Posts Tagged ‘martha stewart’

Pancetta Cheeseburgers with Tomato, Basil and White Bean Salad

April 18, 2010

I wouldn’t consider myself a burger grilling master but I know the basics.

I know to buy the chuck (80/20) for its fat content (making the burger juicier). I know not to touch the burgers for a while (resisting the urge to take a peak) so it doesn’t crumble when you try to flip. And I know to make the patties with a small dent in the middle so they don’t end up with a bubble on top.

But, what I didn’t know was that I think, for all these years, I have been buying the wrong meat. 80/20 chuck is certainly the right meat, but I think pre-packaged was the wrong move. Sure, it is cheaper and easier, but I am not sure it makes for the best burger. When I tried these Martha Stewart Pancetta Cheeseburgers I went to Fresh Market and bought fresh ground chuck (to order), and not only was the color of the meat magnificent, but it was probably the best ground chuck I have ever had.

Not to mention this particular recipe is a clear winner – it has a bit of a kick, lots of flavor and a great crunch with the baked pancetta. My only alteration would be to perhaps make more than one pancetta piece per burger (ok, I know it isn’t the healthiest alteration but pancetta might be the best thing on the planet!). In addition, the bean salad that was recommended to be served alongside the burgers was fantastic, and is a great summer dish. I also couldn’t find fontina at my store so I used provolone. I don’t know if it was better or not, but I do know it was darn good.

Happy grilling!

PANCETTA CHEESEBURGERS
Serves 4

4 thin slices pancetta (I would even recommend 8 if you love pancetta like me!)
1 1/4 pounds ground chuck
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Freshly ground pepper
4 ounces fontina cheese, thinly sliced
4 hamburger buns, toasted if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pancetta on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, flipping the slices halfway through, until crisp, about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, using your hands, combine ground chuck, salt, chili powder, and paprika in a bowl, and season with pepper. Shape into 4 patties (about 4 inches in diameter).

Preheat grill to medium. (If you are using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 5 to 6 seconds.) Grill burgers 4 to 5 minutes. Flip burgers, and top with cheese. Grill 3 to 4 minutes more for medium-rare. Remove, and let rest 5 minutes. Top burgers with pancetta, and serve on buns.

TOMATO, BASIL and WHITE BEAN SALAD
Serves 4

2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 pound small roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 small garlic cloves, minced

Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over bean mixture, and gently toss. Let stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.

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Pork Kebabs with Orange and Thyme with Toasted Bulgur with Almonds

April 13, 2010

Ever since I met Martha Stewart a few months ago, I have had a special affection for her recipes. I saw the test kitchen, showcasing the time and energy they put into each recipes to make every flavor just perfect. And, I saw Martha’s talent and knowledge about EVERYTHING related to food. Not to mention I have only tried one of her recipes to date, and it was quickly deemed “blog-worthy.”

So, last weekend when the weather was nice and we wanted to grill out, I turned to Martha for inspiration. We had just done chicken and I feel like we always do steak, so I was looking for an alternative. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I had never grilled pork kebabs before. Chicken – sure. Steak – of course. A pork tenderloin – sometimes. But, for some reason pork kebabs never crossed my mind…

There is something in the marinade of this dish that gives the pork an amazing flavor. The ingredients , mixed with the bulgur, have a middle-eastern/Mediterranean, fresh and summery feel. I would make these for a group in a heartbeat – they are fast (can marinate before company comes) and require only 10-12 minutes on the grill.

Thanks, Martha, for giving me another keeper for my blog and my recipe box. I am sure you will give me many more!

PORK KEBABS WITH THYME
Serves 4

1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated zest, and orange wedges for garnish
5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

Whisk together orange juice and zest, garlic, thyme, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until emulsified. Add pork; toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let pork marinate 20 minutes at room temperature. While your pork is marinating, make sure to soak your wooden skewers in water so they don’t burn on your grill.

Heat a grill or grill pan until medium-hot. Thread 5 or 6 cubes of pork onto each of 4 skewers; season with salt and pepper. Discard marinade. Grill pork, turning occasionally, until cooked through and slightly charred, about 12 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, and serve with orange wedges.

TOASTED BULGUR WITH ALMONDS
Serves 4

1 cup bulgur
3/4 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
Coarse salt
1/2 cup salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bulgur, and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir together toasted bulgur, stock, 3/4 cup water, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick (or, if desired, leave in as a garnish). Stir in almonds and oil; season with salt and pepper.

Curried Vegetable Pot Pies

February 27, 2010

Last week I had the amazing honor of meeting Martha. Yes, the one and only Martha – Martha Stewart. I attended her show, met her briefly (fortunately long enough for a photo) then had meetings in her offices and got the grand tour. I must say, for someone who admires and respects Martha, it was a wonderful business trip!

No, she isn’t the type of person who will come up to you and give you a hug, but heck, would you expect that from Martha?! But what you can expect was that she had the answer to every audience question after the show, from waffle recipes to compost piles. I was in awe.

Her offices are nothing to sneeze at either – they take up a full NYC block and include everything from a craft room to an accessory closet to the infamous “test kitchen,” which you could smell down the hallway.

After my meeting, the execs were nice enough to give me a Martha tote with her latest craft book (which went to my much more talented mother) and her latest cookbook, which I read cover to cover the minute I got home. It is called Martha Stewart’s Dinners at Home, and I would recommend it for any home cook. What I love about the book isn’t just the amazing recipes and beautiful photos, but she organizes the book by season, which is exactly how I love to cook.

When I flipped to the page with the Curried Vegetable Pot Pie recipe, my husband declared he would love to have it on a Friday (since it is Lent, so he wouldn’t be eating meat). I will admit, I had never made pot pies before, and was a bit intimidated. But, Martha makes it sound so doable, so I figured I would give it a whirl.

Only one bite in, both Rob and I declared it “blogworthy,” and halfway through gave it even more praise. The curry truly makes the dish – you could easily put in chicken if you wanted, but I certainly didn’t miss it. So, for all you vegetarians (and even meat eaters), this one is a winner. On a cold winter night, it is the perfect comfort food.

Thanks, Martha, for this recipe! I hope our paths cross again!

CURRIED VEGETABLE POT PIES
Serves 4
(recipe fills 4 10-oz ramekins – I only had 6 oz ones so I made half the recipe and it filled 3 perfectly)

1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed according to package instructions
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch half-moons, washed well by soaking in water
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk, plus more for brushing
1 russet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 2- by 1/2-inch matchsticks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup frozen peas (unthawed)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pastry dough into four squares just larger than the ramekins (I recommend cutting them as a square around the inverted ramekin so you make the right size). Make several slits in the dough for steam vents. Chill squares on baking sheet until firm, 15 to 30 minutes (while you make the rest of the dish).

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook leek, parsnips and carrots with 1 teaspoon salt, stirring frequently, until slightly soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour, cook, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisking constantly, stir in milk, potato, and curry powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer very gently until potato is tender, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide cooked vegetable mixture evenly among baking dishes. Stir 1/4 peas into each dish, then top with a square of puff pastry. Brush pastry lightly with milk. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


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