MarathonMaiden's Blog

August 21, 2010

Guest Post: Mary and Christina’s Portabella Burgers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:07

Hey all! Currently I’m trying to work on some applications and stuff (I’m going to be a brat and keep the schools I’m applying hush-hush.  It’s awesome you guys are interested but it’s a bit too personal for me to share here!).  But it’s sooooo nice in New England that I’m really just sitting out on my deck pretending to work.  Hence the blogging 🙂

But I’m not going to try and bore you with my run from Friday.  It was, duh, the standard 8.2 that I’ve been doing all week.  And it was slooooooooooooooow.  I’m totally still using the whole “I’m getting used to a new routine so my running sucks” excuse.  For real.  One of the little children (like legit 5 or 6 year old because I do have an annoying tendency to call anyone younger than me a child.  Oops.) I passed though told his mom “Wow she’s running fast”.  It was a cute kid and he won over my heart.  Too bad he’s probably in kindergarten age. If only those shirtless boys would say something similar 😉

My weekend really started on Thursday.  YAY.  I think my work schedule will let me take 3 day weekends a lot so I’m happy about that.  Even so I’m getting to taste my first real weekend on my own and in a city.  Despite going to cities to party before I’ve never lived in one.  So this is exciting.  My roomies and I didn’t go crazy last night but it was fun to walk about and explore some nightlife being “real adults”.  Or maybe I’m just the only real adult as they’re still pursuing graduate studies haha. As much as I thought I’d miss being a student (and thus be jealous of them) I think I like my arrangement right now!

Today I let myself SLEEP IN.  Aka 0821.  For most of my peers that’s waking up early but I know you guys get it.  I slept like a rock too.  For the most part.  I woke up at 0441 (isn’t it weird how we remember that stuff?) because of a really terrible dream.  But the next few hours I think I had a good dream because I woke up with another smile.  Twice in one week?! Que suerte indeed.

I’m actually about to head out for my “long run” of the week.  It’ll likely only be 10 miles (maybe 10.8 depending on how I choose to run it) but it’ll be nice to actually run some of the routes I’ve been eyeing during my weekly runs.  I guess because it’s the weekend and NOT 0500 I feel safer running through less familiar paths.  Although sending some suerte my way that I don’t get lost would be nice.  There are so many side streets that I probably won’t end up following the route I have mapped out because I will get lost.  But it’s okay because, with so many side streets, everything will lead me back.  Well that’s the theory.

Hopefully I’ll be back safe and sound so that tomorrow I can put up a post about my exploratory run 😉

But because my word count is ridiculously low for me right now (heh) here’s another guest post from Mary and Christina from Sisters Running the Kitchen.  They did a guest post on some awesome pizza while I was away in TX earlier this month and sent me another recipe to try! They’re pretty awesome so check them out.  I don’t do enough cooking on my own to feel like I can post recipes I use (because my idea of cooking is opening a bag or can!) so I’m sooooo glad they have some great ones to share 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far and is hopefully having some nice weather to boot!


Mary’s boyfriend works at a Mushroom company called ToJo mushrooms out in Avondale, Pa. We both have been wanting to make Portabella burgers for quite some time now and Todd was SUPPOSED to bring them to us this weekend but Mary forgot to remind him and thus Todd forgot them! No big deal, though…we just went to the store and picked up some nice portabella caps ourselves!

We found this recipe from Rachael Ray. It received five stars and sounded delicious so we decided to give it a try for ourselves. This recipe lived up to everything we were hoping for. The portabellas really made such a wonderful and succulent juice and the roasted pepper paste and smoked mozzarella (smoked really makes a difference by the way) gave these burgers even more of a rich and delicious taste to them. We also bought good quality brioche buns from a local bakery, which we both agree made a HUGE difference. The only change we would make to this recipe for next time would be to slice the smoked mozzarella a little thinner to give the cheese a chance to melt more. And if you are a little nervous to eat a burger with a mushroom as its base or if you think you do not like mushrooms…have no fear…this recipe will not let you down!

Along with the roasted pepper paste and smoked mozzarella, we served these burgers with red onions and tomatoes. You can also try baby spinach leaves. We thought that caramelizing the onions would make this burger even better…we’ll have to give it a shot the next time we make these portabella burgers.

IMG_0242-1.jpg picture by mtponzio

Ingredients for the Portabella Burgers:

  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns of the bottle in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup (3 splashes) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (preferred brand: McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning) or 1 teaspoon combined coarse salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound fresh smoked mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 large crusty rolls, split
  • roasted red pepper paste (recipe below)


  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in the bottom of a large food storage bag.
  2. Add mushroom caps, seal bag and shake bag to coat caps, then let the mushrooms marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Grill mushrooms on indoor or outdoor grill, starting with caps down, turning to caps up, 6 minutes on each side. Alternatively, you may pan-fry the mushrooms in large nonstick skillet for same amount of time.
  4. Season caps while they cook on each side with grill seasoning or a little salt and pepper. Melt the smoked cheese over mushroom caps in the last minute of grill time.
  5. To serve, place the grilled mushroom caps topped with melted cheese on the bun bottoms. Top with spinach and onion. Spread bun tops with roasted pepper paste (recipe below).

Roasted Red Pepper Paste

Ingredients for the Roasted Pepper Paste

  • 1 (14-ounce) jar roasted peppers, drained
  • A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic, cracked away from skin
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Combine the roasted red peppers, oil, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in food processor and pulse into thick sauce.

IMG_0203.jpg picture by mtponzio

We served the portobello burgers with Bobby Flay’s Grilled Lime and Cilantro Sweet Potatoes! This is by far our favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes…everything about this recipe is amazing…from the sweet flavor added from the lime, to the saltiness from the Kosher salt, to the fresh taste from the cilantro, to the thickness of the potatoes to the beautiful grill marks- this recipe is always a hit at the dinner table!

cimg1838-1.jpg picture by mtponzio


  • 3 sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • canola oil- not much just enough to brush
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until fork-tender; let cool. Make sure you do not cook the potatoes too much because then they will fall apart when you slice & grill them. Slice each potato lengthwise into eighths. Preheat a grill to medium or place a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Mix ~ 1/2 tablespoon salt, the lime zest and cayenne in a small bowl. Brush the potato wedges with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown on all sides (including the skin) and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter; immediately season with the salt mixture and sprinkle with cilantro. **Helpful tip: keep the sweet potato slices on the thicker side…this way they wont break apart on the grill!

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