As I mentioned before, we’ve made the decision to eat less meat in order to allow us to afford better meat. So last night was another meat-free night. I had seen where people substitute portebella mushrooms for beef in various things, but I wasn’t so sure. To be honest, I hated mushrooms until the fall of 2004 when I hate the most scrumptious mushroom tart from a small shop in Rome. It was divine, and for the longest I figured I only liked Roman mushrooms. Then I learned how to cook them properly, and discovered that mushrooms didn’t have to taste spongy, bland, and dirty; they really shouldn’t taste like a pile of leaves left over from Halloween.
So now I love mushrooms, but am still wary of how they are cooked, and I was a bit nervous about substituting an entire foodgroup with large mushrooms in a single meal. Its one thing to make mushroom tarts and pastas where the other flavors accent the mushrooms, but also can possibly mask any dirty flavors. This was different, very different, and daring for me.
I decided to make a grilled mushroom sandwich. I knew I’d need some tasty bread, because really, a sandwich is half bread, and if it’s bad bread, it’s going to be a bad sandwich. To save money, I made some “olive oil bread” into rolls – they turned out better than any bread I have ever made. Then I bought some garlic and herb soft cheese and some field greens. I marinated the mushroom caps in olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic for about 30 minutes. Turns out I didn’t have the grill pan I thought I did, so I actually went outside to attempt to grill the mushrooms on the real grill. I got the thing lit, but then Husband came home, and thankfully took over.
I made the sandwiches, and when we took our first bites, we were stunned. Husband’s first words were “Wow, it tastes just like a burger..” mine were “Weird.” It really did taste just like a burger. I regretted my choice of fixin’s, and wished I had gone with mustard, pickles, and tomatoes.
Husband finished his sandwich, and with a smile said it was a definite repeat. I know I should’ve taken a photograph to show you, but they were just gone too quickly!