Since it’s summer and these mushroom burgers, which appeared in the Boston Globe last week, are so good, I am going to share the recipe with you. You may think I’m just being a lazy blogger. I am. As I said, it’s summer. I also know that many of you do not necessarily read the Boston Globe, and often the links to the recipes disappear over time. So here is something for you or the vegetarian at your barbecue. Time to lighten up, grillside. If you want to find out what I came up with for leftover grilled mushrooms (bulgur salad), you can find it here.
I admit, I tried to entice College Boy to eat these by adding bacon. Oh, they were good. Still, the mushrooms were a no-go for the picky eater formerly known as, The Picky Eater. I am not complaining. We have made a lot of progress since his grade school days.
Update: This Memorial Day (2012) you could be grillin' bold and Bush’s has the beans for it. Come join the cookout with
Check out more recipes on their blogs. In the meantime, consider serving Bush's Fiesta Beans with your mushroom burgers.
Grilled Portobello mushroom burgers
One reader asked me for directions on how to cook these without an outdoor grill, so I am filling you in at the end of recipe. You never know, it could be raining cats and dogs or you might be out of charcoal. Or you might not have a grill.
4 thick slices red onion (3/8-inch each)
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 large (4-inch) Portobello mushroom caps
4 small plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces cheddar (or other cheese), cut in slices
4 soft rolls, cut in half horizontally
Chipotle mayonnaise (optional, see recipe below)
2 avocados, sliced
4 lettuce leaves
1. Soak four 10-inch bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
2. To keep the onion rings intact while grilling, thread a skewer horizontally through the middle of each onion ring. With a pastry brush, coat the onions, mushrooms and tomatoes on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to medium-high. Grill the mushrooms (gill side down), the tomatoes (flat side down) and onions on their skewers for 4 minutes. Turn and grill for 3 more minutes, or until they are cooked through. Transfer the onions and tomatoes to a plate.
4. Top the mushrooms on the grill with cheese. Cover the grill and cook for one minute, or until the cheese melts. Toast the cut sides of the rolls just until they begin to brown. If you like, spread the tops and bottoms of the rolls with chipotle mayonnaise.
5. To assemble the burgers, place one cheese-topped mushroom on the bottom half of a roll. Top with 2 tomato halves, 1 onion ring, a few slices of avocado, a lettuce leaf and the top half of the roll. Repeat with remaining mushrooms.
To make these indoors:
1. Set an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler element and turn on the broiler.
2. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (step 2, above.) You do not need to skewer the onions. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
3. Set the mushrooms, gill side down, on the baking sheet. Arrange the onions and tomatoes in one layer next to the mushrooms. Broil for 4 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften and brown. Turn the mushrooms and onions over. Remove the tomatoes from the oven if they are soft and charred, otherwise, leave them on the baking sheet for a minute or so longer until they are cooked through. Broil the mushrooms and onions on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Remove the pan from the oven.
4. If you like, toast the rolls: set them on a separate baking sheet with the cut sides up and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until brown. Keep your eye on them to prevent them from burning.
5. See step 5, above.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
Just to prove to you that I am not a total slacker, I am adding a bonus recipe, a recipe for something that might not ever make it into the newspaper. It involves homemade mayonnaise and some chipotle chilies.
Why do I want you to make homemade mayonnaise? Because it’s good. I mean really, really good. It tastes of fruity olive oil and tangy lemon (or in this case lime) and most importantly, it tastes fresh. It has nothing to do with mayonnaise as we commonly know it. So, if the jar in your fridge is empty and you want to save yourself the time and trouble of schlepping to the grocery store, grab a whisk and follow along. Even if you take your time, it should not require more than 10 minutes.
Into this mayonnaise I am going to suggest you stir some chopped chipotle chilies (oooh, inadvertent alliteration.) Then you are going to spread it on the rolls for your mushroom burger.
If you have more than you can use on the burgers, you are going to spread it on a lovely piece of fish and bake it in the oven. Or maybe you will slather it on a few ears of corn and sprinkle them with lime juice. If you cook the corn on the grill, so much the better. Trust me, it’s a tried and true Mexican idea. We northerners adorn our corn with butter, so why not creamy mayonnaise with spicy hot chilies and a little lime juice?
Speaking of flavored mayonnaise and summer, you could also chop up some fresh basil or tarragon and add it to your mayo; your basil mayonnaise would nicely accompany the burgers if you decide to use fontina or a more pungent Italian cheese on them.
On the other hand, if you add some chopped pickles and capers and chives, and maybe a bit of mustard to your mayonnaise, you will end up with tartar sauce. Then you will have to fry some fish or clams to go with it. The mayonnaise thing is kind of never-ending.
Homemade mayonnaise with optional chipotle chiles
Makes 1 cup mayonnaise
I say optional chilies, because this is a basic mayonnaise recipe with chipotles stirred in. The only difference is that I suggest you use lime juice instead of the traditional lemon juice here. If you want to make a basic mayonnaise, then use lemon juice and add a little mustard (start with 1/2 teaspoon.) The olive oil is a forward flavor in homemade mayonnaise, so make sure you choose one that is not too assertive, or mix it with mild vegetable oil.
Chipotle chilies are smoked jalapeno chilies. That is spelled h.o.t. HOT. Use your discretion. Chipotles in adobe are softened in a spicy tomato sauce. You will find them in small cans near other Mexican products in the grocery store.
2 egg yolks*
1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon juice if making traditional mayo)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup mild-tasting olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped chipotle chilies, to taste
1. Set a bowl on top of a dampened paper towel to keep it from sliding around. You will need two hands: one to whisk and the other to dribble in the oil, so the bowl needs to be stationary.
2. Whisk the yolks, lime juice and salt together in the bowl. Pour the oil in a measuring cup with a spout. Gradually, and I do mean gradually, whisk in a little olive oil. When the oil and yolk are emulsified, add a little more oil. Repeat. Keep adding the oil bit by bit, thoroughly whisking it in before you add more. When it is thick, taste it. You may want to add a few more drops of lime juice and some more salt.
3. Set aside half of the mayonnaise for another use. Stir the chipotles into the remaining mayonnaise. (You can always double up on the chipotles and use all the mayonnaise. I’m just trying to give you options.) Homemade mayonnaise will keep for about 4 days in the refrigerator.
*If you are squeamish about using raw egg yolks, you can try to find pasteurized egg yolks at the market. On the other hand, you may be lucky enough to have access to farm eggs. In that case, the best defense is to rinse the shells before you separate the eggs to prevent unsuspecting bacteria from contaminating the eggs. (FYI I am a carefree type and don’t do either unless the eggs are visibly dirty, but then I have a stomach of steel.)
Look and Cook: How to make mayonnaise
Whisk egg yolks, lime juice and salt in a bowl set on top of a dampened paper towel to keep it from sliding around. (Note: I used farm eggs and boy are the yolks yellow!)
Very gradually whisk in the oil, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition until the oil and egg emulsify. When you have added about 1/3 cup of oil, you can start to dribble the oil in from the spout more quickly. Stir, stir, stir.
The mixture thickens as you add more oil.
Voila! Mayonnaise! This is not Hellmann's.
Chipotle chilies en adobo look like this. Remove the seeds, they have more heat than you need and interfere with the texture. Stir the chopped chilies into the mayonnaise, to taste.
Now smear it on some corn or spread it on a sandwich.