Monday, July 26, 2010

Grill-less BBQs

I've been struggling this summer without a grill.   Nothing says summer to me like an enormous, juicy, slightly charred burger straight off the open flames next to a great salad.  Upon sharing this sentiment with my roommate, she suggested I just use the George Foreman grill hiding up on top of the cupboards.  I had been aware of the GF, but I was afraid.  Hadn't I always been told that electric was bad?  Who wants an electric stove when you can have gas?  How could something you plug into the wall ever achieve the sizzling satisfaction of meat off the grill?  But I had used an electric griddle before and that wasn't too bad...and I always loved our electric waffle iron.  Thus, I decided to give it a whirl.

I knew the GF could never achieve the same flavor of a burger cooked over open flames, so I decided to amp up the seasonings and make Italian inspired burgers.  I mixed 1 lb. of ground beef with 1 minced clove of garlic, a tablespoons of olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano and chopped fresh basil.  I formed the meat into 4 patties and plugged in the GF.  While it heated I sauteed some sliced red onion on the stove in oil and cut up some fresh mozzarella cheese.

I cooked the burgers on the "grill" until done.  I was surprised at how quickly they cooked.  I topped them with the cheese, and we ate them in English muffins with the onions and a salad.  Though they certainly weren't the same as burgers on the grill, they still hit the spot.
In our most recent foray into grill-less BBQ we decided to do something even crazier: eliminate the meat.  Instead of beef burgers, we used sauteed whole portabello mushrooms (pictured up top).  I bought brioche rolls at a farmers market to serve them on, topped with goat cheese, tomatoes, avocado and sliced red onions.  I also made oven roasted sweet potato fries.

With a little ketchup and Dijon mustard, these were pure bliss.  The mushrooms were a great replacement for the beef, savory and meaty.  The creamy avocado and tangy goat cheese played well off each other.  Even Liz, who thinks that no meal is complete without some animal product, loved them.

1 comment:

  1. I second Liz's feelings about the necessity of animals to deliciousness. However, the mushroom burgers sound excellent, as does pretty much everything else here. Even better idea: put the portabellas on a meat burger to get the best of both worlds. Or maybe make patties out of meat and chopped mushrooms? I may try this soon, and will report back if I do.