Awesome Easy Portobello Panini

I was in the mood for a Portobello burger today around lunch time, so I came up with this amazing sandwich. It feels like you’re eating a ton of food because the mushroom is so big, but at the same time, it’s all veggies so it’s good for you and relatively low-cal depending on how you do it. Here’s what I used:

1 Portobello mushroom cap

1/2 small avocado, sliced

2 slices honey wheat bread

1 slice tomato

a little lettuce

salt/pepper

And for the chipotle mayo:

1 chipotle in adobo sauce

about 1/4 cup mayo

Here’s what you do:

1. Drizzle a little oil (i prefer olive oil) in a grill pan on the stove, and turn it up to medium high heat. While that’s heating up, make the chipotle mayo. Basically, slice open the chipotle pepper, scrape out the seeds (this cuts down on some of the heat) and chop the pepper into tiny little pieces. Then add your chopped pepper to the mayo, and there you go, chipotle mayo (and enough for tomorrow, too). You can play around with the pepper to mayo ratio to suit your taste.

2. Grill the mushroom. You can scrape the gills out first, but it doesn’t matter too much. It also doesn’t matter which side you place on the grill pan first: I’ve tried it both ways. It needs to cook about 3-5 minutes each side.

3. While that’s happening, spread margarine (or butter) on one side of each slice. Place the slices butter-side down in the grill pan. They’ll get really soft right away. After about a minute, when the cooking side is getting nice grill marks, flip the bread to toast the un-buttered side. This will just make the bread a little stiffer and stronger so it can hold the sandwich. This only takes about a minute so be careful not to burn it.

4. One the mushroom is just about done, place a piece of cheese on it while it’s on the grill pan so the cheese has time to melt.

5. Build your sandwich. Spread chipotle mayo on the bread. The stack the mushroom, avocado slices, lettuce, tomato slices, a little pepper and salt, then the second slice of bread. Cut it in half so you can admire the amazing looking cross-section and Bon Appetit 🙂

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Following Jaques…

I’ve been procrastinating a lot lately. When I was supposed to be working on a writing assignment, I ended up making salad dressing instead. Strange, I know, but it was really fun.

Inspired by my new idol, Jaques Pepin, I pulled out all my spices and base ingredients and began work on creating 3 salad dressings: Creamy Southwestern, Honey-Dijon, and Honey Sesame Vinegarette.

For the Creamy Southwestern, I had vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, cilantro, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and a little sugar. I can’t tell you the exact measurements because I kept adding a little of this and little of that until it tasted PERFECT.

My Honey-Dijon began with olive oil, vegetable oil, and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Then I added a big squirt of dijon mustard, some honey, black pepper, and (here’s the most important part) Oregano and Garlic. At the end I added a little more oil and sugar to cut down on the bite of the mustard, and then at the very end, a tiny tiny bit of mayo for texture. It was perfect.

Honey Sesame Vinegarette was the easiest – Vegetable oil base, tiny bit of sesame oil (a little goes a LONG way), a small amount of apple cider vinegar, a squirt of honey, black pepper, and a bit of hoisin sauce and sugar. I didn’t have any sesame seeds, but i would have added them as well, mostly for cosmetic reasons. Anyways it tasted perfect.

Salad dressing took up my morning, so I didn’t really get any work done. Hours later, I’m just now settling down by my computer with beautiful looking cup of coffee. Being a rainy day, I decided to get fancy with my drink, just to have a little fun. I actually used white chocolate mocha flavored creamer and a squirt of chocolate syrup, and topped the whole thing off with whipped cream and red sprinkles – smells like Christmas. Sometimes a girl’s gotta do little things like this.