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The Art of the Salad: Whiskey Grilled Portobello Salad

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Who says a salad cannot be gourmet? Probably the same unimaginative amoeba who came up with the idea that a salad has to be tossed leafy greens with sludge as dressing. You want to try a salad that will have heads spinning, tongues wagging and lips slapping? Then you want a Whiskey Grilled Portobello Salad served over baby spinach with a frame of crisp, crunchy beansprouts

This dish was created when I was doing a guest chef gig on the East Coast. The idea was simple. I took one of my marinades for grilled beef and simply marinated some baby portobello mushrooms. Just like the beef, I grilled the mushrooms! But I still needed something to bring out the true pizzazz in this salad. I had some baby spinach and some fresh beansprouts, can't think of a better bed for these mushrooms. Once I put the freshly grilled mushrooms atop the spinach, I knew the spinach would naturally wilt (this is what I wanted) and to add some crunch, I framed the whole salad with the beansprouts -- and there you have the perfect elements for a salad: taste and texture!

This is an incredibly easy dish to prepare and if you don't want to fire-up the grill or the barbecue, just place the marinated mushrooms under the broiler for a few minutes.

Ingredients needed to make Whiskey Grilled Portobello Salad (serves 2):

  • 1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, stem ends removed
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lime, juice only
  • 2 Tbs. whiskey
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. steak sauce
  • baby spinach, stems removed
  • beansprouts

Steps:

  1. Using a mushroom brush or damp paper towel, wipe off the mushrooms (do not wash).
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the garlic powder, garlic salt, black pepper, lime juice, whiskey, Worcestershire sauce and steak sauce.
  3. Place the mushrooms into the marinade and toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.
  4. Fire up and grill or barbecue.
  5. Place the mushrooms onto the grill, cap-side up, and grill about 5 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over, spoon some of the marinade into the crevice (the little hole where the stem was) and grill 3 minutes.
  6. Mound some baby spinach into the middle of the serving plates and frame the spinach with the beansprouts.
  7. Remove the mushrooms from the grill, place over the spinach and serve.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

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