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Dueling Chefs: A Vegetarian & A Meat Lover Debate the Plate

Dueling Chefs: A Vegetarian & A Meat Lover Debate the Plate by Maggie Pleskac and Sean Carmichael


Pleskac Portobello

4 large Portobello mushrooms (5-inch caps or larger)
Truffle oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried basil or ¼ cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
2 cups artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove then mushroom stems and gently wash the mushroom caps. Rub the tops with truffle oil and place in a baking dish with the gill side up. Fill the baking dish ½ inch deep with lightly sea salted water. Set aside.

In a food processor, blend the Parmesan cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, basil, fennel seed, sea salt, and pepper until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in spinach, artichoke hearts, parsley, and half of the walnuts. Place the mixture into each of the mushroom caps and top with remaining walnuts. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Mmmm…


The Carmichael

Four 8-ounce choice beef tenderloin fillets
16 16/20 tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup white wine
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) Stilton blue cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grill the steaks to just under the desired doneness. While the steaks are grilling, sauté the shrimp over high heat with butter and garlic. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Remove the steaks from the grill and cut an “X” in the top of each. Divide the blue cheese between the four steaks and stuff it into the middle of the X. Take four shrimp for each steak and stuff them into the blue cheese with the tails curling over the side of the steak. Place the stuffed steaks on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Pour the butter and garlic over all. Place in the oven, uncovered, until cheese is slightly brown and bubbly. Serve right out of the oven and prepare for ecstasy. 

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