I have had my eye on these babies for a while. Baby portabellas that is. As the name would suggest, they are smaller than a full grown portabella but a bit bigger than a cremini. So technically, they are really more of an adolescent portabella.
So, while that very important distinction has been made, the question what to do with them? remains.
Hmmmm. Slice and sauté or stuff like a cremini? No.
Marinate and grill like a big portabella? No.
More creative. Must be more creative.
They are the perfect size to replace the burger in a slider.
No, that’s not it either. Think. Think. Think.
Does anyone else out there have similar conversations with yourself?
Okay, yes, but do you have them about mushrooms?
Marinate and grill. Burger. Slider. I like it but not the burger. The bun? Oh, now that is intriguing.
The bun. Hmmmm. Sliders with baby portabella mushroom buns.
No bread, low carb, sounds delicious. I like it. I like it very much.
Baby Portabella Sliders it is!
Now, who else should we invite to the party?
Ahhhhh, blue cheese. My favorite party guest.
And applewood smoked bacon. Come on in!
Let’s get this party started!
Baby Portabella Sliders
Prepare slider sized burgers.
You can grill or pan fry them. Right now, it is about 482 degrees outside so I opted for the cast iron on my stovetop in my air-conditioned kitchen. If you are using ground beef at an 80/20 ratio, you don’t really need to do more to it than add a little salt and pepper. I had a leaner blend on hand so to one pound of ground beef, I added one egg as a binder and a dash of cream for moisture (about a tablespoon) along with a bit of freeze-dried parsley just for fun. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. As always, be sure your pan is good and hot before you put the meat in! I am a medium-rare kind of gal so I cooked the burgers on medium-high 4-5 minutes per side.
For the “buns”, I pulled the stems out of the mushrooms and then brushed both sides of the caps with Drew’s Rosemary Balsamic Dressing (I absolutely love the stuff) and seasoned both sides with salt and pepper. Use whatever dressing you like or even just a bit of olive oil or coconut oil.
I adore my cast iron grill pan and it worked perfectly for “grilling” up the mushrooms. Make sure your pan is hot before you put the mushrooms in. I cooked them on medium-high for 2-3 minutes a side. Don’t move the mushrooms after you’ve turned them and you will end up with perfect grill marks.
Now, to build the sliders.
I selected the least attractive mushroom caps to use as the bottom “bun” and set each on a leaf of butter lettuce. The sizes varied but still worked out just fine.
Next, the burger patty.
Blue cheese crumbles.
Applewood smoked bacon.
Just a bit of thinly sliced red onion.
And finally, the second mushroom cap. See those grill marks?
Buns? What buns? Who needs buns? Not when you’ve got baby portabellas!
These were delicious! The mushrooms were flavorful and juicy and perfect. Messy but perfect.
I can hardly wait to make them again. In fact, I can’t stop thinking about them.
Oh, the possibilities …
Ground lamb with feta crumbles and tzatziki. Maybe a little olive tapenade?
Smoked Cheddar. BBQ sauce. Jalapenos. Caramelized shallots. Garlic aioli. Brie. Pesto. Mozzarella. Roasted red peppers. Goat cheese. Avocados. Serrano ham. Monterey Jack. Pickles.
Infinite possibilities that beg the question … what are your favorite burger toppings?
I would loved to know!