Friday, October 22, 2010

Burger Queens

Loyal followers, if you exist at all, will see that it's been, well, a while since my last post. I blame Mexico, I went there for a week, had no electronic interaction for 7 days and while I quickly got back to email and interweb stuff, the blog didn't quite seamlessly resume as planned. I also haven't cooked much of interest worth posting.
My vegetable patch seems to be coming to the end of it's life, for this year anyway. The fragrant, oh-so-fresh basil has wilted away in the cold night air, the cucumbers have stalled in their growth and look like fake ones lying on the soil and the carrots remain very orange but also very stumpy. I'm losing hope of any additional Fall harvests.
Tonight though, I have a blog worthy creation to blog about. The recipe had been in an inconspicuous pamphlet in my office since sometime in 2009 and I finally took it home a couple of weeks ago with the intention of cooking some recipes. As of 8am this morning, the booklet remained unopened on my coffee table where it landed an irrelevant number of days ago. I had made plans with Ms MJ to come over and visit tonight and we would figure out something to eat and go buy groceries from the new Thrifty Foods that opened near my house this week. I had a few minutes to spare before heading out the door to work this morning so I glanced at the booklet and thought one of the recipes might jump out at me and I could start thinking about it before this evening. I did so, and one recipe did jump out...salmon burgers. The ingredients were simple, fresh and allergy free for me. Decision made. I walked out of the door out to my car and looked at my watch realising that my clock at home was slow and in fact I was running late. Still, I was excited for dinner tonight, and the company too.
Ms MJ and I headed to Thrifty's which was just as wonderful as we both anticipated. Isn't this how all the cool kids spend a Friday night? We cruised the aisles searching out our favourite foods and full of anticipation of new culinary discoveries and we were not disappointed. We saw many new, exciting, enticing foods such as salmon pepperoni, freshly squeezed in-store orange juice and Wayne Gretzgy Green Tea bags. That last one was slightly random yet I still wanted to buy it.
We gathered the ingredients for the salmon burgers as well as some olives to snack on and a truffle each for dessert.
Here is the recipe for the burgers:

1 lb skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1tbsp grated lime peel
1tbsp peeled minced ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper
fresh lime wedges

Put all ingredients, except lime wedges, in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.
Shape in to 4 patties and either broil or grill on BBQ until just cooked, a few minutes each side.

This was such an easy recipe! We broiled them as it's not quite BBQ weather anymore and it was dark outside. And raining. And my BBQ is broken.
While they were cooking, Ms MJ prepared the soft portuguese buns for the imminent arrival of the main event. We had sliced tomatoes and spinach leaves to top the burgers with and moistened the buns with grainy mustard. We also planned to have avocado in the ensemble and had the great idea to put it on top of the burgers and warm it up under the grill as if it were cheese ( we are both lactose intolerant).
The avocado warmed nicely and took on a slight fluorescent green hue. We carefully placed the pink and green goodness in the waiting soft buns and squeezed fresh lime juice over the avocado. This turned out to be possibly the key step in the meal which added a layer of flavour so wonderful that neither of us wanted to eat or drink anything else for a considerable while after the meal as we didn't want to dilute the remaining deliciousness on our lips and tastebuds post ingestion. We were basking in the glow of our stellar creation.
We both agreed it was the best salmon burger we'd ever eaten and that all the flavours and textures combined perfectly and oh so satisfyingly. This is definitely a keeper!
We agreed we would both experiment a little more with this dish. I suggested mixing the ingredients and then leaving it for a few hours for the herbs and spices to meld more. Ms Mj suggested the addition of onions...possibly caramelised. We also both agreed that BBQ-ing the burgers would take them from amazing to legendary faster than you can say Sockeye Salmon. We dreamed about having a food cart or hole in the wall restaurant that made only these burgers, exactly as we made them the first time tonight. We would be featured on the food network or on Oprah one day but we would still never change our recipe.