Jul 25, 2012 7:06 PM

Let's Make a Meal: Portobellos filled with creamed spinach & Pernod

TUCSON - Today on "Let's Make a Meal," our food contributor, Jennifer English, stopped by to make:

Portobellos filled with creamed spinach & Pernod from Rozanne Gold Entertaining 1-2-3

These beauties are as big as Olympic Gold medals and prized for their simplicity, sophistication and deliciousness. This classic creamed spinach and anise flavored Pernod combination also reminds me of the classic oysters Rockefeller of New Orleans which I am headed to for Tales of the Cocktail.
12 large portobello mushrooms
3 packages creamed spinach thawed
3-4 Tablespoons Pernod (anise flavored liquor)

Preheat oven to 400 degree
Remove any stems from mushrooms and chop finely.
Place in a small saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Drain in fine mesh sieve.

Place creamed spinach in medium bowl. Add cooked mushrooms, Pernod, and freshly ground pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Wipe mushroom caps with damp paper towels. Place stem side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft but still retain their shape.
Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings

Watermelon Salad with Black Olives & Feta
Makes 6 servings
1 medium-large red onion
½ c. rice vinegar
¼ c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ c. water
1 ½ lbs. ripe watermelon, seedless and without the rind
8 oz. thinly sliced feta
32 oil-cured black olives, pitted
6 Tbsp. fresh basil, slivered
1/3 c. olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Peel onion and slice into very thin rings.
Stir together rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and water until sugar dissolves. Pour over onions. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.
Slice watermelon or cut into 1-inch-by-½-inch cubes. Arrange on a large platter.
Top watermelon with feta. Scatter as many drained onions on top as desired. Scatter salad with olives and basil. Cover and refrigerate if not serving right away.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper just before serving.

Lightening up the alcohol in a summer cocktail to me means using less of it in a much taller drink I love highballs and coolers and my rules for a great highball are simple. Each drink should contain no more than 1 1/2 ounces of alcohol, in a 12 or 16 ounce glass with LOTS of good ice, and topped with Perrier. Perrier has four great flavors that make summer coolers and highballs delicious.

Try this one

1 ounce Bombay Sapphire Gin
1/2 Campari
1/2 teaspoon of freshly squeeded lime
dash orange simple syrup

mix all ingredients in a tall glass and stir, iadd ice and top with Perrier


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