Chef and farmer Andy Varela of Maitland Mountain Farm thinks that marinating portabella mushrooms is a handy ingredient to keep in your refrigerator.
They taste great, are healthy and can be put on a grill as a great addition to salads or as a condiment on hamburgers or other sandwiches. They can also be eaten as a simple side dish. Varela also recommends serving with vinaigrette such as his own fresh herb vinaigrette.
Before grilling, Varela suggests that you marinate the mushrooms for 24 to 48 hours by keeping them sealed in the refrigerator. That way you can pull them out whenever you need them, especially for grilling.
When you do grill them, remove the excess oil to avoid unnecessary flaming. You do not have to season them any more than they already are.
“What you are looking for is a nice grilled, charred flavor to the mushrooms,” according to Varela. Grill for three to four minutes on each side until you get the grill marks and browning. “The more of a grill mark you have, the more of that charred and grilled flavor you are going to have on your mushroom.”
You know when they are done when they reduce in size and loose some of their moisture. Take them off the grill, let rest and come down in temperature as you would a steak then slice on the bias into strips.
Portabellas are older crimini mushrooms and have a meatier taste and texture. They are the largest of the cultivated mushrooms and the caps can be 6 inches wide. The stems are thick and can be cooked and eaten along with the caps.
To help maintain their quality, refrigerate portabellas as soon as you can. If you store them in paper bags instead of plastic it is better. A plastic bag retains too much moisture.
6 to 8 portabella caps, with stems removed
30 ounces canola oil
10 ounces balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1. With a spoon remove and clean Portobello stem and gills. In a large bowl add garlic, canola oil, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper.
2. With whisk, mix all ingredients until incorporated. Add cleaned mushroom caps and submerge till covered. Let marinate for 24 to 48 hours in refrigerator.
3. Pull caps when needed, cook on grill or in a sauté pan for 3 minutes on each side.
Serve and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Andy Varela, Maitland Mountain Farm, 2012.