One of the first dates I went on with my significant other of 13 years was a romantic dinner at the Pasta House Co. way back in the year 2000. Funny, now that I say that I hear Conan O’Brien’s voice replaying his famous “In the Year 2000” skit. Yes, it has been that long ago! Anyway, on that date, we decided to try one of their new appetizers – the Portobello Frito – which was deep fried portobello mushrooms sprinkled with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and served with a creamy horseradish dipping sauce. They were amazing!
Unfortunately, our local Pasta House Co. closed, so we can no longer go out to eat and enjoy what became one of our favorite appetizers of all time. However, I was recently able to recreate the Pasta House Co’s Portobello Frito recipe so that my family and I can now enjoy it at home. If you’re a mushroom fan, then you’ve got to give this one a try!
- 3 cups vegetable, canola or peanut oil
- 3-4 large portobello mushroom caps – trimmed to remove any portion of stem and any additional loose flesh around the underside of the cap
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup Italian seasoned Panko breading
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbs finely chopped parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1/8 cup shredded Parmesan-Reggiano
- Salt (as needed)
- Pepper (as needed)
- Heat oil in deep fryer or large, deep skillet to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice portobello mushrooms into 1/2 inch thick strips.
- Place flour in a bowl, pie plate or in a baggie.
- Crack eggs into a bowl and beat.
- Place panko breading into a bowl, pie plate or into a baggie. Blend in the 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan, the parsley leaves and a few dashes of salt and pepper.
- Dredge mushroom strips in the flour, then in the egg wash, then the panko mixture.
- Place breaded mushroom strips into the hot oil (about 5-6 per batch) and cook for about 3 minutes or until they become a nice golden brown.
- Remove from oil and place on a platter lined with paper towel.
- Sprinkle 1/8 cup of shredded Parmesan-Reggiano over the strips and serve with a creamy horseradish sauce, if preferred.
To make the creamy horseradish sauce:
Mix 1 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise with 1 Tbs horseradish, a few turns of freshly cracked pepper, 1/8 tsp of onion powder and a 1/8 tsp of garlic powder.