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Is your menu all ready for the holiday feasts? Don't worry,
I'll help you out with recipes and cute ideas. Most people
tell me they've got the main dish down...just what to go with
it? I'll stick to recipes that've made people her people ask
"is there more?" the most important things are a potato thing
and a veggie thing....1 or 2 depending on how many people there
are to feed. All the other dishes sort of fill in the table
once you've decided on the main sides.

Every year I'm asked to being the crunchy topped potato cheese
casserole that lives in the archives. That's a good one but I
can do it in my sleep. This recipe for PORTABELLA & POTATO BAKE
has some WOW hearty flavor with the mushrooms as well as a
little more gourmet flair. Don't worry about people who don't
like shrooms (unless anyone is allergic) ....sometimes they're
surprised after tasting this. Keep it interesting and don't
be afraid to try something new!

Enjoy!
Marzee

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RECIPE: PORTABELLA & POTATO BAKE

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INGREDIENTS
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds fresh portabella mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 pounds shitake mushrooms, chopped
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
2 cups chicken broth
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2 cups parmesan cheese
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups half-and-half

DIRECTIONS:
Melt butter or margarine in a large pot over high heat. Add
all mushrooms, and saute; until liquid evaporates, about 10
minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and rosemary; saute 1 minute. Add
chicken broth. Simmer until liquid evaporates, stirring often,
about 18 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cool. Position
1 rack in middle of the oven, and another rack in bottom third
of oven. Preheat to 375 degrees. Butter a 13x9x2 inch baking
dish. Peel potatoes, and cut into 1/8 inch slices. Arrange 1/3
of the potatoes in prepared dish, overlapping slightly. Top
potatoes with half of the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 of the
cheese over mushrooms. Repeat layering 1/3 of the potatoes,
remaining mushroom mixture, and 1/3 of the cheese. Arrange
remaining potatoes atop cheese. Whisk half and half, cream,
1 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl to
blend. Pour mixture over potatoes. Cover loosely with foil.
Place baking dish on middle rack in oven, and a baking sheet
on the bottom rack. Bake until potatoes are tender and liquid
thickens, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Uncover. Using a
spatula press potatoes into liquid to slightly submerge.
Sprinkle remaining cheese over potatoes. Bake until cheese
melts and gratin is golden at edges, about 15 minutes longer.
Let stand 10 minutes.

Yield: 12 Servings
Category: Potatoes, Side Dishes

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*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* MARZEE's CORNER *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

SOME PORTABELLA MUSHROOM TIDBITS:

These mushrooms are the most impressive in size and appearance.
The Portabella mushroom is a larger, hardier relative of the
White and Crimini and can range up to 6 inches in diameter.
Portabellas have a longer growing cycle than Whites and
Criminis resulting in a deep, meat-like texture and flavor.

SHELF LIFE:
Portabellas should hold 7-10 days. Keep refrigerated in paper
bags.

You can serve whole or sliced, grilled, baked, or deep fried.
Excellent stuffed as an appetizer, side dish or entree. Add
to stir-frys, sautes and sauces. A great substitute for meat
in a sandwich or entree. Also used as a meat alternative in
vegetarian entrees.

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