edge of the platter and artfully arrange the lemon slices close to the parsley. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds over the mushroom mixture.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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