The heat of a SABER® grill is perfect for cooking this grilled portobello sandwich to perfection. Add a salmon, sweet onion and cheese for more flavor.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I tend to eat a lot of different foods as a sandwich. Perhaps eating on the go (and often while walking) is a throw-back to restaurant days, but the point is I love sandwiches. There is just something irresistible about that perfect combination of ingredients nestled between layers of bread.
The idea for this sandwich started with another long-time favorite—grilled portobello mushrooms. While I am not a vegetarian, when I do want to lay off the animal protein a bit, I am drawn to portobellos. They are big, meaty, and full of rich flavor. On the grill, they are even better as they benefit tremendously from some serious char marks and a healthy dose of smoke.
Having said that, I have also eaten grilled portobello caps that do not achieve this heady flavor profile. The reason? The grill was not hot enough to do the job. Portobellos, like many other mushrooms, contain a lot of water. If the grill is not searingly hot, the mushroom caps simply cannot brown. This is where the intensity of the infrared grilling of the Saber® grill really shows its stuff—hot like the grills in professional kitchens.
Another one of the strengths of the Saber® grill is that you can easily adjust the heat when you don’t need it at full throttle. The sandwich recipe below takes full advantage of this. The sweet onions do not require super high heat as their sugars will burn before the cook fully. Similarly, after the sandwiches are assembled and wrapped in aluminum foil, they are returned to the grill to lightly crisp the bread and heat the sandwich through. This is where you really want to control the heat and deliver it lovingly as opposed to fast and furious. Again, accurate heat control is everything.
One last note before moving to the recipe. I have always wondered why so many chefs counsel to scrape out the gills from the portobello caps before grilling them. Perhaps they think that the dark color is unattractive? I simply don’t get it. After you cook the portobello caps, try the gills on their own. They’re delicious and have a great full-bodied taste. So, in my humble opinion, never remove the gills. They are beautiful and delicious!
This recipe will make more than is needed for the sandwich recipe above. Keep the remainder refrigerated until needed.