Thursday, July 16, 2015

Portabella Pizzas

Do you ever feel like you are being watched?  Cause I do.  From the time that I come downstairs in the morning to the time I go to bed at night, I sense someone is watching me. If you have a pet, you may know this feeling.  As a matter of fact, as I was writing this sentence, I looked to see where my dog, Leyla, was, and she was standing in the doorway... just watching me type away.  I do not say this to make Leyla sound creepy; it is more sweet than anything.  She just turned a year old, and as she has grown, I have seen her mature from that awkward, adorable ball of fur to a loving and protective dog.  

Now, I know you are thinking, "Did I miss read the blog title?  You keep talking about your dog!  Where is the pizza?"  But, wait, I am getting there.  All Leyla ever wants is to be as close to Matt or me as possible.  When we are at the computer, she is at our feet; when we are watching TV, she is on the blanket next to us; when I am in the kitchen, she is standing under me.  Leyla asks for very little from us except for time.  This is one reason I try to make super quick meals during the week.  With us being gone all day, I know she wants to spend as much time with us as she can until we go to bed and do it all over again.  So, with that said, the meal I am sharing with you today is one of my new favorites.  It can be ready in 20 minutes tops!  This is my Portabello Pizza.

Portabella Pizza

Yes, I felt the stare.  This was Leyla's perch as she watched me make the Portabella Pizzas.

The first things first, I apologize for my excessive use of the Vignette setting.  It seems I went a little overboard.  I was trying a few new settings on my camera and the tweaking has just started!  Oh, and yes, the blog looks different.  It was time for a re-vamp!

Okay, now we can talk food.  The first thing you need are portabella mushrooms.  I used three medium sized caps for two servings.  Wipe the caps with a damp paper towel to remove any grit.

Carefully remove the stems and the gills.  I say carefully because I was not, and one of my mushrooms broke in half.  Eh... no big deal if it happens, but when they are whole, it keeps the pizza sauce in place and not on the grates of your grill.  I just shrug my shoulders and contribute the mushroom breaking to my inhuman strength.

Drizzle the caps with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

Perhaps I should have mentioned this first.  Preheat your grill to medium heat about 350 degrees.  It should only take a few minutes.

Place your mushrooms on the grill, with the caps facing up.  In doing so, the edges of the mushroom get that charry, grill-marky flavor that we know and love so much.  Close your grill and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, cube 1/2-3/4 lb of fresh mozzarella.  In my opinion, I love the flavor of fresh mozzarella so much more than the shredded bag variety, but then again, the shredded bag variety has a lower moisture content and holds everything together nicely.  So, ultimately, your call!  I also have about 1/3 bag of turkey pepperoni and an almost empty jar of pizza sauce.  Collect your pepperoni, cheese, and sauce and take them out to the grill.

The mushrooms are ready to flip

OOOHHH....AHHHH.  Perfect!  The mushrooms are not entirely cooked through, but they are softened and charry on the edges.

Add your desired amount of pizza sauce to the mushroom caps

Add 1/2 of your cheese

Add a layer of pepperoni over the first layer of cheese, then add the rest of the cheese over the pepperoni.  The cheese's purpose, besides being amazingly delicious, is to help hold everything together.  It is equivalent to food glue... white, stringy, creamy glue.  Just a disclaimer, I never ate actual glue... that I can remember.

Close the grill and let everything heat through, about 5 minutes.  When you open the grill, the mushrooms will be perfectly cooked, the cheese will be all kinds of melty, and the pepperoni will have those crispy edges that make it so yummy.

Next, grab a sprig of basil for a garnish.  Btw, my basil is grown in one of those pallet planters that is hanging on our patio wall.  Matt made them last summer and the herbs love it!!  I do too!

Remove the pizzas from the grill

Stack your basil leaves on top of each other and roll them tightly like a cigar (that's what they always say on Food Network... why can't it be compared to something tasty like a Fruit Roll Up or something?)

Cut the basil in thin ribbons

I always serve my portabella pizzas with a salad, and tonight was no exception.  Feel free to substitute garlic bread.  


3-4 portabella mushroom caps
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 jar of pizza sauce
1/2-3/4 lb of cubed mozzarella
1/3 bag of turkey pepperoni
5-6 basil leave, julienned (optional)


Preheat your grill to 350 degrees.  Clean your mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the gills with a spoon.  Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the mushrooms with the stem side (minus the stem), facing the grill.  Close the grill and allow the mushrooms to cook for 4-5 minutes.  

Open the grill and flip the mushrooms, with the stem side facing up.  Spoon your pizza sauce in as desired.  Add 1/2 of the mozzarella, then the pepperoni, and finally the last of the mozzarella.  Close the grill and allow everything to heat through about 5 minutes.  Remove the portabella pizzas from the grill and garnish with the basil.

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