Spicy Burgers, BBC style

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My kitchen is a safe-haven. A lovely place to escape to. A happy place. And there is nothing that my kitchen likes more than new kitchen gadgets.

Enter: brand new kitchen scale! It's beautiful and neat with a glass top and a digital blue output. Mm. And it weighs perfectly. This is wholemeal flour being weighed for a batch of burger bun rolls. That's because, for the first time ever, I'm going to show you that when I'm not baking in my kitchen, I cook. It happens from time to time. Ah, food blog, we're one step closer to you.

Yesterday, a very charming and involved Nice Recruiter Man (here) was telling me about his The-Apprentice-and-Burgers night and recommended a delicious Spicy Burger recipe, from the BBC. In my enthusiasm I went and picked up some lean mince and chillies from Sainsbury's and promptly left behind the burger buns. That's how it all began: burger buns made from my favourite bread recipe and topped with flaked almonds. For interest's sake, if you click through the recipe, I replaced the white flour with wholemeal flour, and replaced half the water with milk. I also halved the recipe so that we didn't have unnecessary leftovers.

Easy peasy. I particularly like that they come out beautifully browned and glazed (thanks to an egg yolk and water wash) and the almonds are a really nice touch (really works with the wholemeal flour).

The burgers were also easy to make. Like our meat rissoles, these combine mince, egg, chopped onions, garlic, spices and herbs, and a chilli. There's even some mustard.

Chillies here are deceptive. The English like their food mild - bland, even - so, thinking that these spicy little treats wouldn't be that popularly sold in Sainsbury's unless they were particularly mild -  I popped an entire scotch bonnet chilli in to the mix. Uh. Not a great idea.

Here's a picture of my veggie bowl in the kitchen. Can you see the chillies? HOoooooOOOOge. Anyway, I chopped up a nice sweet looking yellow chilli and added it to the mix. When I was done, I washed my hands, cleaned up a bit, and tottered off to do some work while I waited for the bread dough to rise.

And then my hands started burning. And so did my nose (because, of course, I had blown my nose when I sat down). So I washed my hands again and again and again, and had a bath instead of working. Sigh. Needless to say, I was hysterically laughing about the potency of the chillies which continued to burn until well after we had eaten dinner.

Anyway. The burgers turned out particularly nicely. I love the added mustard to the mince mixture: I'll definitely make them again.

I couldn't resist photographing the salad as well: look at all of those beautiful colours and textures! I think that's my favourite aspect of food: the textures. Especially when something subverts your expectations of those textures (Heston would have a field day with that!) and you end up with super-crunchy croutons on your salad when you thought they were going to be a bit crumbly. Yum.

I leave you with one last image of the oh-so-spicy burgers. Yum! Nice Recruiter Man said that he grilled some blue cheese to add to the top which would have made the perfect topping, or perhaps some crumbed Camembert with a sweet chilli sauce? I topped ours with basil pesto - yum.

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