Out­door chefs hunt recipe ideas

Por­to­bello mush­rooms of­fer twist on tra­di­tional grill fare

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NWA OUTDOORS - FLIP PUTTHOFF

It’s the height of sum­mer. You’ve fired up the grill so much you’re keep­ing the lo­cal char­coal com­pany or propane sup­plier in busi­ness. Maybe both.

Deer hunters clear­ing room in their freez­ers for next sea­son have fixed veni­son steaks and chops for the umpteenth time. Fam­ily and friends love your burg­ers, brats, smoked chicken and the usual grill fare, but yearn for some­thing dif­fer­ent to come off the coals.

Por­to­bello mush­room piz­zas fill the bill. They’re quick and easy to fix. Even those last cuts of veni­son can be used as part of the top­ping. Fire up that grill and, while it’s heat­ing, have a peek at this sim­ple recipe.

Take four large por­to­bello mush­rooms. Clean the in­side with a spoon to re­move the gills and stem. Brush both sides of each mush­room with olive oil or vegetable oil. Sea­son with salt and pep­per and, if you like, gar­lic pow­der.

Place the mush­rooms open-side down on the grill and cook for seven or eight min­utes. Take them off the grill and coat the mush­room caps with pizza sauce. Then add any pizza top­pings you like, such as sliced pep­per­oni or cooked ground beef, veni­son, turkey, sausage or ba­con. Add some chopped onion or pep­pers if you’d like. Top each with moz­zarella cheese. Place the mush­rooms back on the grill, cover and cook an­other seven or eight min­utes un­til the moz­zarella cheese is melted.

That’s all there is to it. We found the recipe a few weeks ago in an ad­ver­tis­ing sup­ple­ment of the Sun­day North­west Arkansas DemocratGazette and couldn’t wait to try it. It’s five-star din­ing. These mush­room piz­zas aren’t very big, so al­low two piz­zas for each per­son at your ta­ble. They’re great with grilled sweet corn or what­ever side dishes you like.

Need even more room in your freezer for next sea­son’s deer har­vest? Shake up your stan­dard veni­son cheese­burger by grilling blue cheese burg­ers.

Put a pound of ground veni­son, beef or turkey in a large bowl. Add your fa­vorite sea­son­ing. Then add crum­bled blue cheese to the ground meat. The more blue cheese the bet­ter. Squish ev­ery­thing to­gether with your hands so the blue cheese is mixed well into the meat.

Form pat­ties and grill just like you would any cheese­burger. When done, blue cheese oozes from the meat for a de­li­cious and dif­fer­ent burger.

Grill jock­eys are al­ways on the hunt for new dishes. Por­to­bello mush­room piz­zas and blue cheese­burg­ers are sure to please.

If blue cheese isn’t your thing, use chopped ched­dar, Swiss or what­ever cheese you like. I like to chop some jalapeno pep­per and add it to the meat, too. If you want

even more cheese, add sliced cheese to the top of each burger.

Grill some potato wedges while the burg­ers are cook­ing and you’ll have burg­ers and steak fries. The ul­ti­mate feast is top­ping each burger with a slice of tomato fresh out of

your gar­den.

Grill jock­eys are al­ways on the hunt for new dishes. Por­to­bello mush­room piz­zas and blue cheese­burg­ers are sure to please.

Flip Putthoff can be reached at fput­thoff@nwadg. com or on Twit­ter @NWA Flip

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/FLIP PUTTHOFF

Por­to­bello mush­room piz­zas may be a wel­come vari­a­tion af­ter a sum­mer of the usual grill fare.

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