Chef's Choice Recipe: Tom Coghill's Portobello Philly

Tom Coghill of Iron Barley loves meat. He designed the smoker behind his restaurant, which was custom-made by a friend, and he's got a tricked-out trailer geared for barbecue catering jobs.

That's how he ate when he was growing up.

Someone's in the kitchen with Coghill -- his wife, Ginny. - ROBIN WHEELER
Robin Wheeler
Someone's in the kitchen with Coghill -- his wife, Ginny.

"My dad, God love him, he thought he could cook, but he couldn't. My mom passed away pretty young and there were six of us to take care of. But that son of a bitch could barbecue. He could barbecue, but he needed to stay out of the kitchen."

[To read a profile of Tom Coghill, click here.]

When asked to name his favorite menu item, Coghill says, "Everything," refusing to pick one dish to prepare. Because he's known for his smoked meats, a Portobello Philly seemed a good counterintuitive choice, to showcase his skills with vegetables.

Most Philly cheesesteak knockoffs outside of the Philadelphia area rely on peppers and onions to link the sandwich to its original. There's more to a Philly than the vegetables; it's about the gooey, slightly tangy cheese. The sacred grounds of cheesessteaks get that gooeyness from Cheez-Wiz.

Coghill's method is slightly different and has a unique St. Louis twist.

He uses sliced Provel. When the sandwich is assembled, he steams it with white wine. The steam melts the Provel to the proper "wit Wiz" soft, spreadable consistency, and it provides an extra layer of light tang.

Click through for the recipe...

Robin Wheeler

Tom Coghill's Portobello Philly (Serves 1)

1 tablespoon butter, melted 1/4 cup sliced green bell pepper 1/4 cup sliced red onion 1 clove garlic, chopped crushed red pepper, to taste 1 portobello mushroom cap vinaigrette for basting mushroom (Iron Barley uses Italian dressing) 1 French sandwich roll, split lengthwise 2 slices Provel or white American cheese splash of white wine

1. Caramelize onions and peppers in melted butter. Add garlic and crushed red pepper.

2. Baste portobello cap with vinaigrette and grill.

3. Slice portobello cap and add to peppers and onions.

4. Toast the French roll.

5. Place cheese on top of portobello mixture. Add splash of white wine, cover, and steam for 30 seconds.

6. Scoop portobello mixture into the French roll.

Iron Barley 5510 Virginia Avenue 314-351-4500

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