Friday, February 15, 2013

Twisted Portabella Burgers pt. 2

I didn't say these were going to be traditional burgers, did I? Certainly not. Because of the particular shape of my home-grown portabellas, I had to make a decision on how to use them. Since they were slightly bigger than my buns, I decided baking them would be a smart move, so they would be tender and shrink up a bit— I had seen that happen a few times when making stuffed mushrooms, and this basically is a stuffed mushroom on a burger bun.

Twisted Portabella Burgers
(makes 2 burgers)
  • 1/2 of a small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh greens
  • 2 tbsp soft goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Hollow out the stem and gills of your mushroom caps with a spoon or your fingers. Don't dig too deeply, just enough to make a small well for the stuffing.

Begin cooking the chopped onions in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the paprika, sage, salt, and pepper and stir well. Continue cooking until the onions are slightly translucent and the spices are giving off a strong fragrance.

Remove the onions from heat, and stir in the goat cheese. Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps and sprinkle them with grated parmesan cheese. Transfer the mushroom caps to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

I ran into a slight difficulty here of which I need to make note. I'm used to cooking with store bought portabella caps, so I dramatically underestimated the water content of these that I grew. There's always a little moisture that bleeds out of a mushroom cap during baking, but mine were weeping like a jilted bride. So I had to remove them and place them on a towel to soak up some of the moisture. The good news is that they shrank exactly as I wanted, still tasted great, and had a good texture after they were dried off. Just be aware that this can happen and use thick caps which have had some time to dry out before baking, or get a towel ready.

The rest is just assembly; I added a bed of baby spinach to my homemade rolls, placed the stuffed mushrooms on top, and that's it— patty, onion, and cheese all in one package. If you're a fan of ketchup and mustard or other burger condiments, you can add those too, though I'd recommend selecting condiments that don't overpower the goat cheese and sage flavors. Go for delicate stone-ground mustard instead of yellow, sliced heirloom tomatoes instead of ketchup, etc. For added richness, you can also brush the sliced rolls with oil and pan toast them over a high heat for a minute before assembly. Enjoy!

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