Grilled Portobello Sandwich Recipe

Grilled Portobello Sandwich Recipe
Serves/Makes: 6

***Seasoning salt: ***

* 3/4 cup kosher salt
* 1/4 teasoon paprika
* 1 pinch cayenne pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
* 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 teaspoon chili powder

***Manchego butter spread: ***

* 1 cup grated manchego cheese
* 1 cup butter
* 1 1/2 teaspooons minced garlic
* 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped well
* 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped well
* 1 teaspoon Sundance seasoning salt (recipe follows)

***Grilled mushrooms: ***

* 6 large portobello mushrooms, stems cut off and undersides scraped clean
* 2 cups olive oil, preferrably extra-virgin
* 1/4 cup, approximately, mashed roasted garlic, purchased or homemade (see note)
* 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
* 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
* 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
* 2 tablespoons Sundance seasoning salt
* 1 cup grated manchego cheese

***Open-face sandwiches: ***

* 1 (8-by-12-inch) piece focaccia bread
* 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
* 1 small jicama, peeled, thinly sliced and julienne cut (see note)
* 1 red onion, sliced thinly
* 1 small green bell pepper, julienne cut
* 1 small red bell pepper, julienne cut

To make Sundance seasoning salt: Mix together kosher salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, rosemary, celery salt, ground sage, black pepper and chili powder.

Makes less than 1 cup, which is more than you will need for this recipe. Use leftovers to season reheated frozen vegetables or other dishes.

To make manchego butter: Make butter before you start the sandwiches. It will keep well refrigerated and may be made ahead. With an electric mixer, mix manchego cheese, butter, garlic, sage leaves, cilantro and seasoning salt. Set aside.

To make mushrooms: Remove stems from mushrooms (use them in another dish or discard). With a large spoon, carefully scrape black gills from underside and discard. (The gills tend to soak up too much marinade.) Place cleaned mushroom caps, underside down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or large bowl.

In a medium pan, warm oil over medium heat until it begins to smell fragrant – do not heat until it pops. Add roasted garlic, thyme, oregano, cilantro and seasoning salt. Immediately remove from heat and pour over the mushrooms. Cover baking pan with aluminum foil to keep mixture warm. Set aside for 10 minutes.

To make sandwiches: Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.

Scrape marinade from mushroom caps and place, underside down, on skillet or griddle. Grill until cap edges become limp. Flip and continue to grill. Fill the cap with grated cheese and allow to melt. When mushrooms are completely browned and shiny, remove from heat and keep warm.

The hotel chefs cut focaccia bread into 5-inch rounds for each sandwich, and discard the leftovers. But most people will prefer to use all the bread they’ve purchased.

I found a large rectangular loaf and cut it into three equal pieces parallel to the short side and then down the middle to make 6 4-inch squares. Then each square is split horizontally through the middle, like a layer cake, to form a top and a bottom. You’re aiming to make sandwich-size focaccia pieces, so adapt to the focaccia you find.

Spread focaccia squares thickly, on split sides, with manchego butter (I had only about 2 tablespoons of leftover butter, which can be used in other dishes or discarded, as you prefer). Place focaccia on skillet or griddle and grill on both sides until golden brown.

Layer sandwiches with mushroom, then top with avocado, jicama slices, red onion, green pepper and red pepper. Serve immediately.

Manchego is the best known and most widely available Spanish cheese. It comes from La Mancha, the land of Don Quixote, and was originally made only from the milk of Manchego sheep. Manchego is aged for 3 months or longer, and is a semi-firm cheese with a rich golden color. It comes in a 10 inch diameter wheel, 5 inches thick with a herringbone design on the rind. It ranges from mild to sharp, depending on how long it is aged. Manchego cheese Notes: Don’t confuse this with aged Manchego cheese, which is firm and yellow, and typically used for grating. Younger Manchego cheese is sweet and nutty. It melts nicely and is often used in quesadillas. Substitutes: Monterey jack OR mozzarella OR cheddar