Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Minty Buffalo Burgers

Last night i finally went grocery shopping. As I'm prone to do, i bought lots of odd things. I've been so busy that the grocery store had changed completely since the last time I had been. I bought lots of strange sauces, a couple vegetable oddities, and some buffalo meat. I've bought buffalo before, so that wasn't the strangest thing by far. I had recently seen on the travel channel a hamburger paradise episode where they steam their burgers instead of grill them. I decided to make some Greek inspired burgers-and steam them low and slow to see if that would help prevent toughening of the super lean buffalo meat.

Minty Buffalo Burgers- makes 4 burgers
1 pound of ground buffalo meat
2 tablespoons dried spearmint
2 teaspoons garlic Powder
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 slices muenster cheese
1 tablespoon basil oil

4 potato buns toasted, with a little Dijon mustard spread on each piece.

Remove buffalo meat from the fridge- and let it come to room temperature. preheat a non stick skillet over medium low and heat up basil oil. in a bowl, add ground buffalo meat, mint, garlic powder and about a teaspoon of pepper and a pinch of salt. mix the meat well- but don't over mix. divide into 4 quarters, and flatten out the meat in the palm of your hand. place a tablespoon of butter in the center of the meat, and fold the meat over the butter until you have a patty. repeat with the rest of the meat. cook the burgers in the skillet turning once after about 6 minutes. and cooking on the other side with a slice of muenster cheese you don't want a lot of browning- just making sure the meat is medium well. assemble your burgers and enjoy.

I served this burger with steamed green and yellow beans, and i poured some leftover hambuger juices/fat over the beans and tossed well.

French Roasted Chicken

A friend of mine charged me with the task of teaching her how to make a whole chicken. My mom had recently taken a trip to Provence, and brought me back authentic Herbes de Provence. One of the strongest flavors was the lavender, and I had never cooked with it before. When I was a kid, my mom used to make “chicken with and an egg” which was a whole roasted chicken stuffed with a whole lemon. I mixed the idea of this dish, and used a new ingredient that I had procured, and the results were memorable. This is by far, the best roast chicken I’ve ever had, and I think you’ll agree too.

French Roast Chicken feeds 5 comfortably
1 whole chicken 4-5 pounds
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 garlic cloves chopped roughly
5 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon dried mint
2 teaspoons white pepper
3 tablespoons sea salt
5 tablespoons cold butter
1 lemon cut into quarters
6 tablespoons fresh lavender
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450
Wash the chicken and pat very dry. Set aside. You’ll want the chicken to be room temperature, and the butter ice cold. Using the back of a fork, mash together lemon zest, garlic, herbs, white pepper, salt and butter. Once you have a paste, separate the skin from the chicken breast and legs. Rub the herbed butter mixture all over the bird- inside and outside of the skin and inside of the cavity. Place on a roasting pan and stuff the chicken with the quartered lemons. Turn the chicken wings under and tuck the tips into the side of the chicken. Secure the wings and the legs/back with a piece of twine.
Roast the chicken breast side up for 10-15 minutes at 450 or until the breast is a light golden brown. Turn the heat down to 350 and roast for 45 minutes to one hour or until the internal temperature is at 165 at the thickest part on the chicken—in a leg or through the breast, making sure not to touch bone. Baste with any juices as needed- but don't for the last 15 minutes- you'll want the skin to be crispy. As you’re checking on your bird, if you start to notice that the skin is getting to dark, cover with foil, taking care not to keep the oven open too long.

Remove the chicken and tent for 10-15 minutes to let it rest. Carve the chicken and serve with your favorite sides. I like to serve this dish with roasted parsnips and beets or make it ahead of time for the best chicken salad you’ve ever had. Save me a leg!