I have ingredients, but no recipe

Had the following at a restaurant in Dallas called The Cosmic Cafe.

“portabella trance:
portabella mushrooms, spinach & onions sauteed in garlic - basil butter - served on nan with cream cheese & tomatoes”

I’m going to try to make it myself. It looks pretty simple, but I do have one question. Do you think there’s an order in which I should put the mushrooms, spinach and onions into the sautee? Or do you think I can just throw it all in together?

I’ve never cooked spinach before so that’s the one I’m especially concerned about.

Also, care to guess at the proportions in the garlic-basil butter? I’m guessing it would be hard to completely screw up but still, it’s nice going in knowledgably. :wink:

Sounds great! I’m not a trained chef, but I would suggest the onion go in first, wait till they get a tiny bit tender, toss in the shrooms (maybe lower the temp somewhat at this point) till the right amount of liquid has reduced from them, then toss in the spinich.

My guess would be 2 parts garlic to half-part basil (a little goes pretty far) to 4 parts butter.

Good luck!

Thanks for the advice!

I tried a tiny batch this evening as an experiment. I made the butter by just mixing the garlic (crushed, though I am lazy and so it turned out a bit more on the minced side of crushed) and basil into some softened butter.

When I had the dish at the restaurant, the onions were cooked so thoroughly they had basically no crunch to them at all–which I liked–but when I sauteed them to that point this evening, it ended up burning the garlic in the garlic butter.

Any suggestions as to how to avoid this?

If I cook on low heat, will the onions get to that thoroughly sauteed point without burning the garlic? Or will it still burn?

I’m thinking about just sauteeing them in butter and then adding the garlic and basil toward the end, before I put in the mushrooms and spinach.

Also, note to self–use alot more spinach than you think you need to.

Garlic burns very easily. I suggest sauteeing the garlic first, very carefully, and then removing it. Then cook your onions to the desired tenderness, add your garlic and basil back in with the mushrooms and spinach. By that point, there will be enough moisture to keep everything happy until the mushrooms cook and the spinach wilts. This sounds divine!

When I sautee onions, I use a bit of butter and a lot of extra virgin olive oil. I would cook them over medium heat until they begin to caramelize, then add the garlic and mushrooms. I’d probably wait a bit and then add the spinach and basil. Also, don’t be afraid to add a few other fresh herbs if you can find them. Good luck.

Edit: don’t forget to stir often

I usually saute my onions first until translucent, and then add my garlic to avoid the problem you describe. Sometimes, I will just fry up a few halved cloves of garlic in the oil/butter and then remove to just infuse the fat with garlic flavor without adding actual pieces of garlic to the dish.


How would one make something called a “garlic butter” without there being little chopped up bits of garlic in it?

I ask out of idle curiosity. For the recipe being discussed in this thread I’m just going to ignore the notion of a “garlic basil butter” and just sautee the stuff in butter (with basil in?) and add the garlic (and basil?) in toward the end of the sautee.

As pulykamell described- sauteeing larger chunks of garlic, then removing them. It’ll add garlic flavor to the butter without worrying about burning your garlic.

Probably the restaurant has a big tub of the compound butter already prepared. You should just saute in butter and add garlic and basil to taste.