Open-Faced Chili Burgers on Grilled Portobello "Buns" with Smoked Cheese

Total Time:
35 min
10 min
25 min

4 servings

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, eyeball the amount
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, a splash
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dark chili powder, a palm full
  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
  • 8 ounces smoked white cheddar (recommended: Cabot brand) or smoked gouda, sliced
  • 2 roasted red peppers, drained, available in salad bar and deli sections of market in bulk or in jars
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley
  • Macho Gazpacho Vegetable Chunk Salad, recipe follows
  • Preheat grill pan or large nonstick griddle pan over medium high to high heat. Brush mushroom caps with damp towel to clean them. Scrape away gills with a spoon. Combine Worcestershire sauce with balsamic vinegar, then whisk in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Brush mushrooms with dressing. Grill mushrooms on hot grill pan or griddle for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until tender. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

  • Combine meat in a bowl with onion, garlic, jalapeno, tomato paste, chili powder and steak seasoning blend. Form meat into 4 large (1 1/2 inch-thick) patties. Grill meat 4 to 7 minutes on each side for medium-rare to well done burgers. Melt cheese over burgers during the last minute or 2 the meat is on the grill. A loose foil tent will help the cheese melt quicker.

  • While the meat cooks, grind the roasted red peppers in a food processor with cilantro or parsley.

  • To assemble, place a portobello cap-side-down on a plate and spread a spoonful or 2 of the ground roasted red peppers into the cavity. Top with a chili-smoked cheese burger and serve. Macho Gazpacho Chunk Vegetable Salad makes a great side dish.

Macho Gazpacho Vegetable Chunk Salad:
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, also known as English cucumber

  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded

  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded

  • 1/2 red onion, peeled

  • 4 ribs celery from the heart, including leafy tops

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 lime or 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce, for mild to medium-hot heat level (recommended: Tabasco)

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball the amount

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Cut cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, onion and celery into bite-sized chunks. Combine vegetable in a bowl. Sprinkle cilantro or parsley over the vegetables. Combine vinegar, lime or lemon juice and hot sauce in a small bowl. Whisk in extra-virgin olive oil in a slow stream. Pour dressing down over the salad and toss. Season salad with salt and pepper and serve.

  • Yield: 4 servings

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • Ease of preparation: easy

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