I recently acquired a bottle of whisky in the house, leftover by our wonderful housesitters who looked after the house and the cat during my recent trip. It came in very handy for making hot toddies when I was ill a couple of weeks ago, but the bottle has sat on a shelf fairly unloved ever since. So when I was contemplating what flavours to add to these portobello mushroom burgers, you can probably guess what idea I came up with.
Grilled veggies and mushroom burgers might seem like more of a summer, barbecue kind of thing, but this whisky marinade is full of warm spices that bring the burgers right into winter territory. I’ve served them up alongside some grilled peppers and tucked up in seeded rolls with mixed baby leaves, avocado and a drizzle of light tahini.
A little while ago I was sent a shiny new Tefal Optigrill to try out and test it’s vegetarian legs, so to speak. The Optigrill has built-in sensors that detect the thickness of whatever you’re grilling and smart technology that lets you know when it’s heated and what stage of doneness (is that a word?) your food is at. Pretty smart, no?
After experimenting with a few different recipes using the Optigrill though, I didn’t feel like I had quite mastered it for vegetarian cooking, and to be honest, when making these whisky portobello mushroom burgers I did still have a couple of frustrations. Virtually all veggie dishes go on the same setting – either ‘sausages’ or manual – and if what you’re cooking isn’t a uniform thickness then it’s hard to cook evenly. There’s also very little grip so with some past experiments I found the vegetables slipping out before I could get it closed.
However, on the plus side, I loved how easy it was to cook without any oil on the non-stick plates. The grill is also exceptionally easy to clean and, with the removable grill plates and drip tray, there’s no mess escaping when you cook. For cooking just one type of food at once or for using as a sandwich press it definitely has one up on my grill (which doesn’t really change in temperature, no matter what setting I use!) so I can see lots of experimentation continuing in my kitchen until I have perfected using the Optigrill for vegetarian cooking!
- 4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into quarters
- 2 seeded rolls
- For the whisky marinade:
- 3tbsp whisky
- 2tbsp soy sauce
- 1tbsp maple syrup
- 2tsp mushroom ketchup or vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½tsp ground ginger
- ¼tsp ground all spice
- Optional toppings:
- ½ avocado
- 1tbsp tahini paste
- Handful baby lettuce leaves
- Add the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Place the portobello mushrooms in a large dish and pour over the marinade, making sure that all sides of the mushrooms are well-covered. Place to one side.
- Heat up your grill or griddle pan to a medium high heat. Place the mushrooms and peppers on the grill and cook for around ten minutes, turning if required (if you are using a grill such as the Optigrill, there may be no need to turn, if you are using a griddle pan then you will need to turn halfway).
- Once they are cooked through and lightly chargrilled, you can begin to build your burgers. Place the lettuce leaves in the bread, followed by the peppers, two mushrooms, tahini sauce and avocado. Serve!
I’m linking up with Tinned Tomatoes’ Meat Free Mondays, Rock My Vegan Socks’ Healthy Vegan Fridays and A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week.
What’s your favourite kind of veggie burger?
I was kindly sent the Tefal Optigrill to review. All thoughts, opinions and recipes are my own.