I’m off on my 10 day summer holiday of pure sun & sea – but while I’m away, I thought to leave you with some inspiration for holiday food.
What could be more festive than simple homemade burgers? But these burgers are a little different.
You see, Bread and I have this love-hate relationship. The thing is, that my body isn’t as appreciative of bread as I sometimes am. Picture a blowfish. Sometimes the effect is short-lived and other times it’s long-term, but should I want to avoid the blowfish effect on my body – then I should avoid bread.
So, in the good old days, in my year of wonderful healthy living, I introduced my family to the idea of bread-free burgers, and somehow this idea has stuck! The fun part of a burger all lies in the choice of the toppings doesn’t it? This burger offers the same topping variety, without the – “ugh-I-ate-too-much” feeling.
How do we make them? First I prepare the patties. Pure beef mince, a small onion, chopped very finely, one clove of garlic (also chopped finely), salt, pepper and paprika (the spice) to taste. Mix with one egg, squeeze pat and shape until you have something resembling a burger patty (and if you’re not gluten intolerant roll each patty in a little flour). Leave in the fridge, for the flavour of the garlic and onion to draw into the meat.
Then go wild preparing toppings of your choice! We always have to have the basic lettuce, tomato and cucumber layer. In this one I added fresh basil, pineapple slices, fried red onion, bacon and some sweet chilli sauce! Usually we also have cheese, mushroom sauce? Mayo? Tomato sauce? Tomato relish? Gerkins? I chop and slice and then I fry the patties.
We put everything on the table and each of us makes his own original tower, combining flavours until we have these tall towers. It’s like a giant salad with a chunk of meat on top. The girls love figuring out what they like and there are usually shouts of: “Not Chilli!” , “Look at mine!” and “Mom, take a photo!”
The only downfall here, is that this burger can’t be eaten with your hands, but you can watch your tower topple as you tackle it, and collect mini-flavour combinations with knife and fork.
Worth a try! Add some potato wedges, if you’re feeling generous! Yum!
PHOTOGRAPHY NOTE: “Waaaahhhh!!! I want a food stylist!!!! ”
I’ve seen stylists work on burger builds for brands like McDonalds, Steers, Wimpy… So I thought I could do this. I mean, in theory I knew about the tricks of keeping the tomato edge fresh, lettuce in ice water etc etc. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, so I’d keep it simple. Right? I wasn’t quite prepared for just how difficult it would be.
You’re so focussed on getting the patty evenly brown, that you end up charring the onions.The pineapple refuses to be cut straight, the tower’s skew, the mayonnaise spreads instead of staying in neat blobs… Screams and curses can be heard from the kitchen. And then you still need to calmly photograph it in record timing before the lettuce wilts! By the end of it, I was buggered.
I’ve always respected food stylists, but now my respect has just multiplied! I will keep dreaming of the day I can work with one of the talented. 🙂