Saturday, March 03, 2007

A bun-less cheeseburger

Knowing that over the next couple of weeks I’ve got some serious foodie treats to look forward to, I thought I should exercise a modicum of restraint this weekend. And really by that I just thought I should impose a low-carb regime for a few days, not in an evangelical Dr Atkins sort of way but just steering clear of pasta, bread, risotto and my beloved potatoes way. I thought a flick through Henry Harris’s “A passion for protein” might inspire me as the tagline of “high protein, low carbohydrate recipes for food lovers” rather appealed.

My first thought was a cheeseburger with field mushrooms replacing the traditional seeded bun. Henry Harris makes an extraordinarily fat veal burger and tops it with Reblochon cheese, red onion and watercress. My interpretation was to cook a juicy Aberdeen Angus steak burger and serve it with a few sautéed leeks and topped with Cheddar and some mixed leaves. The mushroom stalks were removed, chopped finely and sautéed along with a little sliced leek. I opted not to melt the cheese on to the burger as sometimes this can make the cheese just melt away into an oily mess and also photographing melted cheese can just be a greasy disaster.

I drizzled a tiny bit of Belazu balsamic vinegar onto the leaves which mingled enticingly with the meaty mushroom juices. This was an utterly delicious if not traditional burger and I didn’t miss the bread for once. And just in case you think this is a monster burger, I promise this is a small side plate to seat my somewhat teetering burger.

There are lots of great looking recipes in A passion for protein, I will definitely make the asparagus, lamb’s lettuce and smoked salmon salad with tarragon dressing (without the unnecessary tomato) when English asparagus is back in season and I will also have a go at the stunning looking baked crab with tarragon hollandaise (the original recipe has tomato in the hollandaise again but it seems entirely redundant to me!). Henry says of the crab recipe “this is really very, very rich… very, very decadent… do I really care – no, not when it tastes quite this good”. It sounds fabulous to me!

And tomorrow I really fancy whipping up his piquant Welsh rarebit omelette. Bread, what bread?

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