Note: This recipe was part of a Beyonce-themed dinner party – see the entire menu here.
When creating the We Like To Party menu, I knew I definitely wanted to incorporate some sort of po’boy as a nod to Beyonce’s Louisiana roots. I also wanted to make it meatless, since there was a rich beef and potato course to follow. And ever since Jamie said the words “chicken-fried mushroom” to me a few months ago, I’ve been plotting to make it. It worked out perfectly for this dinner party – and I think it was the sleeper hit of the night.
Let’s start with the mushrooms.
While the mushrooms are baking, make the aioli and start the cherry tomatoes.
Back to the mushrooms.
- for the mushrooms
- 10 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup panko
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- peanut or vegetable oil
for the lemon aioli
- 1/2 cup organic mayo
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
for cherry tomatoes
- 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, stemmed and halved
- 1 1/2 tbsp applewood chips
- baby lettuce
- mini french bread rolls or mini slider buns
- for the mushrooms
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Brush any debris off of the mushrooms. Gently twist the stem to remove. Using a spoon, gently scrape out the gills from the bottom side of the mushroom. Drizzle mushroom caps with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake caps at 425F for about 15 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool.
- In a deep fryer or large dutch oven, heat about 3" of oil to about 375F.
- Whisk together milk and eggs in a wide shallow dish. In another dish, combine the flour, panko, 2 tsp salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Dredge the mushroom cap first in flour, then in the egg mixture, then back into the flour. Deep fry at 375F until crisp and brown, about 5-8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- for the aioli
- Combine all ingredients. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to use. Can be made 3 days ahead of time.
- for the cherry tomatoes
- Using a stovetop smoker, smoke halved cherry tomatoes over medium heat with you favorite light fruitwood (I used apple wood) for 45 minutes. Alternately, you can drizzle the cherry tomatoes with olive oil and roast in the oven at 400F for about 30 minutes. The idea is to remove some of the moisture from the tomato to concentrate its flavors and bring out the natural sugars.
- to serve
- Spread aioli on the bottom bun, top with lettuce, one fried mushroom cap, and a few smoked cherry tomatoes. Secure with toothpick.