Meaty-tasting portabellas make fine burgers
Tips on cooking with portabella mushrooms.
Detroit Free Press
Meaty-tasting and low in calories, portabella mushrooms are a great alternative to a beef burger.
Portabellas can be very large, about 5-6 inches in diameter, although many stores now carry some that are about 3 inches in diameter or smaller.
It was in 1980 that the name portabella started to be used as a "brilliant marketing ploy to popularize an unglamorous mushroom," according to "The Food Lover's Companion" by Sharon Tyler Herbst.
Portabellas have a meaty texture because their gills are exposed, which gives them a low-moisture content.
Many recipes call for removing the gills before cooking. It can be simply a matter of preference, but it also can be because the spores released from the gills during cooking will discolor other ingredients that are mixed in. So remove the gills when making a mushroom soup or using portabellas in, say, a risotto or other rice or pasta dish.
If you're stuffing the portabellas, it's also a good idea to remove the gills and stems to make room for the stuffing.
In this portabella burger recipe, the gills are removed so they won't darken the cheese.
A basic preparation for grilling portabellas
Prepare: Remove and discard the stems, and scrape out the gills. Wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel.
Season: Brush both sides of the mushroom caps with olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse sea or kosher salt and black pepper.
Grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place mushrooms, top-side-down, and grill 4 minutes. Turn over and grill an additional 2-4 minutes or until the caps are tender.