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Friday Fare Archives - Walker Zanger BlogWalker Zanger Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Friday Fare’

05.25.12

Friday Fare… The Perfect Burger.

 

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally seen as the start of the summer and the beginning of all that this most popular season has to offer.  For the fashion conscious, white clothing is pulled to the front of the closet, Father’s everywhere start tying up their aprons, backyard barbeques are being stripped of their covers, and grills everywhere are prepped and ready to go.  Without a doubt one of the most popular items to hit the grill this weekend will be the burger. Compliments of our friends over at Williams-Sonoma, we bring you “The Perfect Burger”.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground chuck or ground lean beef
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 or 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices cheddar or Swiss cheese (optional)
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • Sliced tomato for serving
  • Sliced sweet white onion, such as Maui, Vidalia
    or Walla Walla, for serving
  • Torn lettuce for serving
  • Sliced dill pickle for serving
  • Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard or other
    condiments of your choice for serving

Directions:

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, mix together the beef, yellow onion, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Form the mixture into

4 patties, each 3/4 inch thick.

Grill the hamburgers directly over medium-high heat, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Check for doneness by cutting into a hamburger near the center or testing with an instant-read thermometer. No pink should show on the inside, and the internal temperature should register at least 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. If making cheeseburgers, place a slice of cheese on top of each hamburger during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

During the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, toast the hamburger buns, cut side down, on the grill. Serve the hamburgers on the buns with tomato, white onion, lettuce, dill pickle and condiments. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Grilling, by Denis Kelly (Simon & Schuster, 2002).
05.12.12

Friday Fare… Mother's Day Breakfast.

Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast with Blackberries.

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with an extra special breakfast. This twist on the classic French Toast is sure to make more than just Mom happy. Just be sure to include doing the dishes as part of your gift! Happy Mother’s Day weekend!

Ingredients:

For the orange blossom maple syrup (optional):

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. orange flower water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 lb. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 slices firm-textured bread, such as brioche or challah, each 1/2 inch thick,

    with crusts

For the batter:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups blackberries

Directions:

To make the orange blossom maple syrup, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the maple syrup. Pour into a small bowl or pitcher and stir in the orange flower water and vanilla until well blended. Serve warm. Or, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm over low heat before serving.

In a bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Spread 2 Tbs. of the mascarpone mixture on 4 of the bread slices, leaving a 1/4-inch plain border on all sides. Top with the remaining bread slices.

To make the batter, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and salt. Pour the batter into a baking dish. In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 tsp. of the butter and continue to heat until it foams but does not brown.

Place each of the sandwiches in the batter and let stand for 5 seconds. Turn the sandwiches over and let stand for 5 seconds more. Using a wide spatula, carefully lift the sandwiches from the batter, letting any excess drip back into the baking dish, and transfer to the hot pan. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. butter to the pan, turn the sandwiches over and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Using a clean, wide spatula, transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board.

Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal. Divide among individual plates, top with the blackberries and serve immediately with the syrup. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).

05.04.12

Friday Fare. The Margarita.

 

Yes, tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo and as I sit here writing this weeks Friday Fare, I can swear that I hear the blenders blending, the ice clinking, and can taste the distinctive combo of fresh lime and tequila. For a drink so simple in its ingredients, cocktail enthusiasts have been battling over its variations for years. Blended vs. On the Rocks, Cointreau vs. Triple Sec, Patron vs. Don Julio, and  most important of all; Salt vs. No Salt!  Each will vehemently  tell you that theirs is the right and only way to mix up this refreshing libation.  I offer you my favorite version below. Simple, easy to make, and delicious. Oh, and for my taste, “On the rocks and hold the salt”.

INGREDIENTS

  • Salt, for rimming the glass (optional)
  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila (Blanco, 100 percent agave)
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (not Triple

    Sec)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If using salt, place in a shallow dish. Moisten the rim of a rocks glass with a dampened paper towel,  dip in salt.
  2. Fill the glass with ice; add tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau; and stir a few times until chilled. Serve immediately.

 

Recipe courtesy of Chow.

 

04.06.12

Friday Fare… Strawberry Millefeuille.

Strawberry Millefeuille

 

Looking for something simple yet elegant to finish off Easter Brunch this weekend? Shared from our friends at Williams-Sonoma, is this lushious Strawberry Millfeuille. A traditional dessert made by layering puff pastry with whipped cream, custard or other filling, millefeuille means “thousand leaves” in French. It really is as good

as it looks!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry (1/2 package), thawed according to package instructions and unfolded
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced strawberries
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry sheet to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut in half lengthwise. Transfer the 2 rectangles to a rimmed baking sheet. Prick them evenly all over with a fork and brush with the beaten egg. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Set aside.

In another bowl, using a whisk, whip the cream until soft peaks form.

Using a serrated knife, slice 1 rectangle horizontally to create 2 layers. Use the uncut rectangle as the base. Top with half of the whipped cream and one-third of the strawberries. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to create 2 more layers, finishing with just strawberries. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm (Oxmoor House, 2008).

03.30.12

Friday Fare…Crab and Avocado Mimosa.

photo by Nina Gallant

 

Did you really think we would finish the week off without a Friday Fare Mad Men style?

Served by First Lady, Jackie Kennedy at a state dinner in the summer of 1961, this refreshing appetizer was no doubt reinterpreted at many a dinner party of the day. We don’t for a moment think that Betty would have whipped this up at home, although Trudy might have given it a go. No, this was most likely ordered at some posh restaurant in Manhattan during a dinner designed to impress a future client.

Adapted from In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House, by Letitia Baldridge, this dish  absolutely stands the test of time.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
1 scallion, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
dash of hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
ground white pepper
8 ounces cooked fresh crab meat
2 cups watercress
2 hard-cooked egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Directions: 
  1. Peel half of one avocado. In a small bowl, mash avocado half. Add scallion, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1/4

    teaspoon of salt and hot pepper sauce. Stir until well combined. Reserve.

  2. In a separate bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and remaining teaspoon of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Reserve.
  3. Peel remaining 1 1/2 avocados, cut into half-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Squeeze excess moisture from crab meat. Add to cubed avocado and gently combine. Fold in mayonnaise mixture until crab and avocado are evenly coated.
  4. Line bottoms of 6 chilled champagne glasses or small glass serving dishes with watercress. Divide crab mixture evenly among glasses. Top each with a dollop of mashed avocado mixture.
  5. Press egg yolks through fine mesh sieve; combine with parsley in a small bowl. Sprinkle yolk/parsley mixture evenly over each portion. Mimosas can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 hours.

Reprinted from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook

All photo images and text are the property of Walker Zanger. Please do not use for commercial purposes without permission. You are welcome to repost. copyright 2014.

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