With summertime here and grilling season in full force there is a side dish that is sometimes overlooked. I am talking about grilled mushrooms. There are many kinds of mushrooms on the market with many suited for grilling. What goes better with meat on the grill than grilled mushrooms?
You can grill white mushroom, portabellas even king oyster mushroom. You can actually grill any sort of mushroom that your local grocer might offer. You can savor the natural flavor of these delectable vegetable or marinade them to suit your tastes. So pick the mushroom you want for your meal and start preparing them.
You can clean the mushrooms in two ways, Cooking snobs will say that you must never wash a mushroom in water, but if you are cooking for a crowd or have gotten some excessively dirty ones this may be the only practical choice. It is done in restaurants all the time. The proper way to clean a mushroom with a brush. Either way removes all the debris and cut off the end of the stem. If you are grilling large portabellas you will want to twist the stem right toss the cap and set it aside to use later.
Now is the time to marinate, if you are planning to. There are many marinades on the market that you can purchase. You make also make a fine marinade of olive oil and your vinegar of choice with garlic, salt and pepper. Mushroom are little sponges and will pick up whatever flavors you put with them. Marinate the mushrooms for at least 30 minutes while you prepare your grill. If you don’t marinade brush the outside of the mushrooms with oil to keep from drying out.
For grilling mushrooms you will want a medium heat on the grill. If you are using a gas grill and want the Smokey flavor of a charcoal grill purchase wood flavoring chips (available at most supermarkets) and soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. Then drain and place the wood chips in foil and seal around the edges. Poke some holes on one side and place packet, hole side up, inside of the grill, under the grate. The chips will smoke, infusing the food with flavor. Make sure that you oil the grate on the grill before you start your fire. You can spray it with cooking spray made for the grill or rub with a paper towel soaked in oil.
You can place large mushroom right on the grate. When cooking portabellas use the same method as grilling steak. Five minutes on each side. For smaller mushrooms, you with want to use a veggie basket or skewers. This makes turning easier and prevents the smaller ones from falling through the grate. Cook until done. It’s hard to give an exact time with the varying sizes of mushrooms.
An alternative cooking method is to place small mushrooms in a foil packet with butter salt and pepper. Sometimes I add some chopped garlic. Seal the packet and place on a medium grill and close lid. The mushrooms with cook in around 30 minutes. Delicious as a topping for baked potatoes or steak.