I have another confession to make - up until the last few years I used to HATE mushrooms. I was a mushroom-hating vegetarian. That's almost as weird as a salad-hating vegetarian. Vegetarians have used mushrooms for years and years as a substitute for meat but I was just never into it. I hated the texture, thought they smelled weird, don't even get me started on how they look, and could never understand how they could be compared to meat. I did eventually start eating them, slowly but surely, over the course of the past few years. I still don't love them plain raw but do enjoy them marinated. Isn't it weird how much our taste buds change as we get older? There are so many things I count on my list of favorites now that used to make me gag as a kid - tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, raw onions - to name a few. Anyway, this recipe for mushroom marinade comes from the best cookbook ever - Veganomicon - and really does make them taste "meaty." At least to me!
|Delicious recipes abound!|
For the cheese "steak" sandwich there are 4 simple components: caramelized onions, roasted marinated mushrooms, cheese of your choice (I prefer swiss, but the traditionalists may want to go with the cheese food in a jar), and a crusty bread (baguette or ciabatta have been my top 2 - I've made this sammie more than a few times...).
1/2 cup cooking wine (I've tried both Sherry and various red wines - red is my preference)
2 T low sodium soy sauce/tamari/bragg's liquid aminos
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (I use 4 - can never have too much garlic!)
2-4 portobello caps, stems removed
(I've also had much success with the smaller portobellos and have used regular old button mushrooms - portobellos are the preferred choice here but I sometimes have to improvise)
Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together, preferably in a measuring cup with a pour spout, for easy pouring over the shroomies. Lay your mushrooms down face up (with the funky gray ridges upwards) in a baking dish or roasting pan. Pour the marinade over them, making sure to distribute the garlic bits evenly amongst the mushrooms. This position is ideal because the smooth caps are sitting in the excess marinade and the round top serves as a sort of cup to hold the sauce you pour over them so you are effectively marinating the whole mushroom at once. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and let the mushrooms sit for 20 minutes.
While the oven is heating and the mushrooms are soaking in their tasty bath, slice up half an onion into half moons. Put a small frying pan on the stove and heat about 1 T of olive oil over low heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally and watching consistently to make sure they don't burn too much. You want to cook them slowly over low heat to get that caramelized effect.
After patiently waiting 20 minutes, wrap the baking dish tightly with some aluminum foil and stick your fungi in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, flip mushrooms, and roast for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Slice your bread any way you want it - I prefer lengthwise. Remove your mushrooms from the roasting pan and slice them thinly like steak. Here's the secret. Take your bread and soak each half in the left over "gravy." Don't leave it so long that it gets soggy through out, but this really enhances the flavors of the whole sandwich and this marinade is seriously delicious, so don't be shy either. I made this one open faced - so layer mushrooms, caramelized onions, and swiss cheese on each piece of gravy-soaked bread. Turn on the broiler, stick the sandwich under there, and leave it for just a few minutes. It is very easy to burn things in the broiler - much easier than you would think. Get that cheese all melty and gooey, grab a brewski, and enjoy your manwich. Mmm. Also, if you eat steak, you could easily use these same ingredients to make that type of a sammie. I have no idea how to cook beef though, so you're on your own with that one. Some bell peppers combined with the caramelized onions would also probably be delicious...hmmm, why didn't I think of that sooner?
|Not very photogenic, but what it lacks in beauty, it more than makes up for in taste. Scout's honor.|