Portobello Mushroom Blue Cheese Burgers
Emeril Lagasse was my favourite celebrity chef when I first started watching Food TV almost five years ago. I had just gotten married and moved to the Bay Area from Bombay. Never having cooked in India, I had to learn everything from scratch, including boiling water! So I was endlessly fascinated by the TV channel that was entirely devoted to food and cooking.
I watched hours and hours of Food TV in an attempt to learn cooking. While Emeril's recipes were a bit complicated, I used to enjoy just watching him in action - his flamboyance was irritatingly charming. But I soon got a tired of his predictable phrases like "kick it up a notch" and "bam!"
I'm not a huge Emeril fan these days but I have to say that one of my all-time best dishes is from a recipe I got from Emeril. I have never failed to get compliments for my cooking when I make these burgers. Harsha absolutely loves them because he is a big portobello and blue cheese fan.
Aditya and Shlok came over last night. Being single, tewenty-something Investment Banker-types living in Manhattan, any home cooked food for them is manna. They wolfed down the burgers and oven-cooked parmesan fries while appreciating and complimenting me the entire time. I need to have them over more often!
Here's Emeril's recipe for Portobello Mushroom Blue Cheese Burgers with Lemon Aioli and Bitter Greens:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 large fresh portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and stems removed
4 thick Vidalia onion slices
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces Gorgonzola, thinly sliced
4 large whole wheat hamburger buns or large kaiser rolls
Lemon Aioli, recipe follows
1 bunch watercress, rinsed and dried, stems removed
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, and rosemary. Place the mushrooms in a large re-sealable plastic bag, or a baking dish, and cover with the marinade. Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
Prepare the grill.
Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper, and place gill sides-down on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn. Arrange the cheese and onion slices on the gills of each mushroom and continue to cook until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Open the rolls and lightly toast on the grill, insides down.
Place 1 grilled mushroom inside each bun and garnish each, to taste, with aioli. Divide the watercress among the 4 buns and serve immediately.
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
With the back of a knife, mince the garlic, then crush. Gradually work the salt into the crushed garlic to make a paste. Place in a bowl. Whisk the eggs and lemon juice with the garlic paste and incorporate. Add the cayenne. Slowly whisk in the oil, a little at a time, until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture emulsifies. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
(Use within 24 hours.)