Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Portobello Wiener Schnitzel with Smoky Cabbage (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo)

If you hate mushrooms, maybe it's just that you took a wrong turn somewhere on the internet and ended up here at the mushroom-adoring The Chubby Vegetarian site. We heart mushrooms, and we really aren't ever shy about it. Whenever we cook for folks at an event, we always hear the same thing: "I don't even like mushrooms, but this is fantastic!" 

Like, well, anything else in the world, the secret is in the preparation. If you toss a few white button mushrooms into a stew and then they come out all slimy and weird-looking, it just reinforces the very thing that people don't like about our favorite fungi. There's a bunch of stuff you can do to make them really good: spice 'em and grill 'em over high heat; stuff' 'em into tamales; smoke 'em on a cedar plank; braise 'em in red wine; or give them a flavorful coating of almonds (like in this recipe). Basically, treat 'em like a piece of meat!

Here we served the Portobello Wiener Schnitzel over our Smoky Cabbage. The cabbage is cooked over high heat in a dry pan to sear the edges of some of the shreds, which lends a pleasant, slightly smoked flavor to this humble vegetable. Add a few caraway seeds and garlic for something old made new again.

Portobello Wiener Schnitzel with Smoky Cabbage 

1 small to medium head green cabbage (cored and shredded)
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 large portobello mushrooms
1/2 heaping cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper (more to taste)
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Celery leaves (to garnish)
1 lemon (quartered)

Heat a large frying pan (not the nonstick kind) over high heat until it begins to lightly smoke. Add 1/3 of the cabbage and allow it to cook until the bottom layer has browned. Add a second 1/3, toss, and repeat. Finally add the last of the cabbage, the caraway, garlic, and vinegar, and toss to incorporate. Cook until all cabbage is just wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside until ready to serve.

Scrape the gills from the portobellos and trim the overhanging portion of the cap to make it flatter. Save trimmings for another use. Place into a covered microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove and place mushrooms between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound them gently with the bottom of a pot or a meat tenderizer until they are about 1/4-inch thin. Allow them to cool completely.

Set up two bowls. In one, place the almond flour, salt, dried thyme, and pepper and toss to incorporate. In the other bowl, place the beaten eggs. Dip each mushroom in the egg, then the almond flour mixture, then the egg, then the almond flour mixture to ensure a good coating. 

In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the olive oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Serve on cabbage garnished with celery leaves and lemon slices. (Serves 2.)