I know there's no burger in that photo. Somehow we didn't get any pics of the actual burgers, but they were sort of second fiddle anyway. We just mixed the meat with our favorite tamarind glaze and grilled them.
What was really lovely about these burgers was that everything was completely homemade. The August/September issue of Saveur, which was devoted to all things burger, inspired us. Mark made their recipe for Sesame Seed Buns, which were easy as
They were so divine that I had to eat one hot out of the oven before the burgers were ready. The recipe from Saveur can be found here.
The night before I made these delicious pickles that were so easy and delectable I don't think I'll buy pickles again.
I'm now daydreaming about all the other things I must pickle: okra, banana peppers, jalapenos, etc.
I got the recipe from one of my favorite blogs The Chubby Vegetarian.
I'm going to post it here, because you really have to try this. It is soooooo easy and cheap.
The Chubby Vegetarian's Refrigerator Pickles
2-3 cups white vinegar
2-3 pickling cucumbers
palmful dried dill
palmful of whole coriander seeds
3 whole cloves garlic
1/4 cup salt
1/8 cup sugar
Thinly slice cucumbers. I use the slicer blade on my food processor which works perfectly for this. Arrange cucumber slices in a glass container that is just big enough to hold them. You don't want a lot of extra space. In a pot over high heat add the vinegar and the rest of the ingredients. You will only need enough vinegar to cover the sliced cucumbers. Cook vinegar mixture until all of the salt and sugar has dissolved and it has started to boil. Pour the hot vinegar over the raw cucumber slices, allow it to cool on the countertop, cover, and stick it in the fridge. They will be ready the next day and will keep for about a month.
I sliced mine with my mandolin, which made them paper thin and see-through. They were super good for snacking. I took them to our picnic with Dylan and Bethany and they were a real hit. I love the coriander seeds (I got these super cheap at the Indian Market).
I also made homemade ketchup, which has been on my "to make" list for over a year now. It was also easy and delicious but takes a little while (2 hours), so plan accordingly.
Recipe from The Homesick Texan (who wrote a lovely piece about Food/Memory for Saveur--that's how I found her blog)
1 medium-sized sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
28-ounce can of whole tomatoes
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar (I would cut back on the sugar next time. It was a little too sweet)
1 teaspoon molasses
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon celery seeds
3 chipotle peppers in adobo (Oh my! I used 1 because Mark's a baby, but I'd think 3 would be too much for me)
Salt to taste
On medium low heat, cook the diced onion in the olive oil in a medium-sized pot just until the onions start to brown a bit on the ends.
Add the tomatoes and their juice to the pot, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
After an hour, puree the mixture, and then continue to cook on low heat until it reaches your desired thickness.
We used the leftovers to top our meatloaf. It gave it a nice crust and a "kick"--I hate when people say that, but here I am, saying it too.
These were, by far, the best burgers we've ever made, even if the mustard and mayo were a big fail. The mustard recipe was a good one, but you have to start 3 days in advance and I hadn't read that part. Mark's mayo didn't emulsify and was a thin, eggy mess. But really, the ketchup and the veggies were all we needed. I will make that mustard, though! I love mustard so much that I've considered a mustard-related tattoo, but then, I'm not a tattoo person. Richard Blias has a wonderful article about my beloved, hardworking condiment here. My favorite quote:
"And as condiments go, it’s the R rated version to ketchup’s PG rating. The beer to soda pop. For that matter, alternative music to pop music…sex to making out. And the reasons why are pretty simple from a pure flavor standpoint."