Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh to have a grill: Mushroom Caps with Arugula Butter

The long-awaited mushrooms post!

Things are beginning to settle in here in California, which is to say, class is started and Berkeley has begun to eat away at my existence. FUN!

It's the fifth day of school, already time to look back and think, Remember how fun life was when I was on vacation? (AKA "unemployed...")

With that in mind, I'm posting a recipe that is altogether unlikely if not impossible that I will ever make in my time here: grilled stuffed mushrooms.

Since I don't have a grill, it's pretty unlikely. Considering that one of the things that made these so amazingly delicious was not only the grill, but the smoker (oh, God bless the smoker), well, that's just impossible. At best, maybe I can use a friend's grill, or maybe if I really get the craving, I'll just make them in the oven. I've been trying to figure out how to get that smoky flavor into food without the grill lately, and mostly my ideas are falling flat. Maybe some smoked paprika?

Anyway, here's the recipe, taken from my dad's favorite cookbook of late, The Barbecue! Bible by Steven Raichlen.

Mushroom Caps with Arugula Butter

1 bunch arugula, stemmed, rinsed, spun dry, and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 Tbs (1 stick, or around 110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I'm pretty sure I used salted -- that's just how I roll.)
a few drops fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 jumbo or 16 large white mushrooms, stemmed, caps wiped clean with a damp paper towel
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Finely chop the arugula and garlic in a food processor. Add the butter and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and process until smooth. Spread the butter mixture in the mushroom caps and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Set up the grill for indirect cooking, place a drip pan in the center, and preheat the grill to high.

When ready to cook, preheat a vegetable grate (if using) and then brush and oil it or the grill grate. Arrange the mushrooms in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the mushrooms until browned and tender and the butter is melted and sizzling, about 20 minutes. For a smokier flavor, move the mushroom caps directly over the flames for the last 5 minutes of grilling. Serve at once.

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