Hello Readers!

        I would like to introduce a new column that will run when my Family Cookbook file is empty. In this column, I will break down Chanticleer menu items (past and present) to try and make them practical enough for our readers to attempt at home. I think it might go a little something like this:

The Condensed Chef S
Fine Food in Just Minutes
By Doug Anderson

Reprinted from Bulletin 087, February 8, 2004

        Today's entree is a staple of the Chanticleer menu, meaning it is one of the few items that returns every menu because of its popularity. It is an opener, but I eat it at home as a low-carb and satisfying snack. It would make an excellent Hors-D'Oeuvre at your next dinner party or wrestling match, whatever you're into.

Grilled Portobello Caps with Pesto and Cheese

Portobello Mushroom caps, available at most supermarkets.
Pesto, store-bought is fine.
Grated cheese, I use Manchego, but Parmesan is fine.
Dressed mesclun (spring mix, optional.)
Peperoncini (pickled yellow peppers) for garnish (optional.)

Grill the Portobello caps (both sides) until they soften and "weep." (ooze water.)
spread pesto evenly over the caps.
Apply cheese liberally.
Finish in oven, until cheese is melted and begins to turn golden.
Cut the mushroom caps to bite-size pieces.
Dress mesclun (spring mix) lightly with your favorite clear vinaigrette.
Litter a serving tray sparsely with the mesclun and place the Portobello
pieces randomly around the mesclun, until it is pleasing to the eye.
Garnish with Peperoncini, and Voilà!

        Some of you may be mystified about mesclun, or spring mix.  It is just a combination of chicories you can find at most fine supermarkets.  You may substitute fresh parsley sprigs or get creative and find your own alternative, but it is important to add some kind of green to the presentation of this recipe. A bed of wilted spinach or kale would work, also.

        I hope some of you actually try this one out, and if you do, please write to me and tell me the results! See you next week!

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