Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ciabatta burgers

Yes, I overcooked the fries. Whoops! Let me tell you why.

I am one of those girls who squeals with delight when she passes a cat on the sidewalk and insists on stopping to pet it. There is another orange cat in our area and from time to time I see him passing through the back alley, in our landlord's back yard, or on the neighbour's balcony. This weekend, he was close enough to my balcony that I said "hello kitty!" and made kissy noises at him through the open window. He quickly bounded down the fire escape, crossed the roof of my landlord's shed, made his way up our fire escape, and attached himself to the windowsill.

He looks quite a bit like Chloe, but is younger, fluffier and lacks her loveable but hateful expression. I went outside and pet him for a bit while Chloe, sitting on the sill and watching, threw a possessive hissy fit. It didn't even rattle the mystery cat who purred happily while I pet him and gave him ear scritches. He lingered in the area for a couple of hours and I, drawn to the cat like a cat to a shiny thing, kept talking to him through the window and popping outside to say hello.

I burned the fries while trying to get pictures of him. I almost burned the burgers, too.

Speaking of burgers - these ones are pan-fried because we don't have a barbecue. They'd be excellent barbequed of course, but if you're feeling like a loser because you don't have a barbecue, don't fear (but I still really really really really really want to get a barbecue). The first time I made these, I announced that I liked them better than the grilled burgers at Burger de Ville, and I still feel the same way. They're healthier and fresher tasting. The seasoning of the meat is impeccable. Jamie Oliver (my other boyfriend) never fails to impress!

Make sure you get a nice soft ciabatta, or you might find these burgers difficult (and painful!) to eat.

ciabatta burgers
Adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution
serves 4 

12 soda crackers, such as premium plus
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 heaped tsp dijon mustard
1lb extra lean ground beef
1 large egg
salt and pepper to taste

1 ciabatta baguette or 4 ciabatta rolls
4 slices extra old cheddar (optional)
veg & condiments to your taste

Crumble your crackers into a medium bowl over your beef, then add parsley, mustard, egg, salt and pepper. Scrunch everything together with your hands until well incorporated. Form into 4 oblong patties.

Fry on medium high heat for three to four minutes, then flip and turn the heat down to medium. Let them cook for another three minutes. If you are adding cheese, now is the time to do it. Cook covered for another two minutes until the burgers are done to your liking and the cheese is melted.

Serve on soft ciabatta bread with your favourite condiments and toppings.

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