As National Grilling Month comes to a close, we asked grilling expert Dr. BBQ to share his favorite way to cook with mushrooms.
Can you grill mushrooms? Yes of course you can. In the meaty world of BBQ cooks we typically think of grilling a big portabella as a way to satisfy vegetarians who we are sure want something that tastes like a steak. I was that guy when I wrote my first cookbook. So I marinated these big ‘shrooms in Italian dressing and grilled them. After a while I flipped them to grill-side up and topped them with a handful of blue cheese. And it was good. Really good. In my early days working as the Big Green Egg spokeschef I visited a lot of their local dealers to do cooking demos. It was effective, but there was only one of me. So I started teaching them to cook. Teach a man to fish (or cook) and he’ll eat well and sell grills. One of the recipes that I taught these folks was the one described above. I also taught them to cook steaks, pork tenderloins and even BBQ ribs. But when I’d see these folks later or re-visit their stores the one recipe they’d been using and were raving about was the grilled portabellas. They loved it and felt like they were really doing something fancy. After all every grill guy cooks steaks and ribs. Some good and some bad but they all do it. They don’t cook mushrooms so this was a dish that set them apart from the rest. But forget the originality and the perceived fanciness of this. It’s a great combination. The bold portabella pairs beautifully with the garlic and herbs of the Italian dressing and it all comes to life with the salty tangy blue cheese melted all over it. I’ve cooked them a little short where the mushroom is al dente and I’ve overcooked them until it’s crispy. Both were good. I’ve overloaded the Italian dressing with garlic and it was better. I’ve added parmesan to the blue cheese and it rocked. My fiancé, Sandi, recently bought some mini portabellas and made a bite-size version that was perfect for a more civilized event. Yes, you can grill mushrooms and keep it simple and they’re delicious. The best part is they’re not just for vegetarians.
-Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ
Here’s the original recipe from my first book “Dr. BBQ’s big Time Barbecue Cookbook” written by me and published by St. Martin’s Press. There’s an Amazon link for that one and all of my books at www.drbbq.com.
Of all the different things I cook for people these are the most requested and also the thing they go home and cook themselves more than anything else I show them. It’s a very simple recipe and I guess that accounts for some of it but it’s also the exotic nature of the portabellas and the blue cheese. These have converted many a non-mushroom person.
4 large Portabella Mushroom caps
1 bottle Italian Dressing
6 oz crumbled Blue Cheese
The morning before you plan to cook twist the stems off the portabella caps and discard them. Put the caps in a Ziploc bag and pour the dressing over them. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate. Prepare the grill direct and hot. Put the portabellas on the grill with the gill side facing down. Grill for about 5 minutes. Flip and top with the cheese dividing it equally among the caps. Grill another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. The great thing about these is that everything is already cooked. If you like the mushrooms al dente feel free to serve them that way. If you like them grilled hard and crispy, that’s fine too. I like them both ways. Serve whole as an appetizer or cut into bite size pieces for grazing.