Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Long Days At Work

Once a week I have to work a "long day" at work which means I'm there from 8:00-6:30. Today was one of those days. I knew mom and dad were having burgers tonight and they were saving some of the hamburger for me. So I spent all afternoon trying to decide what kind of relatively healthy burger to make for myself. This is what I came up with:

Bruschetta Burger on a Whole Wheat Bun:
(Let me just state that before I can cook anything when I get home from work I must first put my crazy curly hair up in a super high ponytail, take my contacts out, put on my favorite sweats, and pour myself a glass of wine...then I'm ready to cook a feast! You should try it, I swear it makes me cook better.)

Ingredients: (This recipe is a single serving, but you can increase accordingly.)
-95% Lean Ground Beef
-Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (I prefer to buy the "log" of cheese that's precut into 1oz pieces)
-Small Tomato or a Couple of Cherry Tomatos
-Fresh Basil Leaf
-Olive Oil (Extra Virgin or Regular)
-Balsamic Vinegar
-Salt (I prefer to use Kosher in all my cooking)
-Pepper (I prefer fresh ground from a pepper mill)


Form ground beef into patty. Try not to work it too much, but make sure the patty is even so it will cook evenly.
The patty doesn't have to look perfect, it just has to be even!

Next you need to add a pinch of salt and a couple twists of pepper to each side of the burger.
Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper are the best, but you can use table salt and pepper that's already ground up too.
Next, and this is very important so you must do this every time you cook a burger!!!! You need to make an indent in the middle of the burger with your thumb on each side. I know it seems weird, but the key to making a juicy hamburger is to resist the urge to press on it while it's cooking. The best way to resist this urge is to make the indent on each side. That way the burger won't get so round and you won't try and press it down. (I don't know why, but everyone does this. Apparently it's wired into human DNA to try and make burgers as flat as possible.)
I have small hands so usually I do a double indention.
Now put that in a skillet on medium heat and let it start cooking. Your goal here is also not to try and flip it too much (I flipped this burger 4 times total). Since I've been cooking more lately I'm starting to rely less on cooking times and more on a digital kitchen thermometer. The one I use is from Pampered Chef, but any digital kitchen thermometer will work. Hamburgers need to cook till they reach 160 Degrees. I think it's best to use a thermometer cause you never know if your hamburger, steak, chicken breast, etc is the exact same size and thickness as the one in the recipe you're using. Always stick the thermometer in the thickest part of your meat to test it. I promise once you get used to using one you will discover it's so much easier and efficient than watching the clock or setting the timer. I don't think there are many things worse than overcooked dried out meat. (You can use google to figure out any cooking times you need!)
Get yourself a kitchen thermometer if you don't have one!

Next you're going to make a modified bruschetta! First you need to cut up your tomato (or couple cherry tomatoes) into small pieces. There is no reason your cuts need to be even so no pressure there. You also need to cut up the fresh basil leaf. (I love basil so I like to use a pretty large leaf, but if you've never had it before you might want to go with a small leaf because it's a pretty strong flavor.) You're going to put the tomato and basil in a small bowl together. Next you're going to add a small (and I mean small like a tsp) of both olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Stir! Bruschetta! (You can also add a small amount of fresh garlic if you prefer.)

Once your burger is at 160 Degrees, leave it in the skillet but put the slice of fresh mozzarella on top and add the bruschetta on top of that. Cover with a lid so that cheese will melt. Once cheese has melted (It will only take a couple minutes.) put on whole wheat bun. Serve with whatever sides you choose and enjoy!

Doesn't this look amazing!

I hope you enjoy!
Can I just tell you that I LOVE burgers, especially the ones where you get creative when making them. I love to add new toppings, mix-ins, and even new kinds of ground meat to them. So keep an eye out for new and different ways to make your burgers exciting! And you can even send me some of your suggestions for burgers and I'll be more than excited to try them. 

Much Love! 

1 comment:

  1. Mmm...anything with fresh mozzarella is a winner in my book. :)

    I used my PC digital thermometer last night too ;)