I just finished reading an article that states that women are starting to take over the last bastion of manhood, the area in front of the grill.
That made me laugh, because I was raised by a mother who did the grilling. Mom had many phobias, but cooking over an open flame wasn’t one of them. Dad on the other hand, got sweaty palms every time he came near the grill. Fire was his biggest fear. We frequently heard, “What are you trying to do, burn the house down?”
We chalked it up to his degree and brief stint in forestry. He saw the damage that an idiot with a match could do.
So that left my mother to concoct the marinades, rubs and techniques to get the most out of our rusty grill, and much, much later, their fancy gas grill. She insisted that they always have one, because power outages on their house’s ancient electric grid were frequent and extended.
She embraced the grilling culture and passed it on to me and my sister. We frequently got the newest gadget or grill light for Christmas.
When my husband and I got our first gas grill as a wedding present, we wisely asked his brother to come visit and assemble the thing in exchange for food and beer. And, since then, while my husband can certainly grill, he has been more than happy to pass the tongs to me most times. And I am choosy about my tongs. They have to be medium-length, bare-bones, metal restaurant models to provide the best feel and grip for whatever you’re cooking
Unlike many (mostly manly) grillers, I use our grill as an outdoor oven more than a grill. Indirect heat is my friend and even though I like charcoal grills, a gas rig is better suited to it. The other day, while I grilled a steak, I had stuffed Portobello mushrooms sizzling away on the shelf above. Put them on and close the lid about five minutes before you add the meat and they will be ready by the time a thick-cut ribeye is medium rare (five minutes per side, with three minutes to rest).
So, whether you’re the girlilla of the house or the audience of another fire-eater, you can whip up these mushrooms easily and way ahead of time. I try to cook on aluminum as little as possible, but improvising an open-topped foil pan catches the delicious juices, which you can drizzle on the finished mushrooms or the steak. And, no cleanup, so, pleading guilty.
Cheesy Stuffed Portobellos
Preheat the grill to 400 degrees, leaving one burner unlit for indirect heat if you don’t have a warming rack.
4 small Portobello mushrooms
1/3 cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. each of fresh basil and oregano, minced
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Wipe the mushroom clean and remove the stems.
Mix the artichokes, herbs, mayonnaise and cheese. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Stuff the mushrooms and place in a pan or on foil with the sides folded up.
Place over indirect heat and close the grill lid.
Cook for 12-15 minutes, until mushrooms are tender.