Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Buns are Overrated

Mr.W is a hamburger man, and about twice a month I like to oblige, albeit sans bun and with healthy sides! I'm sure he would have preferred macaroni and cheese from the box or potato chips, but he needs more antioxidants in his life. Besides, what kind of wife would I be if I indulged him and ruined his health in the process?

I made these mini-cheeseburgers, which were fantastic with a balsamic-mushroom sauce, side salad and curried sweet potato fries... no buns necessary.

It's not much of a recipe, but I'll give the details:

  • Sweet potatoes were washed and peeled, cut into sticks and tossed in a bowl with olive oil, salt, chili powder, curry powder and freshly grated nutmeg, moved to a rack set into a cookie sheet and baked at 350*F for 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, hamburger patties were pan-fried until cooked to medium-plus and well-done (Mr.W must have his meat well) and removed to rest.

  • Quartered cremini mushrooms (also called baby portabellas) were salted and sauteed in the pan juices until they released their liquid; then I poured about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar over and let that simmer down until reduced by half. Finished with 2 tablespoons salted butter.

  • I tossed together a quick salad of various leftover veggies: napa cabbage, iceburg lettuce, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, red and yellow bell pepper--all dressed with a dash of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of red wine vinegar.

This was a simple, satisfying meal, perfect for a weekday, even if Mr.W avoided the mushrooms and opted for ketchup and mustard instead.


The Passionate Palate said...

Mrs. W - I agree that buns are overrated and love eating hamburgers without them! Your meal, however, looks much more creative than I have ever done. Yummy.

And thank you so much for offering to tell your friend in So. Cal. about my classes. I really appreciate it.

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, PP... I don't usually do the mushroom sauce, I just happened to have some in the fridge and inspiration struck! And it's my pleasure--I think it's such a wonderful idea to combine language and cooking classes. If I were nearby I would certainly enroll!

katiez said...

Men are all the same!
I've got to try those sweet potato fries! Yum!!!

Mrs. W said...

Hi there, Katie,

In all fairness I have to say that my brother, who is a man, prefers the healthier veg & sides, and detests mac & cheese and most chips. However I believe he is the exception and not the rule! :)

I hope that when you do try the sweet potatoes you'll let me know how you like them. I really love them this way and often add these seasonings (or a variation) to my sweet spuds regularly. They're extra-good with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar after they come out of the oven (for when you want a sweet-spicy flavor).

Andy said...

That looks delicious. I actually made pan seared burgers tonight with a side of roasted vegetables. I'll have to try them without buns sometime. Do you season the burgers with anything special?

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Andy.

I like to keep it simple--kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. My husband is quite a picky eater... if I got too gourmet with burgers he just wouldn't eat them, the poor man.

If it were just me, I'd love a burger with some minced shallot inside, and maybe some blue cheese. Yum!

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