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Marinated Cow Flops

Ha! That title got your attention, didn’t it? I struggle with writing blog titles, coming up with something both intriguing and informative that isn’t completely dull. But this one just came to me!

My mother hates portobello mushrooms. Hates hates hates. Will not eat. She says they look like cow flops, which here in Central Pennsylvania, is a cow turd. The comparison strikes me as fairly illogical, but hey.

Regardless of what my mother says, this is an incredibly easy and delicious way to eat portobellos. I owe this recipe to a former boss, who took our whole office out to dinner in Little Italy while we were at a conference in Manhattan. Normally I would never ever have tried this, but he insisted and well, I owe him.

Basically, this is a portobello marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette, pan seared with cheese melted on top, then sprinkled with sea salt and sometimes bits of bacon. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know that we can be friends.

So, take a nice sized portobello.

Remove the stem and the gills

Sans stem:

Please use a sharp knife so you don’t totally ravage the mushroom like I did:

I’m not even going to show you the underside of the poor thing, it was really that bad.

Put the mushroom in a bowl or container of some kind where it can marinate

See what I mean? I abused that thing so badly even the cap is maimed. Learn from my failure: sharp knife.

Anyway, pour the balsamic vinaigrette of your choice over it and let it marinate for at least a couple hours, I left it overnight.

Now a skillet, over medium heat:

Now, this is a non-stick skillet. So this isn’t really a “sear”, but whatever. The purpose here is to get the mushroom cooked and hot the whole way through.

Because there’s still an edge around it, you’re going to have to flatten it with a spatula. Gently.

It’s going to give off liquid, that’s okay.

Flip it a couple times so that both sides are cooking. Eventually, once the liquid output has slowed, add pieces of the cheese of your choice to the top and lower the heat.

This is mozzarella, the first time I had it was with fontina. You’re looking for a soft white cheese with good meltability. Both mozzarella and fontina were delicious.


Once the cheese has melted, add just a pinch of a good salt. This particular time I cooked, I didn’t have any bacon. I would strongly recommend going out and getting some, specifically for this.

Plate and serve hot.

I wish I remembered which restaurant this came from, but New York, Little Italy, small place with to die for lobster cannelloni. Ring a bell for anyone?

large portobello
balsamic vinaigrette
white cheese (mozzarella, fontina etc)
sea salt
bits of bacon

flat bottomed bowl or tupperware

1. Clean portobello thoroughly and remove stem and gills
2. Marinate in balsamic vinaigrette for at least 2 hours, but overnight is fine
3. Cook marinated portobello over medium high heat until liquid release slows
4. Lower heat, place cheese on top and allow cheese to melt
5. When cheese is melted, add salt and bacon
6. Plate and serve

So, anyone have a portobello recipe to share?