Monday, July 14, 2008

The Perfect Summer Sunday Supper

This past weekend was beautiful here in LA and while I spent some time on Sunday reading on my roof deck, I decided it was the perfect day for a traditional summer meal of burgers and potato salad, cole slaw or some kind of cold salad. The July issue of Bon Appetit magazine is their BBQ Issue and is chock full of awesome grill recipes (I'm sure I'll be trying more of them in the coming weeks). They did a whole article on burgers and I decided that I must try one of them out. There were lamb burgers, pork burgers, fish burgers, but I decided I was really craving a traditional beef burger. Plus Sundays at the grocery store tend to be insane and I was not in the mood to try and track down ground lamb or pork. I was going to make a Honey Dijon Potato salad that I saw Rachel Ray do on 30 Minutes Meals (I know she is so over exposed but I still love this show), but I am trying to be conscious of carbs and decided that a nice, fresh green bean salad would be great. So I hopped on the Food Network's website and low and behold there was a Rachel Ray recipe for a green bean salad, that looked simple and tasty.

Recipes are below and as always my edits/comments are in red.

from Bon Appetit Magazine July 2008
serves 6

1 lb red onions cut crosswise into 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick rounds
3/4 tsp course Kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Heat the grill to Medium-High heat
2. Arrange the onion rounds on a baking sheet. (I advise using a tooth pick to hold the onion rounds together as they cook, I lost a few rings in my grill and will definitely do this next time) Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer onion rounds to grill rack and close the cover.
4. Cook until grill marks appear, approx 204 minutes per side
5. Reduce heat or move onions to a cooler part of the grill (I moved mine up to the top rack) Close cover and cook until onions are tender, approx 10 mins.
6. Transfer to bowl and bowl with vinegar
(remove toothpick at this point) Can be made up to 3 days ahead
7. Cover and chill.

1 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tsp chopped chipotle chiles from canned chipotles in adobo
2 tbsp adobo from canned chiles
2 tsp or more balsamic vinegar

1. Mix ketchup, chiles, adobo sauce and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
2. Season with salt and more vinegar, if desired. Can be made 3 days ahead.
3. Cover and chill.

2 1/4 lbs ground beef
6 thick slices sharp cheddar cheese (I chose to use a chipotle cheddar)
6 large English muffins
6 tomato slices (optional)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Approx 2 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning or any other grill spice blend

1. Heat grill to Medium-High heat
2. Mix meat with grill spice and shape into 6 1/2 inch thick patties.
3. Cook burgers to desired doneness, approx 3 mins per side for medium rare.
4. Grill English muffins cut side down. Top burgers with cheese and close cover to melt.
5. Assemble burgers with muffins, ketchup, onions, spinach leaves and tomatoes if desired
(we didn't have tomatoes and I didn't miss them at all)

This was a very easy recipe and the little bit of extra time it took to make the onions and ketchup were well worth it. They added alot of good flavors to a traditional burger. My brother would prefer I not use the chipotle cheddar next time, but I liked it, so I guess it just depends on your preference. I also really enjoyed the spinach leaves in place of lettuce.

from Rachel Ray and the Food Network

1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 European cucumber, cut into thin sticks resembling shape and size of green beans
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 lemon, juiced
Coarse salt and pepper

1. Steam green beans in 1/2 inch boiling water covered for 3 or 4 minutes. Cold shock beans by running under cold water and drain well.
2. Place beans in a bowl and combine with onions, cucumber and tomato.
3. Dress salad with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon.
4. Season salad with coarse salt and pepper, to taste.

This salad couldn't have been any easier or any tastier. I followed the recipe almost exactly (considering I never measure anything) and it was the perfect complement to the hearty & spicy burger.

Overall this meal was a total success, especially when paired with a nice cold beer, I will definitely be making both dishes again.

No comments: