Grilling isn't just about steaks, chicken, and burgers. Just as Justin Fox Burks, the mastermind behind The Chubby Vegetarian blog and creator of such mouthwatering vegetarian grilling fare as this BBQ portobello mushroom sandwich with smoked gouda!
The Blondises are good folk. They run Central BBQ here in Memphis, and it's a definite favorite of many Memphians. I'm sure they serve their fair share of tourists, but that actual Memphis residents love this place is in itself is a high honor. I always look forward to going there to eat BBQ. (Don't be confused -- I'm not talking about pork or chicken! Central offers a stellar BBQ portobello sandwich. We vegetarians really appreciate it.)
My good buddy J.C., manager at Central, was kind enough to share their secret recipe with me, so now you can make this amazing sandwich at home. It's the perfect thing to make in the backyard this summer -- especially if you expect to have a few vegetarians drop by. However, there is nothing like sitting on the front porch at Central BBQ with a tall, cold, beverage and enjoying this sandwich as hickory smoke wafts through the air. Yum!
At Central, they make their own Italian dressing, and their house made BBQ sauce is killer. I've simplified the recipe here so you can make this in a hurry and feed the masses. - Justin Fox Burks
BBQ POROBELLO MUSHROOM SANDWICH + SMOKED GOUDA
1 16-ounce bottle Italian dressing (like 365 Organic from Whole Foods)
6 large portobello mushroom caps (stems trimmed)
1 tablespoon Memphis BBQ Dry Rub (recipe follows)
BBQ Slaw (recipe follows)
6 large slices smoked gouda (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce for serving (store-bought is fine for this at-home version)
6 hamburger buns
Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth to clean them. Choose a bottle of Italian dressing that is emulsified, meaning that it doesn't separate in the bottle. Marinate the mushrooms by pouring the Italian dressing over them and placing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to twenty-four hours.
Pre-heat your outdoor grill to high. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and place them onto a sheet pan. Sprinkle both sides of each mushroom with my Memphis BBQ Dry Rub seasoning. Grill mushrooms gill-side-down for about seven minutes or until lightly charred around the edges. Flip the mushrooms over and place the cheese onto the gill-side of the mushroom. Grill mushrooms another three minutes or until the cheese has melted and the mushroom is nicely marked by the grill grates.
Serve each cap on a bun topped with a teaspoon of BBQ sauce and about a 1/4 cup of BBQ Slaw.
MEMPHIS BBQ DRY RUB
Mix together one teaspoon of each: chipotle, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, garlic powder, salt, cumin, black pepper, brown sugar, thyme, oregano, and ancho chili. Store extra in an airtight container for six months.
5 cups shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon mustard
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup BBQ sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients until well incorporated.