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Monthly Archives: February 2011

World-Famous Mushroom Steaks

The best cure for red-meat nostalgia I know of, and almost as easy to prepare as a real steak.  The key with these is the cooking time. The mistake most restaurants make with portobellos is not cooking them long enough, which leaves the middle part tough and styrofoamy.  Mushrooms, unlike red meat, can only be prepared in three ways: well-done, overdone, and not done.

Ingredients

-5 big-ass portobello mushrooms

– 5 oz tamari sauce

– Hot sauce of your choice  (One that’s slightly sweet and garlicky and not too vinegary works best).

Supplies

– George Foreman Grill, or standard gas or charcoal grill

– One wide casserole dish, or a couple of pie tins

Brief tangent on the subject of George Foreman Grills: I have one of these in the cabinet above my refrigerator, but I haven’t the foggiest how it got there.  I definitely haven’t bought it in the last 6 months, which means it moved with me from the old apartment.  So you’d think that it would have registered that I owned a GF Grill at the point when I had to pick it up and throw it in the car.  Or, failing that, the point when I had to lift it out of the car, decide where it would go in the new apartment, and then get on my tip-toes to put it in the cabinet above the fridge.

But no.  How and when it came into my possession remain a mystery.  It seems like some turn-of-the-millennium relic that you should only be able to find at the trendiest of thrift stores.

But so the tie-in of this little story is to point out the fortuity that it did come into my possession, because it really is the best way to cook these mushroom steaks.

Preparation

1. Remove stems from mushrooms, and place face up in casserole dish.

2.  Puncture each mushroom in 4-5 roughly equidistant spots with a knife.

3.  Give each mushroom a couple of squirts of hot sauce.

4. Douse each mushroom with Worcestershire.

5.  Flip mushrooms over; repeat steps 3 & 4.

6.  Fill casserole dish with remaining Worcestershire; cover, and refrigerate.  Let marinate overnight.

7.  Fire up grill to medium-high heat.

8. Place mushroom on grill (if you’re using a regular grill, you’ll obviously be able to do more than one at a time.)  Cook for about 7-8 minutes (or 5 minutes on each side on a regular grill).  You’ll know they’re done when you stick a fork in the very center, and don’t encounter any fibrous resistance.

9.  Let sit for about 15 minutes, until the flavors have all kind of settled in.

The experience I’m usually in search of when I make these is middle-of-the-road steakhouse with pretensions of fine dining, so I’ll serve them over sauteed spinach (pretensions!), with a side of red potatoes.

They’re also very good over  kale (really any vegetable that will soak up the juices), and couscous.  They’d probably also be pretty tasty on a sandwich with tomato and avocado.

Public Service Announcement

The worst thing you can ever do to hardwood flooring is put a box of kitty litter within kicking range* of it.  The dust that the litter leaves behind will not ever fully come off.  Not with a dry swiffer, nor with a wet swiffer.  Not with a broom, nor with a vacuum cleaner. Not with a rag and some warm water.  Not even if you start shouting (at your cat? at fate?) about how you pay good fucking money for these floors, and you take good fucking care of this cat, and there is absolutely NO fucking reason why this should have happened to you.  Neither fate nor your cat nor the unholy force binding the litter dust to your floor will  be moved by this appeal to fairness.

Now you know.

*Equals the maximum distance you believe your cat should reasonably be able to kick cat sand plus the remaining distance to reach the wood floors.

I probably lost about 10% of my stomach lining at work today, and I was all prepared to pronounce it the worst day of the year so far until I got in my car to sulk home to find that the saints at the local soft rock radio station had heard my soul crying out, and decided to make it the BEST day of every year so far.

I can’t believe it’s been like 15 years since I’ve heard this song.   And  I caught it right as it started playing, which almost never happens with a song you’re excited about hearing on the radio.  As if that weren’t enough, do you know what song they played immediately after?

They played that Unbreak my Heart song by Toni Braxton!   Who needs Prilosec when you’ve got a healthy dose of Quiet Storm to balm your esophagus with?