Sunday, October 11, 2009

How to Grill PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS - Steven Raichlen

Today is going to be a very busy day for me. Today marks the beginning of the near month long celebration of my wife's birthday. This Caveman is going to abandon his beloved fire cooking and is going to BAKE (a cake) in the oven. Then, I will be simmering a pot of chili. Sadly, we have an electric stove top, so I won't even see that bit of fire while I cook.

Luckily my chili is made from a smoked brisket. So I have the memories of "real" cooking to get me through the day.

And instead of just a sheet cake with icing from a can, I am going to make a two tiered (maybe three if I get a fancy bug up my b*tt) cake, fancy decorated spectacle. Food blogging has changed my life. And at 5 PM, the neighborhood is gathering for the Chili Cook Off that marks the beginning of JACKIEtober... The two week long holiday that is all about MRS. MyYearOnTheGrill.

So, here's a short post that will give me more time in the kitchen...

But first...

Give away contest is happening RIGHT NOW,
for 5 more days (great odds, only 1 entry so far)...
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Started a Brother Blog
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And now, Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Garlic, Parmesan and Pine nuts...

No matter what it might look like in the photo above, this was the cap to my ALL VEGETARIAN meal challenge you can read about by clicking HERE. I made several veggie dishes as part of a challenge to make an entire vegetarian meal (without a big salad).

This recipe can be found on page 376 of Steven Raichlen's amazing grill guide, HOW TO GRILL. The book includes three pages of detailed instructions, including lots of photographs and a simple easy to follow recipe. Click HERE to go to and read other people's reviews or to order. I just found out they have discounted the price, new copies are available for less than $10 and used copies for less than $6!

Here's what I did...

First, select your mushroom. You are looking for size, about the size of the diameter of a softball. Generally, this is the main course of a vegetarian meal. So you want volume. It could be possible to use smaller if you are serving as a side dish. Also, select ones that have no splits in the top. You will be using a marinade, so you don't want them the juices to ooze out during cooking.

Cut or gently pop the stems off, and wipe clean with a paper towel. DO NOT use running water, or they will become soggy.

OK, everything from here on out has the mushroom stem side up. Do your best to NEVER pierce the slightly tougher skin on the top (now the bottom, as you flip it over and work on the softer underside of the mushroom).

OK, take knife point or tapered chopstick tip and make several slits or holes into the mushroom meat. insert...

Garlic slivers
Cheese slivers
Rosemary leaves
and Pine nuts

Once you have the mushroom full of flavorings,

Make a simple marinade of

mostly Olive Oil,
plus a generous portion of Balsamic vinegar,
salt, pepper

Spoon the marinade into the meat of the mushroom (saving 2 tablespoons for use later). Ideally, the cap remains unsplit, and the marinade pools into the meat just fine. Let this sit marinating in the fridge for an hour.


Grill away (still cap side down), high direct heat for about 3 minutes only. Be careful, don't overcook. And now, flip over and grill the meat. Guess what, all that marinade will fall out (causing flair ups). That's OK, you want to sear the meat. It only stays on this side for about a minute in the flames, or for three minutes if it doesn't flair up.

Flip back over cap side down and reapply the reserved marinade into the meat.

I like the crunch of pine nuts, so I added a bunch more. Have some grated Parmesan cheese handy and generously top the mushroom. Only takes a couple of minutes to melt the cheese a bit.

Serve and wait for the OOOHHHS and AAAHHHS. They will come. Lots of flavors in this. This is a great recipe if you grill a lot. Eventually you will get one of those freaks of nature (vegetarians) in your backyard. Having this in your arsenal of recipes. Makes sure that all your guests feel welcome.

A huge 5 out of 5 for this recipe. Personally, I barely tolerate mushroom. Just don't care for the consistency. But the garlic and cheese really sets this apart.


  1. I like the look and sound of this recipe. I have a couple of portobello burger recipes that we like a lot. I always remove the gills to make more room for other good stuff and better color. I'm sending birthday wishes to your wife.

  2. Oooh, I love this! I love portobello mushrooms, too! And they make great burgers, as well!

  3. Ha! I celebrate my birthday for a full month too. It used to be out of necessity with friends and I figure it has to be all about me! Wish the wife a stupendously happy birthday for me!

  4. Check out my recipe for sliced puffball mushrooms, and quit with this Stevie worship- You are a great chef all on your own! Got both his books, I agree with much, but you have surpassed him, in many areas.. A compliment, not a slam..

  5. Sending birthday wishes to your beloved!

    Those mushrooms look out of this world good!!

  6. Just catching up after a few busy days, you continue to make some great looking items

  7. Oh my.. I love the sound of these portabellos, delicious. I agree with BuffaloDick... you are a standout griller all on your own.

    Happy Birthday to the Mrs.

  8. Happy Birthday to Jackie. We Libra women are special. The mushrooms look spectacular. I am having trouble keeping up with you. You have posted four times while I wasn't looking.

  9. i love this dish! grilled shrooms are delicious!

  10. These mushrooms are "to die for', cher! If it ever stops raining in Cajun Country, I'm going to try these. Happy Birthday to your better half!