This recipe is an excellent vegetarian burger but it's also just a damn good sandwich overall. I tested several different types of buns when creating this recipe and determined that a foccacia or ciabatta bun is best as it offers a considerable crunch to contrast the tenderness of the portobello. The jalapeño cream cheese is essentially the taste of jalapeño poppers in spreadable form which is just so delicious. And the pickled red onions add just the right level of tang and bite, completely this [dare I say] perfect sandwich.
Make them on the grill or in a cast iron skillet, either way it's a 30 minute meal!
Total time: 30 minutes
Difficulty level: Easy
You will need:
4 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
4 herb foccacia rolls, or another crusty bun like ciabatta
1 small to medium red onion, sliced into rings
4 oz (or half a block) cream cheese
2 jalapeño peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (at least 1 cup)
1 teaspoon sugar
Let's do it!
Start by making your quick pickled red onions- place onion slices into a shallow bowl or jar (ideally one that has a lid) and cover the onions 2/3 of the way with the apple cider vinegar and the last 1/3 with cold water (they should be completely submerged). Add the teaspoon of sugar, and salt to taste, stir to dissolve, then cover and set in the fridge until you're ready to serve the meal (about 30 minutes). Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
Next, whisk the Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and then brush this mixture over the top and bottom of each mushroom. Set aside on a plate.
Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat, then add 1 tablespoon butter and sauté the jalapeño peppers for 5 minutes (they should become noticeably softer). Add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes.
Remove peppers and garlic from skillet and allow to cool slightly in a food processor, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the cream cheese to the food processor and blend about 30- 45 seconds or until peppers are chopped into very fine bits and the cheese mixture is very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.
Note: if you don't have a food processor, you can use an electric hand mixture or just whisk very quickly by hand.
To prepare the portobellos, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, or if you're using a grill, heat it to high (at least 400 degrees). Place the mushrooms round down to start and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Mushrooms should be noticeably moist. Be very careful not to overcook them as they can become stringy.
To serve, spread the jalapeño cream cheese on both sides of the bun and top the portobellos with the pickled red onions.