How to Grill by Steven Raichlen
YOU'LL NEED: Grill wok or skillet or 10 to 12 bamboo skewers, soaked for 1 hour in cold water to cover, then drained; 1 cup wood chips (preferably oak), unsoaked; spray oil (optional)
1 pound mixed mushrooms (preferably exotic mushrooms, including shiitakes, morels, oyster mushrooms, hedgehog mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, and the like)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and black pepper
2 plum tomatoes, grilled (page 393), seeded, and diced
1 medium onion, quartered, grilled (page 380), and diced
2 jalapeņo peppers or more to taste, grilled, sliced crosswise, and seeded (for a hotter mixed grill, leave the seeds in)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus small sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons lime juice
Thin lime slices, for garnish
1. Set up the grill for direct grilling (see page 10 for charcoal or page 16 for gas) and preheat to high. If using a gas grill, place the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch (see page 17) and preheat until you see smoke.
2. Using a damp paper towel, wipe the mushrooms clean. Trim the mushrooms and cut any large ones in half or quarters, so that all are roughly the same size. When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss the wood chips on the coals.
3. "Stir-grill" method: Place the grill wok on the grill to preheat. When ready to cook, lightly spray the wok with oil, removing it from the grill when you do so. Toss the mushrooms with the oil and add them to the wok. Grill until the mushrooms are nicely browned, 6 to 10 minutes, shaking the wok and stirring the mushrooms with tongs to ensure even grilling (use a grill mitt to handle the wok). Generously season the mushrooms with salt and pepper as they grill.
Skewer method: Skewer the mushrooms as shown in Preparing the Mushrooms, Step 2 on the facing page. When ready to cook, brush one side of the mushrooms with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms 3 to 5 minutes per side, basting with oil before and after turning; when done the mushrooms will be browned and tender, 6 to 10 minutes in all.
4. Transfer the grilled mushrooms to a large bowl (unskewer if necessary). Stir in the tomatoes, onion, jalapeņos, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the lime slices and cilantro sprigs and serve at once.
Tip -- For extra flavor, I like to combine grilled mushrooms with grilled chiles, tomatoes, and onions. Grill them before you put on the mushrooms, as they take longer to cook and chop.
Variations: For additional flavor add minced garlic and chopped cilantro or parsley to the olive oil before tossing it with or brushing it on the mushrooms. For a more European version of this dish, toss or baste the mushrooms with the Garlic-Herb Butter or Tarragon Butter on page 450. Substitute grilled bell peppers for the jalapeņos and parsley or basil for the cilantro. You can also add crisped bits of bacon or pancetta.