battle 2–day 1, part 2–mushrooms

Well, my sister, who is more or less a supporter of this project, will be happy to know my portabella burgers were a total failure, so even if it wasn’t mushroom week and I wasn’t already planning to try something new every night, I would be forced to cook them another way again tonight. I’m starting to think this was a terrible idea.

I went to the farmer’s market to stock up on supplies for this week’s battles with mushrooms. When I got there I realized I had been shopping for the same 12 things for so long I had no idea where to look for any of the new items on my list. When I couldn’t find half the ingredients, I decided I shouldn’t go to the farmer’s market by myself anymore and I left rather dejected. I did manage to pick up portabellas for the first battle, but that was it, so I have to go back with a chaperone for the rest of this week’s mushies.

When I got home, I did the same thing I did last week, I sat around and waited. It’s not like I hadn’t learned my lesson from last week, I had. It’s just that I was pretty sure it wouldn’t take long to grill a few pieces of mold. I was right about that. And I was wrong about a pretty similar thing I was wrong about last week, which was assuming the sitting and waiting would be fine, even though I don’t know how to grill. What I learned about grilling is that it takes a while to heat a charcoal grill. People who grill things know this. I do not grill things. I did not know this.

Many people suggested portabellas to me as a good introduction to mushrooms. I was skeptical of this advice because of its sheer size, but people assured me, no, Julie, you will be fine, it tastes just like steak. I believe you will not be shocked to learn this opinion came from a vegetarian. Having never so much as touched a mushroom in my whole life, to avoid mucking up my dinner I prepared the portabellas exactly the way friends and the Internet told me to: I marinated them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar—which I understood to mean washing them, something I assume you’re supposed to do with all vegetables to avoid salmonella and the plague, and then dropping them in a casserole dish filled with oil and vinegar—and an hour later when the coals were fired up, I tossed them on the grill where they promptly combusted. David said it was because of the olive oil, but I had done exactly what everyone told me to do, so I believe everyone’s instructions should have included more specific warnings on how not to explode my portabellas.

cooked mushies

I added provolone cheese just before I took the charred mushrooms off the grill, then I topped them with some fresh tomatoes and viola, portabella charcoal bricks. They looked beautiful. They tasted like crap. Chewy, oily, burnt crap.

Mushrooms—1, Julie—0.

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6 thoughts on “battle 2–day 1, part 2–mushrooms

  1. Mmmm, my favourite. But with pesto, toasted garlic baguette, arugula, all lovely things that go along with the mushroominess. I will happily cook and serve them to you but you’ll have to come here. Sorry about that part.

  2. Ick! You couldn’t have started with a more advanced mushroom than the portabello! The fact that you actually ate it makes me proud!

    I’m still rooting for sauteed button mushrooms on a (provolone) cheeseburger…with real meat. 🙂

  3. I volunteer to be the DeKalb Farmer’s Market chaperone next time. Except not on Sat, because the people in there on Sat make me CRAZY.

    Maybe part of the problem is calling them mushies . . . gross.

  4. I applaud your attempt at bella burgers. I think the marinade could have been different though. I have one, courtesy of JT, that is divine. Marinate those bad boys for a while, grill carefully, slap on a bun with either a pesto mayo or red pepper mayo, toppings of your choice and they are so juicy it’s ridiculous. Even my dad loved them.

  5. Clearly Midge and JT need to move here; I need JT’s help with this project, and I want to eat his hummus more often. Mmm, chick peas.

    Melanie, quit flaking out on dinner and come help me so I don’t fuck as much of this up.

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