Day 146: Bison burgers topped with grilled Portobello mushrooms

It’s a boy!

We planned to get a new washer and dryer this weekend; instead we got a dog. A border collie-husky cross, 10 weeks old, about the same size as W. So, two toddlers. My sister has been on a mission to find the perfect dog, and brought him home for a trial run on Saturday to ensure she wasn’t allergic. She was, but her allergies didn’t kick in until we spent several hours discovering how mellow and awesome he was, and so this morning we couldn’t bring ourselves to send him back. He is as yet unnamed – we are open to any and all suggestions.   I want to name him John Cusack, but Mike won’t go for it.

So between the chaos of suddenly getting a dog (!!) and scrambling to finish Animal, Vegetable, Miracle before I interview Barbara Kingsolver tomorrow morning, there wasn’t a lot of time to make dinner. Luckily, my mom brought over some fresh bison burger patties from Sunterra, which we tossed on the grill alongside a couple Portobello mushrooms. Grilled Portobellos make great burgers on their own, but Mike has always fantastized about topping another burger with one. I must admit, it was far easier and meatier than sautéing a panload of sliced button mushrooms, and fit snugly on top of the burger. To grill a Portobello mushroom, pull out the stem and scrape out the gills with the side of a spoon – the gills tend to be bitter – brush with oil and grill. If you like, marinate it in balsamic vinaigrette first – mushrooms are like sponges and will quickly absorb any flavours they meet.

And that’s it. One of the mushrooms broke into several pieces as W pretended it was his umbrella, but they are meaty enough that we grilled the pieces and it worked out fine. I realize the burger photographed above is lacking anything green; to be truthful I’d far rather have a salad on the side than adorn my burger with a couple measly leaves and a slippery slice of anaemic tomato. (To be even more truthful, I didn’t bother with a salad, just ate the burger. On the couch.)

We have a dog. What have I done??


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20 comments on “Day 146: Bison burgers topped with grilled Portobello mushrooms

  1. tastymealsathome
    May 25, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Is that a DOG Burger? Just kidding! We really like your blog, keep up the good work

  2. Shelley
    May 26, 2008 at 5:35 am

    I love your blog and I read it every day. What a cute puppy! How about Cooper for a name?

  3. mmac
    May 26, 2008 at 7:11 am

    Congratulations! How fun. Don’t worry. It’s only for 17 or 18 years 🙂 (spoken as the owner of two goldens who have had to have their feet wiped and coats dried every time they’ve been outside for the past three days …)

  4. Theresa
    May 26, 2008 at 8:00 am

    I’d be less shocked if you announced a pregnancy!!! LOL. I have a couple of pet name suggestions

    I also have a very very strong suggestion…..
    PET INSURANCE. Honestly. You think car repairs are expensive!!
    Congrats on the pup, you now have a perpetual toddler~!!

  5. Lana
    May 26, 2008 at 8:02 am

    BARBARA KINGSOLVER?? I love her! I’ve been reading her books for like 10 years. Wow. I am so jealous.
    Hope the interview rocks.
    Names for the pooch?
    What’s the name of that sweet, bubbly, mellow wine you like? That might be a good one.
    I’ll keep thinking.

  6. robyn
    May 26, 2008 at 8:04 am

    SO CUTE!!!!

  7. Bonnie
    May 26, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Hmmm … let W name him. We had friends who let their little boy name their dog – registered name ended up Ekus. What does that mean you might ask. Well after several years they finally figured it out. At daycare the 3 year old boy was told to be careful, not reckless. So Ekus turned out to be Reckless in 3 year old speak. How about Buffello (a play on buffalo and fellow)?

    Love your website (and your cookbooks) and am constantly inspired and quite in awe of what you accomplish on a daily basis. I seem awfully lazy in comparison!

  8. Sue
    May 26, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Aw… he’s so cute! Congratulations. He’s a sheep dog – would it be sacreligious to name him MOSES?!! LOL. How about Amos? He was a shepherd too – thats a cute name.
    BARBARA KINGSOLVER! Wow. I too have been reading her books forever. I LOVE HER. I think Poisonwood Bible is her best. I JUST picked up Animal, Vegetable, Miracle the other day. Wow. Have fun!
    Once again… we live vicariously through you!

  9. Sue
    May 26, 2008 at 9:30 am

    BTW – I wish we could find Bison in London, Ontario. Does anyone know if thats possible?

  10. Sue
    May 26, 2008 at 9:40 am

    NEVER MIND!! Apparently we have a vendor in our downtown farmers market.

  11. elektra
    May 26, 2008 at 11:45 am

    how about lloyd dobler, the name of the character john cusack played in ‘say anything’?

    cute pooch.

  12. maplesugar
    May 26, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Shopping for a washer & dryer and end up with a dog instead? I don’t think they’re any good at laundry 😉 My sis named the dog we had growing up and she named it DeeOhGee (spell out d.o.g.). The results of W naming the dog could be interesting hehe.

    We’ve been on a search for the perfect non-allergy causing but isn’t a Bichon Shitzu dog for awhile now… so far we’ve ruled out Dachunds and Airedale terriers. *ack* If your sis is successful please post about it 🙂

    Love the recipes as always & thank you for your inspiration!

  13. Bonnie
    May 26, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    For Sue. I live far from where the buffalo roam (Northern Ontario) — we just have bears! Anyway I buy the President’s Choice Bison burgers and they’re very good. Had some tonight as a matter of fact – wonder what inspired that (ha ha).

    Julie – some more names – Maytag, Kenmore …..

  14. Buddiegirl
    May 26, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I think he looks like a Toby or and Oliver. He sure is cute. I would advice you to move those Crocs and any other pair of shoes you hold dear or it will be an expensive summer.

    I am trying to convince my husband and daughter to try bison, but they just turn up their noses. Maybe secretly making burgers and cooking them up with out saying anything is the way to get them to eat it.

  15. Pat
    May 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I like Winston, Watson, Frisky and Scruffy. Since my rescue dog is a girl (Molly), I couldn’t use any of those names. Love Bonnie’s clever suggestions~ Maytag or Kenmore!

    I agree with all of the above accolades. My morning is not complete until I read your blog. What on earth am I going to do when your year commitment is finished?

  16. Jen
    May 26, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Mmm, bison. Elise at simply recipes had a great one lately for jamaican jerk bison burgers. The flavour was superb! Your blog is on my reader and I’m enjoying it very much. It’s great to read some Canadian foodie content. Happy cooking!

  17. Amy
    May 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Cute puppy! Welcome to the world of Australian dog ownership…I have two mine are blue heelers though. Best dogs in the whole world.

  18. Ellie @ Kitchen Wench
    May 30, 2008 at 5:07 am

    Charlie. That boy’s name is definitely Charlie – look at that face! And sometimes a burger is just meant to be enjoyed as a burger, particularly when lounging on a couch 😉

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