Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicken-Fried Portobello + Mushroom & Shallot Gravy

"Everything's better chicken fried," my buddy Aaron exclaimed when I told him what I had made for dinner last night. I had to agree. In this recipe, a meaty portobello mushroom graciously stands in for steak in this vegetarian take on a Southern classic, chicken-fried steak. 

I used to eat chicken-fried steak all the time when I was a kid. My grandmother would make it, and we'd have the same conversation every time. "What is it, Mamaw?" I'd ask, "chicken or steak?" She joke around and tell me it's both. Now the answer is neither. Though her food was always delicious, I like this meatless version best.

Chicken-Fried Portobello Mushroom

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon each: salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and sweet paprika

2 eggs (whisked)
1/8 cup cream
3 portobello mushroom (stemmed, trimmed)

1 cup canola oil
Shallot and Mushroom Gravy*

chopped parsley

Combine the flour with the spices in a mixing bowl large enough to accommodate one mushroom at a time. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the eggs and cream. 

Now trim the mushrooms by removing the stems and the part of the cap that hangs over the gill side; doing this will create a flat surface, which will make it much easier to pan-fry your mushrooms. Reserve the trimmings because you will use them in the gravy. 

Heat the oil to medium high in a 12-inch frying pan. Depending on the size of the mushrooms, this pan should accommodate all three at once. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Now, batter the mushrooms using a three-step process: toss them in the flour mixture, coat them with the egg mixture, then dredge them in the flour mixture. This should help plenty of spiced flour to adhere to the mushroom. Fry mushrooms for about two minutes per side. 

Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and finish cooking them through in the oven. This should take about 15 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to make your gravy.

To serve, smother mushroom with gravy and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with your favorite side vegetable. We had garden-grown green beans with garlic and tomatoes.

*Shallot and Mushroom Gravy:

1 tablespoon of butter
trimmings from the mushrooms
1/2 cup shallot (minced)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup strong broth (preferably mushroom)
1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
sea salt 

Melt butter in a 10-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add the trimmings and shallots. Once the shallot is translucent, add the flour and cook until nutty and fragrant. Add the broth and milk as you whisk. Slowly bring mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Mixture should be thick like pancake batter after a few minutes. Season with black pepper and sea salt.


Laura said...

Just curious... Do you get rid of the gills on the mushrooms, or do you leave them in?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

I left the gills in, but if you prefer you may remove them. I really only take them out if I need more room for stuffing. The dark color they lend to the 'shoom is a plus here since this was traditionally a steak dish.

Bianca said...

This looks amazing!

Janice said...

Just last night I was thinking of making gravy and here you are with this awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing and can't wait to try it!

By the way, any suggestions on making the strong broth?

Unknown said...

YUM!! I've been wanting to do this forever.. but wasn't sure if the mushrooms would release too much moisture! Soo... big thanks for making this and sharing!! :D

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Here is my mushroom broth recipe: http://chubbyvegetarian.blogspot.com/2011/01/no-bones-about-it-vegetarian-broth.html

but using a vegetarian bouillon cube (like not-beef cubes) and adding 25% less water will yield a good strong broth.

Cowgirl said...

WoW! Does this ever sound good! Your friend is right as in almost anything breaded and fried(baked) is delicious.

Thanks for the recipe.

Unknown said...

Mmmmm ... thanks for sharing! I LOVE chicken-fried steak and gravy. :)

I will most definitely try this recipe out to try the mushrooms cooked like this.

tender b. said...

Next week I'll be giving this one a try!

Anonymous said...

Not sure why I never thought of doing this! I started salivating as soon as I saw it and couldn't stop thinking about it until I made it. AMAZING! And, it makes 3, so we had a left-over. It made an excellent sandwich! I added some avocado and cheese on a nice bun with a touch of Sriracha. Next time I might add a fried egg to the leftover sandwich. SO GOOD!