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.
By the way, I used my homemade Brioche Buns and the I-could-eat-the-whole-jar-in-one-go Cherry Chutney for these burgers.
- 2 large portobello mushroom caps, stemmed and wiped clean
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 handfuls arugula
- 2 slices medium-sharp cheddar (9-12 months aged)
- 2 tablespoons cherry (or plum) chutney or 6-8 cherry tomatoes
- 4 sprigs thyme, woody stems removed
- 2 brioche burger buns (see recipe)
- 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!
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