Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grilling In The Rain

Recently, it feels like the sun and the clouds have been playing tag with each other. Here in CT, our weather patterns have gone something like this: Day 1 - scorching sun, Day 2 - thunderstorms, Day 3 - back to cloudless skies, Day 4 - rain all day ... and so on. If I was a more organized and focused person, I'd know to plan my blog-related cooking adventures for the sunny days. But since my natural state of being is chaotic laziness, I find myself craving grilled burgers on the days that it's pouring outside.

DH's latest photography contribution - a few kind words from you is all his ego needs to become completely insufferable, so be careful when praising this one!

So what to do when outdoor grilling is not an option? George Foreman to the rescue! Yup, you heard me. I've now become a GF proponent. I never thought I was the sort of person to jump on any kind of bandwagon, but I think this one bears exception. Who woulda thunk it?!

When you call it a "lean, mean FAT grilling machine" it just sounds like it grills fat. There's something wrong with the English grammar there. Sorry folks, I'm the daughter of a teacher - and I get this way sometimes!

You don't need a grill of any kind to make these healthy yet satisfying burgers; just a grill pan or a large skillet on the stove will work just as well.

The first portobello mushroom burger I ever tried was at the Cheesecake Factory, ages ago. And I still remember it being a complete revelation, because it was so damn good! At that moment, it was the best burger I'd ever had. Not just best veggie burger - simply best burger ever. Period. It was packed with flavor from all the different toppings and sauces, and it was so thick and meaty and filling. That's why, when I saw this recipe for Portobello Burgers on the gorgeous site Ezra Pound Cake, I went a-runnin' to get out my GF grill.

Pretty Perfect Portobello Burgers (check out Rebecca's original recipe here)
Serves 2

Click here for printable recipe

2 tbsp store-bought pesto (or use freshly made, if you can!)
1/4 cup real mayo, or slightly more
2 sourdough, multi-grain or ciabatta rolls, split horizontally (or any other fresh rolls, but not the too-soft & thin Wonder hamburger buns)
2 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and dark gills scraped out
Olive oil
2 slices provolone cheese (or any other sliced cheese of your choice, provided that it melts well)
Slices of roasted red peppers from a jar
2 cups arugula or baby spinach (or both)


1. Get all your ingredients ready. Mix together the pesto and mayo and set aside. Take out two large pieces of roasted red peppers from the jar, and pat dry between paper towels.

2. Heat up your stove-top grill pan or skillet. Brush the portobellas on both sides with olive oil and place them on the grill, cap-side down, for 4 mins. Then turn them over to the other side for another 4 mins. In the last min, cover the caps with one slice each of the cheese - so that it melts gently over the mushrooms.

3. Toast the buns, cut-side down, on the same grill pan for 2 mins.

4. Assemble: Slather both sides of each bun with the pesto-mayo. Place the portobello with melted cheese on the bottom half of a bun. Layer on the roasted red peppers. Pile on the arugula/spinach. Then cover with the top half of your bun. Serve immediately with your favorite type of oven-fries - Oreida's Seasoned Crinkle Cut Fries would be my personal choice.

Verdict: DH was a skeptic when I said we'd be having portobello burgers for dinner. He'd never experienced the Cheesecake Factory one y'see. But he was game enough to try my version. Just goes to show that after 4 years of matrimony, at least he trusts my food choices implicitly (for all you young brides out there, remember to pray for patience!). And he was rewarded because these burgers were brilliant! Better than I'd hoped for! I guarantee you won't miss the meat. Everyone will enjoy the play of flavors here, between the crisp peppery-ness of the arugula, to the smoky taste of roasted red peppers, the festive pesto-mayo, melted provolone (I'll try pepper-jack next time), and finally, the meaty mouthful from the grilled portobellas.


Anonymous said...

The portobella burgers look awesome! I do love that picture you husband took - really neat and very artistic!

I answered your questions about Boston restaurants on my post but wanted to make sure you get the answer - other than Bricco, the Union Oyster House is a classic, and O Ya (Japanese fusion) is an absolute must visit (do check out my review, this was a Monday post, excellent food!).

Varsha Vipins said...

Awesome..!Can u believe it that I havent ever tried any veg burger in ma life..lol..yes..but this looks like a great combo..portobello n red pepper n cheese(oh yes yes pepper jack..!)...mmmhhhh!

Varsha Vipins said...

..n oh forgot..the pic is actually really nice..!!

Anonymous said...

Hey the picture is really creative..afterall such experiments make our life worth right munee ?

and your Portobello Burgers tempt me to try..great recipe

so,my award didnt reach you dear ?

Jennifer said...

I have never eaten a Portabello Burger, but yours sure looks good, I may have to stop by Cheesecake Factory and try it!

Lisa Turner said...

I'd walk a mile or three for portabellos. Just wonderful and a perfect choice for vegetarians looking for something to grill.

Cathy said...

That's a great picture (sorry, I know his ego is inflating as you read this). I personally love bbq'ing in the rain - although I do move the grill a bit closer to the door to cut down on getting soaked.

mmmm - it's raining here and I now want this burger - not the mojito pork I'm making tonight.

Ann said...

Please accept the award and a tag from my blog.

Kerstin said...

They really do look perfect! I've actually never had a portobello burger either, so I'll have to give one a try!

Donna-FFW said...

This is so my kind of sandwich. I LOVE all the veggies on there. Delicious!

Creative Classroom Core said...

What a clever veggie burger! These sound awesome!

Yasmeen said...

It's not easy capturing a shot of rain drop,I think bro. did an excellent job.
I wasn't aware of these delicious burgers at cheesecake factory.Looks absoulutely delish even without the meat :P.
btw,I also have the same grilling machine :D

Maris said...

Oh, I'm sold! Can't wait to give these a try!

I agree with you about the Lean, Mean, Fat Grilling Machine. It either implies that the machine grills fat or the machine IS fat!

Foodiewife said...

You are a genius, woman! There's a local restaurant that makes the BEST portobello burgers this side of the Mississippi. I have been too lazy to figure out the recipe but you did it for me. The only DIFF is that they make a garlic aioli instead of pesto. Either way, I know this is so good! Bless you.

Muneeba said...

Thks Debby ... garlic aioli .. why didn't I think of that?!!!
Maris, I'm so GLAD someone else thinks that way!
Yas, Ann, Varsha & Cathy, I told DH abt your compliments and the ungrateful putz just looked smug .. see what I mean? ;)
My sincere thks to everyone else who liked this post and the burgers! Remember to check out Ezra Pound Cake - that's the blog I got the recipe from.

Parita said...

Wow that click is really good, loved the burgers..hmm what wonderful flavors!

Miss High Heels said...

What a tasty looking burger!

Danielle said...

Now thats a burger! Yum!

Bergamot said...

portbello mushroom are realy huge... the pics are awesome... must have tasted relly nice in the burgers. first time here...nice blog.

Shannon said...

portobello burgers are so goooooooood! we marinade them in balsamic vinegar,olive oil,garlic and some dried herbs and they are just soo good! i have to try your method!