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Meatless Monday No. 12 – Portobello Mushroom Burgers & Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Well, I did it… as promised, I restarted my Meatless Monday experiment and cooked dinner for Peter and I tonight. So no need to give me that virtual accountability poke! For the first meal back after my little break I decided to make Portobello Mushroom Burgers and Crispy Sweet Potato Fries, along with a side of Sriracha Mayo Dip for the fries.

Sounds good, right?

It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great.

Meatless Monday

I mixed up the marinade (which smelled delicious), then washed the mushrooms and, as instructed, removed the gills. I’m pretty sure I did it wrong, as it was awfully hard to keep the mushrooms from falling apart in the process. Note to self: Google “removing mushroom gills” for future reference.

Meatless Monday

Anyway, I poked holes in the more-or-less intact mushrooms, doused and flipped them in the marinade, and left them in the fridge in a covered container for a few hours.

Meatless Monday

Then, on to the sweet potatoes.

Meatless Monday

I sliced them into fairly thin fry-shaped strips and left them soaking for a couple of hours, then drained and tossed them with the olive oil and spices before spreading them out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday

While the sweet potatoes were baking I fried the mushrooms and whipped up the Sriracha dip. The mushrooms were a bit of a disappointment, as they shrunk down to almost nothing. Seriously, they nearly disappeared! They weren’t at all what I’d pictured when I started out, and I’m not sure if it was something I did or if my expectations for the end result were incorrect.

When I started frying the mushrooms I debated whether to add the extra marinade to the pan, and decided to go for it. In the end, I’m not sure I should have done that, as the marinade ended up caramelizing a bit too much and left the mushrooms with a slightly burnt taste.

Not too pleasant.

In the end, the meal all came together – and it was, as I said, not bad but not great. I served the burgers on cheesy buns which, when combined with the sweet potato fries and Sriracha dip, left us with a very, very orange meal! Clearly I didn’t think that one through too well.

Meatless Monday

The verdict?

I wasn’t thrilled with the portobello mushroom burgers, in part because of my missteps in preparation, but also because they just didn’t appeal to me. I do like mushrooms, but now realize that I’m much happier when they are presented as a side dish rather than taking the starring role at dinnertime.

The sweet potato fries were yummy and filling, and accented nicely by the creamy, spicy dip. My only complaint was that the fries were not as crispy as I would have liked – I think I needed to do a better job of patting them dry before tossing them in the oil and spice mixture. Also, impatience played a part – the burgers were ready and I rushed the fries instead of giving them time under the broiler at the end. I’m sure that would have helped.

Still, in spite of a less-than-stellar start, I did it – my Meatless Monday experiment is back!

Maybe next week the results will be great.

Are you participating in Meatless Monday?
What did you make for dinner tonight?
Please share!

NaBloPoMo February 2014

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.