Sunday, June 19, 2005

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.

Lemon Aioli:
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch cayenne
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.)


Blogger rums said...

sanjoy and i almost walked into his restaurant the last time we went to new orleans but ended up instead at felix's oyster bar and had some super fresh and delicious oysters with some freshly made new orleans hot sauce. the huge african american guy who was serving us asked us if we wanted our sauce simply 'hot' or 'gay hot'. sanjoy almost lost his power of speech!

2:34 AM  
Blogger Lulu said...

that's a hilarious story. so when are you guys coming to new york next? i'm dying to meet sanjoy after hearing so much about him and it will be so nice to reconnect with you! i think we won't stop chatting about food :)

10:58 PM  
Blogger Nish said...

hey Lulu,
the receipie sounds yum and I will try it out on the weekend - though we dont get the choice of mushrooms, I figure I will just use the regular white variety and pile them on to the bun. A bit of a comporomise there but the blue cheese should be flavorful enough. Its been pretty easy so far being a vegeterian because i always eat veggie at home and would only eat meat if splitting something with all my carnivore friends. But Gayatri's wedding is coming up and I will really test my will-power then. I think steak and all meat-meat is definetly not going to excite me but giving up seafood will be hard. Keep pointing me in direction of nice veggie food sites - make me strong

3:48 AM  
Blogger rums said...

i'm dying to visit NY lools. just waiting for little g to sprout some more teeth (she has just four now) so that she can enjoy herself as much as we do!

6:14 AM  
Blogger Navin Bamane said...

you can get Portabello mushroom on they have good quality.

3:32 AM  

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