Hamburgers with Red Pepper and Shallot Relish

hamburgers-with-red-pepper-and-shallot-relishMy son, Mike, is a passionate sports fan. Ask him about any national team—football, basketball, baseball—and in seconds he can reel off their top players and the teams’ rankings. A talented cook, he is just as zealous about food and wine. Often he combines these two obsessions when he and his wife invite friends over for supper and a game. He keeps track of all the important match ups, and this week’s Ohio State –Oklahoma duel is his top priority! (Truth be told he’s a huge Buckeye fan!)

I mentioned to him the hamburgers with red pepper and shallot relish that I recently created as they are the type of dish he likes to serve for football Saturdays! The relish, prepared with sautéed red bell peppers and shallots, is scented with red pepper flakes and a hint of smoked paprika. A splash of red wine vinegar and a few spoonfuls of tomato paste round out the simple seasonings. No sugar is called for here, since he sautéed Continue reading

Great Burgers for Quick Fall Suppers

Fall burgers with mushrooms and aged cheddar 2 3648x2736Because I have been doing copy edits for my new book, Soup Nights, for the past few weeks, I’ve spent more time in front of my computer than in the kitchen. As a result we’ve ordered take-out tacos and pizzas, and become familiar with far too many rotisserie chickens. On those nights when I have cooked, I’ve looked to recipes that take no more than 30 minutes to prepare, like fall burgers with sautéed mushrooms and aged cheddar. These burgers proved so popular with my husband that I’ve made them three times this month alone.

I believe that the secret to good burgers is using good ingredients, so I bought 85 % grass fed beef for mine, but any high quality ground beef will work. I also opted for tender, soft potato buns, and picked an aged Vermont white cheddar that melts beautifully. For the mushrooms I used fresh shiitakes and Baby Bellas. Continue reading

Special Burgers for Dad!

Hamburgers with Chipotle Mayo, Mahon Cheese 2 3306x2545 3306x2545 3306x2545My husband never met a burger he didn’t like, so what would be better to serve this dad of many years on June 15th than a hamburger decked out with all his favorite trimmings! He loves bold, vibrant food so I’ve been working on a version prepared with lean grass fed patties scented with a spicy mix of chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Instead of the usual cheddar or Colby, I’ve opted for Mahon, a Spanish cheese that melts lusciously into a smooth cover for the burgers. Avocado wedges tossed in lime juice, sliced red onions, plus some easy-to-make chipotle mayo will round out the garnishes.

Even though we are in Paris where the French are also preparing to celebrate “la fête des pères” this Sunday, I can find the makings for America’s quintessential sandwich without Continue reading