April 2, 2015
During my junior year in college, I studied in Florence, Italy for four months. I have always liked baking — pretty hard to hate anything that ends in cookies and muffins — but never really tried my hand at cooking until then. A sous chef I am not — but it was in that tiny, wacky kitchen that I began to love experimenting, making a huge messy racket, and trying out foodie ideas on willing, hungry victims. It has almost always ended deliciously, with very few casualties.
Recently, I had a brilliant idea and made PBJs: “portobello mushroom burgers with bleu cheese and fig jam”. They turned out okay, but I knew they could be better. And last night, they were.
First step: Trader Joe’s. Which, as every white urban girl knows, is the most crucial step in preparing the perfect meal. Shopping at any other grocery chain will poison your guests.
Haul included buns, portobello mushrooms, sliced-toasted-unsalted almonds, fig butter (very different from fig jam), bleu cheese (much fancier than blue cheese, and calorie-free), salt-and-pepper chips, asparagus spears and bacon, which I tragically forgot about after putting it in the freezer. (Moment of silence. RIP bacon.)
Second step: Crumble bleu cheese into a bowl, spoon in fig butter, and mix. It sounds delicious as a spread, because it is. However, it is not very photogenic, so no picture, sorry.
Third: Grill the mushrooms directly on the grill, and drizzle with olive oil as you turn them over occasionally. The asparagus were in tin foil with olive oil, salt, and pepper as well.
Fourth: Toast the buns at 350F for a few minutes.
Fifth: Spread the cheese-jam mixture on the bun, sprinkle with almonds, and enjoy with the asparagus and chips. So yummy! (Even without the bacon. Womp.) Boun appetito!