Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spicy Marinated Portabella Mushroom Burger

Portabella mushrooms are an excellent meat-alternative for savory, if you're in the mood for it. They cook and are prepared similarly to hamburger patties, and make excellent mushroom burgers. Adding a spicy yogurt marinade isn't strictly necessary, but bridges the gap between 'tasty' and 'decadent' quite nicely. The burgers don't take that long to make, and the mushrooms, lettuce, and tomato were all sourced from the local farmers' market.

The Buns

We're going all the way with this. The buns are challah bread, made pretty much from scratch using the same techniques and ingredients we used in making our beignets. Each bun is baked as a roll, then cut in half when we're ready to build our burgers.

Spicy Yogurt Marinade

The marinade we used was a modification of a recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. The base is a half-cup of plain yogurt, to which we add one tablespoon lemon juice, about one and a half teaspoons ground ginger, half a teaspoon each of ground coriander and salt, and a quarter teaspoon each cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Just mix it all together, coat your mushroom caps with it, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

The Caps

The marinated portabella caps are fried over a medium low flame for about 7 minutes on the first side and 5 on the second, until cooked through. You can, if you choose, grill them instead — it turns out about the same either way. The remaining marinade can be used as a sauce. We've further elected to top our portabella burgers with tomato, lettuce, red onion, avocado, and a slice of smoked gouda.


The Outcome:

The savory flavor of the portabella caps was offset well by the spicy tang of the yogurt marinade. All our ingredients were fresh and locally produced where available. One thing I might try next time is a spicier cheese — perhaps a hearty pepperjack or jalapeno-cheddar.

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