Friday, June 22, 2012

Balsamic Vinaigrette glazed grilled Portobello mushroom

I was at the supermarket last night grabbing some last minute dinner supplies as I walk by fresh and whole Portobello mushrooms and I tried to remember the last time I had some and couldn't recall, so decided to pick some up. Along with it are some steaks and spuds, and its a little over ninety degrees outside with the first official heatwave in Massachusetts in 2012 and the humidity is an unforgiving eighty-five percent so what I want to do is to minimize my cook time, for that matter grill only in an attempt to keep the kitchen and interior as cool as possible.

Since it is hot as hell out, I need a method to stay cool while grilling and what better than some ice cold beers? Whenever it's this hot out, I think of my old hood in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and one of the things that always amused me was the advertisement by the various local packies, varieties, and grocers of having the 'Coldest beer in town' to 'Colder beer than the other guy' and so on, starting a flame war of the coldest beer in da hood via signage down Atlantic Ave and Bedford Ave. I decided to pick up Modelo at the local liquor store since I have never had it and also thought that being a product of Mexico, I figured that they (Mexico and their brewers) would have come up with a beer for hot weather and when the Modelo's are ice cold (but not colder than the other guy...), they are fantastic; especially in front of my grill which typically runs at around five-hundred degrees.

Oh Brooklyn, how you haven't changed

Back on topic, I unfortunately do not have any pictures of the during process as it has been hot as hell out as I mentioned, and really just wanted to get the cooking in hot weather done with as soon as possible. This said, I did take a picture of the end game, the dinner; and we will arrive to that soon enough. Lets start with the ingredients;

2x whole Portobello mushrooms
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Basil (dry, as a spice)
Black Pepper

The Balsamic Vinaigrette that I used I made a little while back and it's nothing special, you can look up recipes on the web and go with which ever one you feel appeals to you the most. I do not use any sugar or honey in my dressing as some recipes mention as I feel that the sweet of the sugar or honey defeats the vinaigrette.

Clean the mushrooms with water and leave them relatively wet, remove the stem with your hands by bending away at the junction of the mushroom cap and the stem, cut the part of stem that was in the dirt off and discard. Place the cap upside down on a piece of foil that will be big enough to envelope the mushrooms later, halve the stems that you have and place the halves in the hollow of the cap than cover mushrooms liberally with the Balsamic Vinaigrette, likely will need to get your hands dirty here and toss them about so that they are coated all around. Next shake the black pepper and basil across the mushrooms than wrap it all up with the foil.

I gather the grilling supplies before leaving the kitchen, the food, the tongs, and of course; that cold beer to beat this heat. Typically when I turn on the grill, I wait a few minutes to let the grill come to temp before putting anything on but it's different this time around, once the grill is lit, I put the mushrooms on the top rack as I want indirect heat to cook it to keep from overcooking the mushrooms. Before going on, let me say that I use a gas grill and the rate at which it heats up is relatively consistent and this method maybe a different result for those of you that use a charcoal grill. The idea is to gradually bring it all up to temp so that the mushrooms don't dry out. I keep it on the top rack for around 10 minutes, than I move it the bottom rack to get some direct heat for about 3~4 minutes, than back on the top rack for another 5 minutes or so. While it cooks, you should be able to hear some sizzling sounds as the oil in the vinaigrette will heat up.

The mushrooms once cooked, should be soft and cooked through but still have a little 'snap' when you bite into it, that would be how you know you got the cook time right for your particular grill, enjoy.

Top right of the dish, mushroom halved and yes, that is a Superman tablecloth.

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