Marinated Portabella Mushroom Burger and Super Succulent Cheese Burger (prep. time about 40 minutes with marinate time. Serves 2, one patty each)

I know it's a holiday, but I couldn't let Johan and the gang from Down to Earth Whole Foods in Endicott down before I take a week off for vacation. Thanks for sponsoring Foodie Fridays, guys!

Mushroom Burger

1 Portabella mushroom cap, stem and gills removed or 4 pre-prepared slices

1/2 C. olive oil

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar

2 Tb. each chopped fresh basil and parsley

juice of 1/2 lemon

pinch each salt, pepper

provolone cheese slice


hamburger rolls

Combine the vinegar, oil, herbs, lemon, salt and pepper in a large plastic zip bag, seal and shake until mixed.  Add mushroom. Shake again and set aside in the refrigerator to marinate for about a half hour.

Heat your grill or pan medium-high and grill the marinated mushroom for about 3 minutes each side until tender. During the last minute or so, you can brush your buns with a little olive oil (hmm, that didn't sound right), sprinkle with a little garlic powder and place face-down on the grill to toast.  Once the mushrooms are tender, lay a slice of provolone cheese over the top and place a tent of aluminum foil over it, or just close the grill lid, to melt the cheese. Serve on the hamburger roll with a little mayonnaise.

Beef Cheeseburger (prep. time 15 minutes)

1/4 lb. 80% lean ground beef (you don't want to go more lean since you need some fat to keep from having a really dry burger)

2/Tb. ketchup

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. each chopped fresh basil & oregano

salt & pepper to taste

provolone cheese

hamburger roll, mayo, mustard & ketchup

Mix together the meat, ketchup, soy sauce and herbs until it just combines. Do not overwork or you will have a tough burger. Form into about a 1/2 inch patty or, a little larger than the size of your roll. Heat grill to medium high.  Make a thumb-print in the middle of the burger. This will keep it from shrinking much. Salt and pepper each side and place on the grill. Do not touch it for about 2 minutes unless you like it really rare and still mooing.  Flip and cook another minute or two.  As with the mushroom burger, if you like your buns toasted, brush with olive oil and a little optional sprinkling of garlic powder and place, face down on the grill while you put the cheese on the burger to melt.  Serve with your favorite condiments like mayo, mustard and ketchup.

To really make these burgers special, try going with a challah roll or other fancy bun instead of a regular hamburger bun.