Popular Posts

20 April 2009

Hearty Hamburgers

Yesterday, when Mark said he wasn't sure what he wanted for lunch, hamburgers popped into my head. I don't eat burgers a lot - I almost never eat take away (other than pizza) - but I do enjoy a really good hamburger.

The burger I made for Mark was more traditional - bun, lettuce, cheese, beef, tomato sauce, onion, tomato. But I really felt like avocado and aioli, so that is the recipe that I have set out below.

These burgers were huge. Honestly, they could have fed an extra 1 or 2 people. So, the recipe below is the same quantity I made for us (and which I finish) but I'd suggest making four beef patties instead 0f two. I also served these with oven chips - so if you make 4 patties and the burgers look a little small, you can bulk it up with some chips.

Ingredients (Serves 2-4 - divide mince accordingly)
2 tomatoes cut in half
Drizzle olive oil
4 hamburger buns
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra)
2 red onions sliced
Salt and pepper
1 brown onion grated
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 teaspoon oregano
250g beef mince
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 egg
1/4 - 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (you'll need a little extra if the mixture is too wet)
Olive oil to fry
1 avocado
Aioli (see mayonnaise post from 22 February 2009)
Oven fries to serve


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the tomatoes cut side up in a roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the red onion, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is caramelised and very soft.

Combine the onion, garlic, oregano, mince, tomato sauce, egg in a bowl. Add breadcrumbs until mixture is still sticky, but not too wet or too dry. Mould mince mixture into 2-4 beef patties.

Heat olive oil in a fry pan and fry mince patties on each side until browned and cooked through.

Just prior to serving, toast the hamburger buns. Top with avocado, tomatoes, beef patties, caramelised onion and aioli. Serve with oven fries.

Marinated Spiced Strawberries - dessert for those who don't really eat dessert

As I have said before, I am not big on sweets. I much prefer savoury food like cheese. And I also have a few friends who are like me (or perhaps just one?) so I am always excited to find a dessert that is easy and that even someone who is not a huge fan of desserts will enjoy.

These strawberries really hit the mark. As much as I am not a sweets person, I do like cream. And while strawberries and cream are a classic combination, sometimes I find that even strawberries are a bit much in terms of sweetness (as a result I use raspberries and pomegranate a lot more often). But marinating the strawberries for a few hours before serving makes them delicious and tangy and also really soft and 'melt in your mouth'. And of course, I have made good use of one of the numerous spices I have purchased recently.

I have used pomegranate molasses, but you could also use balsamic vinegar. Originally that is precisely what I was going to use, until I realised I had run out. If using balsamic, you may need to add a little extra sugar. Just taste to work out whether it needs anything extra.

These strawberries would also be lovely served with yoghurt and also with pancakes - watch this space, I may try that recipe soon.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 x 250g punnet strawberries hulled and cut in half
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Juice of half a lemon
Whipped cream to serve


Place the strawberries in a bowl with the molasses, sugar, allspice and lemon juice and allow to marinate for at least two hours.

Serve with whipped cream.