Monday, May 25, 2009

Old-Fashioned Grilled Cheese Burger and French Potato Salad with Bacon and Sundried Tomatoes

Score! These are the ultimate indoor burger – heat up a cast iron skillet, flatten out your burger patties, prep your toppings and get ready for the only burger you’ll be craving for quite a while.

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  • 3 tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin (I used Laura’s lean beef)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 8 slices sandwich bread or homemade challah
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons mango chutney, optional
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices lettuce
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp (jalapeno style)
  • 8 slices tomato

Place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the onion to the pan and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes. Remove to a large mixing bowl and wipe the pan clean.

When the onions have cooled slightly, place the pan back over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. To the mixing bowl with the onions, add the sirloin, Worcestershire, some salt and pepper and mix thoroughly to combine. foodblog 027

Divide the meat into 4 portions and place between separate sheets of plastic wrap. Fold plastic wrap over mixture and flatten to 1/2 inch. Add the patties, in batches of two, to the hot pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. foodblog 029 foodblog 031

While the burgers are cooking, butter up one side of each slice of bread then flip them over and spread mustard on one half and mango chutney on the other. foodblog 035

When the burgers have finished cooking, make stacks by laying down the slices of bread, butter side-down, and top them with a slice of cheese, a patty, another slice of cheese, 2 slices of bacon, 2 slices lettuce and tomato and another slice of bread (butter side-up).

Wipe out the pan that the burgers were cooked in and return it over medium heat. Add the stacks to the pan and cook until the bread is toasted golden brown and the cheese has melted, 2-3 minutes per side. foodblog 039

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray and cooking method courtesy of Everyday Food

French Potato Salad

The bacon, green onions and sundried tomatoes totally make this dish.

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  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 1/4 pound bacon (jalapeno style)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Clean and quarter the potatoes. Drop them into a large pot of cold water. Bring water to a boil and cook until tender but still firm (8-10 minutes after water starts boiling)

Sauté the bacon strips in a skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from the skillet onto paper towels and reserve. foodblog 003

Sauté the green onions in the remaining fat in the skillet. When tender remove from skillet and reserve.

Drain potatoes and put them in mixing bowl. Pour olive oil, tomatoes, vinegar, and green onions over potatoes while their still warm. Season with salt & pepper. Toss in the chopped parsley. Cover and refrigerate.foodblog 005

To serve bring salad back to room temperature and toss in crumbled bacon.

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Roasted Kohlrab

When talking to a local chef at the Durham Farmer’s Market (he’s cooked at two of my favorite places, Rockwood Filling Station and is now at Watt’s Grocery) about cooking kohlrabi, I was told that it similar in taste to a broccoli stem thus he suggest roasting it.

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I chopped it into a medium dice, tossed with EVOO, s&p to taste and baked at a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Verdict: it was ok, glad I tried it, but nothing I’ll be talking about again anytime soon.

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Yesterday and today were also filled with a little of this…

hammock reading, drinking, and snoozing

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