Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rosemary-Balsamic Mushroom Smothered Hamburgers with Smoked Paprika Home Fries

No doubt some of you remember (or would like to remember) my recipe from Monday night: smoked paprika home fries, which were spectacular and yet still somewhere in the comfort-food arena. Tonight, I decided to share that recipe with the family, throwing in burgers with a little gourmet touch, though no buns because there was plenty of food without them. Take a look-see:
rosemary-balsamic mushroom smothered hamburgers with smoked paprika home fries and a leafy saladOf course, all I had to do for the home-fries was scale the recipe up to five potatoes instead of two, so since you're definitely link-savvy, there's no need to repeat that recipe and process here. The rosemary-balsamic mushroom smothering "glaze," however, stands to be talked about, as do the burgers (even though I cheated again and bought -- and seasoned! -- preformed ones at the grocery store seeing as I had enough to do what with working, mowing, tending the garden, cleaning up, cooking, and etc. to get along with today). All I did to those patties was put a fair amount of freshly ground black pepper and seasoned salt on them on both sides before I threw them into the hot pan. I'll mention the cooking details below as well.

First: smash and chop up some garlic (for the mushroom stuff and the potatoes combined, I used five cloves, although none of them was breaking any size records). Then cut up everything that needs to be cut up, details on how to do that are below and on the recipe for the potatoes linked to above.

Now, to make the mushroom "stuff," I started off with about half a stick of butter in a small frying pan (half a stick?!? yes!) over medium heat. To that, once it melted nicely, I added a small amount of finely chopped onion and about seven or eight "baby 'bella" mushrooms that I had cleaned (with a towel), halved, and sliced thinly. Of course, I salted that lightly immediately and added just a couple of small turns of black pepper. Once they fried a little bit in all of that lovely butter, I added probably about a third of the finely chopped garlic and all of the leaves of a nice sprig (about 6 inches) of rosemary, also finely chopped. After letting that fry for a couple of more minutes (giving it a good stir, of course), I sprinkled in a dash of red wine vinegar and a fair amount of balsamic vinegar, probably just short of a quarter of a cup. I wanted that to reduce and concentrate, so I didn't turn the heat down, though I did stir it from time to time. For the record, I actually started all of this just after I started the potatoes because... that's right: potatoes take freaking forever to cook, especially when you don't have another frying pan and have to redneck it in a wok like I did.
rosemary balsamic mushrooms in butterObserve the mushrooms in their buttery, rosemary-y, balsamicy happy place, mellowing down over medium heat and letting all of those flavors concentrate and mingle (and letting the mushrooms get fully soft).





Here's all three pans going at once right after I added the burgers, which would probably have been when I guessed the potatoes would need another ten minutes. The pan I put them into was crazy hot, and I put the side I seasoned down and then seasoned the tops directly in the pan. Clever... I know.




This is what the burgers looked like when I flipped them after approximately five or six minutes over the quite-high heat I had them cooking on. Notice that lovely crusty goodness created by putting the burgers directly into a very hot pan. They needed, all told, probably just over ten minutes on both sides combined, although that brought them out medium well. The thing to watch for, particularly if you want "well done," is that the juices run completely clear as they come up and out of the meat. Mine were definitely still a little pink, and it was delicious.

To finish this off, I put the potatoes on a plate, nestled the burger beside, poured the mushrooms and sauce over them, and then put a little leafy salad on the empty spot on the plate. I let everyone dress their own salads (balsamic vinaigrette for the adults that have sense and ranch for the kids who clearly don't), and I put ketchup all over my potatoes, just like last time. One of the kids copied me.

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