In our family we usually celebrate a Cuban style Christmas Eve Noche Buena supper but this year since it was just the 2 of us and my son has been recuperating from double pneumonia, we decided to just have a simple meal consisting of a few tapa style dishes.
One of them was inspired by a friend from near Maryland who mentioned driving all the way to the coast just to eat crab stuffed mushrooms. I tried to buy fresh crabs just before Christmas, but could not find any in our markets and since I had decided this was one of the dishes we wanted, I resorted to using canned, which I normally would not do. It turned out quite good, actually, as the horseradish masked the usual tinny flavor.
This is not quite a recipe, per se, as I didn't meassure the mayo and horseradish, but I used 1 can of white crabmeat.
Baked Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
2 large open capped Portobello mushrooms
6 ounce can crab meat or equivalent in fresh crab
It is best when you use big, wide mushrooms with their gills open to give more room for the filling. Clean and remove the stem.
Brush the inside and outside of mushrooms with melted butter and set aside on a foil or parchment lined baking tray.
Fluff up the crab meat - if using canned - add mayonnaise and creamy horseradish to taste. You want a light mixture but not too 'soupy'.
Divide the mixture and fill the mushroom caps leaving a little mound in center.
Bake at 350 F until puffed and golden. Serve while still hot.
YIELD: 2 servings
SOURCE: Sonia's kitchen
I had read several recipes for stuffing mushrooms with crab meat, but I wanted something simple. Some called for lemon juice, bread crumbs, dill, cheese, etc...Although I kept it to the minimun amount of ingredients, it was delicious.
Another tapa bite I wanted to try was one found in the Simply Recipes blogsite (see info below). I used Elise's recipe as my guide, but made some changes to use up ingredients I had on hand.
Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Toast Tapas
Sometimes you can find herbed Chevre (soft goat cheese) already packaged. If you don't, just used a combination of your favorite herbs.
Herbed Chevre (soft fresh goat cheese)
or add a combination of herbs you prefer to plain Chevre
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil - see note below
Thin slices French-bread baguette (*)
Thinly sliced smoked salmon
Thinly peeled citrus strips, cut into tiny slivers
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the goat cheese, herbs and black pepper in a bowl to blend. Set aside. (This part can be made, covered and refrigerated a day or two ahead)
Brush oil over all surfaces of the sliced bread. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and bake until crisp or about 4-5 minutes per side (This can be done a couple of hours ahead of time) - I used our toaster oven and it took about 3-1/2 minutes per side.
Generously spread cheese mixture over each piece of toast. Top them with thin slices of smoked salmon, trimming to fit, then garnish each with a thin citrus peel strip. Arrange on a platter and serve.
YIELD: Depends on length of baguette and width of slices.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: Elise's Simply Recipes site - post for Dec 20, 2008
(*) I used slices of a sourdough baguette I had in the freezer; pre-packaged herbed Chevre and paper thin slices of smoked salmon we already had in the refrigerator.
The peel I used was thin slivers of lime. These limes grow in our yard and the peel is very thin without much pith. They look more like a small orange than what we think of as a lime, round and orange colored when ripe. The taste is halfway between an orange and lime and the size is halfway between an orange and a small calamandin....
The taste of the peel with the goat cheese and salmon is really a great little burst of flavor and should not be skipped.
NOTE: The olive oil I used was a Blood Orange flavored olive oil, sent to me by an Internet foodie friend as part of a Holiday Gift Exchange. The oil came from Queen Creek Olive Mill in Arizona. Thank you, Sarah. As you can see, I put it to use right away!