Portabella Burgers and The Magic Dog

When the lodge was built here in 1983 they cleared quite a bit of the land and dug their own lovely lakes fed by a stream that flows through the property and creates a tranquil atmosphere.  If you walk toward the stream from the house you can walk over a bridge and find yourself in a little meadow with a gazebo lit with twinkle lights, a grill, and a couple picnic tables.  We had dinner out at this adorable gazebo this week.  We had hamburgers, hot dogs, portabella burgers, potato salad, skewered grilled mushrooms and roasted zucchini.  There are few things better than grilled food cooked over a real fire, not a gas grill.  There is a completely different flavor and smell to the food that is just not there when you cook with gas.

The burgers were delicious.  You just cannot go wrong with a juicy meat patty, melting cheese, ketchup, crisp lettuce, tomato and pickles on a toasted sesame seed bun.  This is close to perfection.

We also decided to grill some portabella mushrooms.  I made my portabella “burger” just as I would a regular burger, all the same toppings as my meaty burger.  I think I would trade the cheddar cheese in for swiss cheese next time.  I liked the veggies on it, but it would be tasty with just cheese.

FYI, try to buy portabellas that are ready to grill.  Scraping out the gills was quite possibly one of the nastiest tasks I have had to complete in the kitchen.  Sometimes it is OK to buy a food product that makes life easier…and less nasty.


Portabella Burgers

Serves 4

  • 4 portabella mushrooms, gills scraped out
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 4 slices of cheese
  • 4 burger buns
  1. Clean mushrooms.
  2. Drizzle both sides of the mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare grill with hot coals or heat gas grill to medium high.
  4. Grill mushrooms, tops down, for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Flip mushrooms, place cheese slices on tops and grill for 5-6 more minutes.
  6. Remove from the grill, place on warm buns and dress as desired!

My sister Lisa invented one of the best tasting hot dogs I have ever eaten.  It had simple beginnings.  A Hebrew National dog, grilled to perfection.  Place this simple dog on a toasted hot dog bun.  Now things are about to get crazy.  Top this hot dog with queso (veleveeta and rotel is the way to go) beef chili, dill pickles, thin sliced white onions, and French’s yellow mustard.  Goodness gracious this thing was good.  We made our own beef chili the night before, but you can use canned for a similar effect.  This hot dog has been named for its inventor. Please ignore the bite out of the hot dog bun…


Lisa’s Magic Dog

Serves 1

  • 1 grilled hot dog
  • 1 toasted hot dog bun
  • 1-2 tablespoons queso, prefer veleveeta and rotel recipe
  • 1-2 tablespoons beef chili
  • 4-6 dill pickle slices, or dill pickle relish
  • 4-5 slices white onion, or chopped onion
  • French’s yellow mustard, a thin squirt along the length of the dog

Place the hot dog in the bun and top with ingredients above.  Eat up…then make yourself another one…and maybe one more after that.

It is our last day in Durango.  Yesterday we took one last hike up Engineer’s Mountain.  None of us made it to the top.  Lisa, Randy and Sarah made it the farthest.  Lindsey, my parents and I were the first group to bail and head back to the car.  It was a beautiful hike, but Dad had to rest a few times.