Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shroom "Steak" Dinner

Who says vegans can't have steak? Grilled portabella mushrooms are just as hearty and way better for your heart than nasty old, bloody cow flesh. Even though it's not totally Southern, I wanted to include a Mushroom Steak recipe in my vegan Southern cookbook since folks down here love their steak.

This was my first attempt:


Yea, yea. I know it looks like a big round turd. But portabellas don't photograph well. I tried to cut a piece out to make it less, um, round. But it still looks weird. The taste, however, was quite nice.

But I could use a little help. It was my first attempt marinating and grilling a portabella. I've eaten my share, and I've cooked with baby bellas. But never a whole giant shroom. The taste was yummy, but something was missing. It needed more of a chargrilled steak flavor.

Here's what I used in my marinade: 2 Tbsp. balsalmic vinegar, 1/4 cup red wine, 1 cup veggie stock, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke, 2 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire, 1 Tbsp. oil, and 1/8 tsp. garlic powder.

I was thinking about adding some bottled steak sauce to the mix next time. What do you guys think? Any tips?

On the side, I made some super-yummy Fried Cucumbers:


These are sooooo going in the cookbook. My neighbor Wes suggested I try this because his mom used to make them all the time when he was growing up in the country. I'd had fried pickles, but never cucumbers. But since we deep fry every veggie in the South, it makes perfect sense. I actually prefer the fried cukes to fried pickles. Of course. the secret is in the batter. These were perfect dipped in Organicsville Non-Dairy Ranch Dressing.

27 comments:

eve said...

was there supposed to be a pic? i dont see it....

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Fried cucumbers?! Oh wow!

kindkitchen said...

Fried cucumbers sound really freaking delicious right now!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Ughgh! Feel my rage! How could you not include a fried cucumber recipe....they sound swoon worthy! The ethos of southern cooking is the best. Batter it and deep fry it and it's guaranteed to be tasty!

Aren't portabellos the best? I love love love them. I marinate them and thin slice them and cook them in barbecue sauce to make the most perfect slided barbecue sandwich. As for a more char grilled steak flavor...hmmm....I will think on that and get back to you.

VeggieGirl said...

The Mushroom still looks great to me!! And those fried cucumbers are quite intriguing!!

Anonymous said...

The mushroom steak looks yummy! If you sliced the mushroom in giant pieces after cooking, it might look like a flat-iron steak.

Paulina said...

I agree with you - portabello mushrooms don't photograph well. I've tried it myself. As for the fried cucumbers, I've never heard of anything like that! I usually eat mine with fresh lime juice and chili powder or salt

VeganCowGirl said...

those cucumbers look really great! I never would have thought to do that with cukes - high five to your neighbours uber-cool mom!

Katy said...

I think the mushroom looks perfect (and I have no idea how to add a chargrilled flavor). Yummy!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I love portobello mushrooms whether they are pretty or not! And a mushroom "steak", you are talking my language, that is a type of faux meat that even my prissy ass would eat!

And those fried cucumbers, those alone are going to make me buy your cookbook. Seriously, after I post this comment, I am going to go take another look at those beauties!

jessy said...

i think the shroom looks mightly tasty! and i also think that a steak sauce would be good to marinate 'em it in, too. it would give them a little more zing or something. or maybe rubbing them with some spices might be tasty, too?!

fried cukes = holyawesomeface! those guys look damn delicious! and i still need to find that dressing. maybe i'll do that today! w00t!

another rock'n meal, Bianca. you're making me wish my lunch break was right now! mmmmmmm!

Cyn said...

Whoa, fried cucumbers are blowing my mind! Have you tried adding either soy sauce or braggs to your marinade? It might add a little bit of umani/"meaty" flavor.

jennconspiracy said...

Have you tried dipping stuff in Char-siu sauce (the pepper sauce with the rooster on it) and then flour before frying?

That's way easier and tastier, IMO, than going with a packaged salad dressing (what's in that stuff, anyway?)

That's the secret to making the best skinny onion rings, too.

jennycestcake said...

I wish I had a suggestion for your shroom steaks, but, sadly, I don't. I'm not much of a griller and have no idea how to achieve a grilled flavor. Good luck, though!

ranch dressing + cucumbers + fried = OMG!!!!! Such a great idea!

xeila said...

I think I'm gonna stop by Easy Way on the easy way home and pick up a couple cucumbers, ma'am. :)

omnidudemeandthebean said...

When I make mushrooms I use the following recipe:

2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. Olive Oil
1 t. Rosemary
1 t. Liquid Smoke
1/2 t. garlic
1/4 t. cumin

I marinate for a couple of hours. Then I coat the shrooms in a steak seasoning and grill them. The crust from the steak seasoning gives it a meaty flavor and texture. Try it and tell me what you think.

Chelsea said...

That mushroom looks damn delicious! As far as what else to add to the marinade, I have no clue. I usual just stick a portabella straight on the grill, haha!

Allison said...

I love grilled mushrooms to pieces!! I usually just slather bbq sauce on it...but then again, I eat everything with bbq sauce on it. I know exactly what you mean about everything in the south being fried...but I've never heard of cucumbers...how awesome!!

Justin Fox Burks and The Wife said...

We would LOVE to have you for dinner! I am really enjoying your blog.

Amy

Katie said...

Mmmm I love mushrooms. Never tried fried cucumbers, though.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

those fried cukes look like crunchy browned perfection. OMG. My last attempt at taking a portobello photo? Don told me it looked like the portobello "bled out" because I smothered it in pesto. And he was right. :)

ladyliriel said...

How can I be from the south and have never had fried cucumbers? Ah well, now I have something new to attempt.

Liz² said...

okay, those look interesting... in a good way! and if you set a plate in front of me, I would definitely try one. I actually can't wait to see what cookzine/book you come up with!

oh, and and natto is usually in the refridgerated section of asian shops, in little foamy containers of 3 or 4. :D

Sheridanna said...

I'm not much of a great cook, as you know, but my Dad coats his meat steaks in steak seasoning (like the kind you buy already mixed together..I see someone already suggested this)and then I think he uses a smoky flavored BBQ sauce on chicken...not so much steak, but I bet it would still taste good. Now finding one that doesn't have HFCS in it? Good luck.

Sheridanna said...

I'm not much of a great cook, as you know, but my Dad coats his meat steaks in steak seasoning (like the kind you buy already mixed together..I see someone already suggested this)and then I think he uses a smoky flavored BBQ sauce on chicken...not so much steak, but I bet it would still taste good. Now finding one that doesn't have HFCS in it? Good luck.

Erin said...

Fried cucumbers! I totally want to test for you, and if you don't let me I'll throw a fit. The mushroom looks great, the marinade sounds about right to me. I'm not that great with marinades though. From what I remember, steak sauce tastes pretty similar to Worcestershire, but it couldn't hurt to try.

Anonymous said...

i just saute my portabello shrooms in a bit of seasoning really. u know, those small Maggi seasoning bottles? that's all it takes n the smell makes me go to high heaven! and the taste..yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm~