I’m going to let you all in on a lil secret. I’m not exactly a natural at cooking.
Thank you, thank you! Yes, I’m flattered by all your shocked faces!
Seriously, though. I’ve become a pretty good ‘faker.’ I’ve learned by now that I’m not the type of gal that can ‘wing it’ by adding a lil bit of this and a lil bit of that. Follow a recipe? Sure. Adapt that recipe a bit? OK. Perfect it over time? Absolutely. But CREATE? Hells no.
Several years ago I had the pleasure of staying with my aunt in Chicago, while I was there on a few modeling jobs. My aunt is one of the coolest people ever, by the way. She’s one of the main reasons I became so interested in healthy and organic food (she introduced me to my first Whole Foods!). Anyway, she’s a culinary genius and has the ability to throw great-tasting dishes together on a whim — so yes, while I love her, I also kind of hate her I remember her grilling up portobello mushroom caps and thinking how incredible they tasted, while thinking that they looked fairly easy to make (enter: my first big mistake).
Upon arriving back home, I figured I’d make my boyfriend (now my Mister) a special dinner and remembered this tasty and what I perceived as an easy dish. Cooking from memory and using my intuition, I created what I thought would be a delicious portobello sandwich. I lit a few candles, chopped up some fruit and made a delicious salad to complement my savory entree. The mister and I then sat down to enjoy my culinary creation.
Putrid. Horrid. Revolting. SPIT-OUT-WORTHY.
These are some of the words that came to mind as we both spit the shroom out onto our plates. The mister actually used the term: inedible. And he was still trying to impress me, people! We hadn’t crossed over into that “I can tell you if your food sucks” honesty! Well, we crossed into that forbidden land that evening. Let’s just say that this was the incident that eventually led to the Mister adding our favorite pizza joint to his speed dial.
So there you have it. I’m not the best experimental cook. No sireee. But I also don’t try to be. I know my strong points and I’m happy to say that we have had very few portobello-incidents (a phrase coined by the Mister — isn’t he dear?).
After reading this, one might think that I never went up against Mr. Portobello again. HOW WRONG YOU ARE, my friends! Shannon will not be defeated by a shroom! People, it took me 5 YEARS, but I finally confronted Mr. Portobello and created a delicious meal.
- 5 Portobello mushroom caps
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves or garlic
- salt and pepper
You can use a grill or a broiler to cook the portobellos. Don’t be intimidated by your broiler! It is the perfect grill-substitute! For those of you who don’t have the luxury of having a grill, use the broiler for the same recommended time and flip mid-way through.
First, line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Next lay the potobello mushroom caps gill-side down. Coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with half of the chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in the broiler for 4-5 minutes.
Flip portobellos. Coat the gill-side with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the remaining chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 more minutes.
Remove from boiler (or grill).
Enjoy your amazing creation.
So easy, so simple. No take-out required
While the Mister was VERY skeptical (and I think a bit scared), he did try my second attempt and admitted its deliciousness. Shannon – 1; Mr. Portobello – 1
Now I just have to create one more successful recipe around this shroom and I can safely say, “I win”
Have you struggled or been intimidated by a particular ingredient? How did you overcome it?