The Next Best Thing...

>> Monday, June 15, 2009

If you are like me and cant wait for this seasons bounty of juicy, ripe, red, summer tomatoes than give this a try.
Go to the store pick out those barely red, hardly sweet supermarket plum tomatoes and throw them in the oven for a couple of hours. What you will pull out just might surprise you.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad
from Barefoot Contessa Bact To Basics
By Ina Garten

12 plum tomatoes, cut in half long way and seeds removed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
16 oz fresh mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves

preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Arrange tomatoes on rimmed baking sheet, cut side up in a single layer. Pour olive oil and vinegar over tomatoes. Sprinkle with garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Roast for about two hours and let cool to room temp.
Slice mozzarella and layer with tomatoes and basil leaves. Drizzle with more olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve with grilled bread that has been drizzled with Olive oil, salt and pepper.
This should tide you over until August when the real thing comes along.


The Perfect "One Cow" Burger

>> Thursday, June 04, 2009

In our house we love burgers! Not the frozen preformed patties some people call hamburgers. I would much assume take the bun with all the fixins and hold the "Patty" if that were my option.

But rather the plump, juicy, fresh burgers that actually have amazing flavor.
It wasn't until I read the cookbook Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes (love this cookbook by the way) that I came across a recipe for the "One Cow" Burger. I know it doesn't sound very appetizing, but when you think about that preground stuff (or preformed patties) exactly how many cows do you think went in to make up that pound of meat? 25? 50? Possibly 100! And set aside taste for a minute, what about the chance of one of those cows having some sort of disease? Hard to think about- huh?
So here's the solution. Go to your local grocery store, pick out a fresh piece of chuck, go find the butcher and ask him to grind it up for you. They have always been more that happy to do it for me! And now go home and make the most amazing burger you have ever had and never, I mean never buy those preformed patties again!

The One Cow Burger
adapted from Blue Eggs and Yellow tomatoes, by Jeanne Kelley

2lbs ground chuck (premium beef if you don't mind paying a little more)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Unsalted butter
5-6 hamburger buns

preheat outdoor grill.
Combine first 5 ingredients, ground chuck through ground pepper. Form mixture into 5-6 patties, about 5-6 oz. each. Cook patties on grill about 4 minutes per side for medium rare.
Lightly butter hamburger rolls and grill them butter side down for a minute or two.
As for the toppings, go crazy if you would like. But mostly we like to keep it simple: shredded lettuce, chopped red onion, and chopped dill pickle, a little mayo on the bun and a squirt of Dijon mustard on the burger. And you now have (in my opinion) the perfect burger!


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