Portobello mushrooms piled high with chipotle mashed potatoes, frizzled leeks clinging on for dear life.
I hope newbie vegetarian Bill Clinton doesn't do what many people do when they switch to a vegetarian diet: load up on cheese and eggs, thinking they've given up one vice, so why not pile on another? That won't do his heart or his waistline any good. Besides, there are so many delicious vegan recipes out there, there's no need to give up taste when you give up animal products.
This recipe for Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Chipotle Mashed Potatoes was originally in one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Planet. I've altered it slightly, baking the mushrooms instead of sautéing them, for more even cooking. It makes an elegant main dish, but it would also make nice hors d'oeuvres if you use smaller mushrooms.
The chipotle mashed potatoes are good on their own too. (And no, I haven't seen chipotles here; I import them from New Mexico. If anyone's coming this way and wants to bring me a present...)
I suppose you could use leftover mashed potatoes in this, but I've never tried it, mainly because we never have leftover mashed potatoes. You see, I substituted that vice for the others I gave up.
Portobello Mushrooms with Chipotle Mashed Potatoes
6 large portobello mushrooms
Trim portobellos: Remove stems and, if desired, scrape off the gills—the dark brown stuff that looks like fish gills, or so I imagine. (This is the messy bit; use a small sharp knife and hold the mushroom over the rubbish bin. Or else ignore this part of the instructions, for a less aesthetically pleasing mushroom.) Brush tops and bottoms with olive oil; place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Remove from oven and pile mashed potatoes on top, then drizzle with a little olive oil.
Bake at 400F/180C until the potatoes start to brown, about 10 minutes. Drape leeks attractively on top and serve.
1 or 2 chipotle chiles, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, or 1 or 2 canned
6 or 7 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup soy milk
salt to taste
Place soaked chiles in a blender or small food processor along with a small amount of soaking liquid (or juice from the can) and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender; drain. Mash with potato masher and add the soymilk, a bit of margarine and the salt. Add the chipotle mixture and combine thoroughly.
2 leeks, washed and sliced into rings
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until crisp.