Who says BBQ is only fun during summer? Well, I definitely do not. I love grilling all year round – even during winter months. And apparently, I am not alone with this weird habit. According to the grill manufacturer Weber, more than half of American grill owners grill all year round. And before you condemn me for quoting a grill manufacturer, I think even if their numbers may be pushed a little, it tells us that there is still a substantial number of winter loving outdoor BBQ cooks among us.
Instead of going on with numbers, I have a confession to make: We don’t have a grill here in Cambridge/Boston. As someone who grow up in a grill-enthusiastic country like Austria, this can really hurt. But there is always an alternative, in this case the oven broiler. It’s not comparable to a charcoal grill, with its awesome charcoal flavored goods but it’s better than nothing. So bring a little summer feeling to the chillier months by grilling some vegetables, burger patties or portobellos without annoying your upstairs neighbor by the smell of a balcony open-fire grill. The citizens of Little Vienna will thank you.
Pre-heat the broiler to the highest possible temperature (my broiler reaches 550 degrees).
Brush both sides of each mushroom with olive oil. The portobellos will absorb the oil immediately.
Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper
Place mushrooms on a broiler pan coated with nonstick cooking spray or a rack. Put a pan underneath the mushrooms as they will lose water.
Broil about 6 inches from the broiler element (I use rack 2 of 4 from top) for 4 minutes each side. Start grilling the portobello mushrooms stem-side down. Turn around and broil 3 minutes. Turn again so you get rid of the liquid in the cabs (smooth side up) and top with cheese during the last minute of grilling.
If you are grilling cherry tomatoes, they will need about 4 minutes under the broiler.
Lightly toast brioche buns, top with some arugula, Portobello mushroom (with melted cheese on top), chutney or oven-tomatoes and fresh thyme. Enjoy!