Spanish-style Burgers

spanish_style_burgersMakes 6 servings
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total preparation time: 35 minutes





1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon smoked, sweet or hot smoked Spanish paprika
2 pounds burger mix  (NOTE:  you could use:  ground pork, bison or turkey)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup whole bottled piquillo peppers (about 5) or small roasted red peppers (pimentos, about 2)
1/3 cup pitted green olives
6 slices Monterey jack cheese (6 ounces)
6 hamburger buns

1. Finely chop half of the onion (about 1 cup), and slice the other half (about 1 cup). Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the chopped onion and cook 5 minutes, or until it has softened. Press 1 garlic clove (about 1 teaspoon) into the skillet and cook 1 minute. Transfer the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly golden but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer it to a small bowl and set aside to cool. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

3. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise and paprika in small bowl; press in the remaining garlic clove (about 1 teaspoon).

4. Add the burger mix to the cooled chopped onion mixture; gently stir together with a fork. Shape the meat mixture into 6 burgers and season them on both sides with salt and black pepper to taste.

5. Heat the remaining 1tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook them 3 minutes per side for medium rare. (If you used pork or turkey, cook them until they are completely cooked through.)

6. While the burgers are cooking, chop the piquillo peppers (about 1/2 cup) and the olives (about 1/4 cup) and combine them with the sliced onion in a bowl; season with salt and black pepper to taste. Divide the mixture on top of the cooked burgers in the skillet and top each with a slice of cheese. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and cook about 1 minute, or just until the cheese has melted.

7. Meanwhile, split and toast the hamburger buns. Spread the top and bottom of each bun generously with the mayonnaise mixture, place a burger on the bottom half of each bun, close and serve.

Radish and Orange Salad with Peppery Orange Dressing

Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: about 20 minutes
Total preparation time: about 25 minutes

2 navel oranges
12 large radishes (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch arugula or watercress, rinsed and dried, tough stems discarded
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained

1. Grate 1 teaspoon zest from one of the oranges and reserve. Remove the zest and pith of the navel oranges using a serrated knife and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

2. Rinse and trim the radishes and slice into rounds (If you have a food processor with a slicing disc this will speed up the process).

3. Whisk together the lemon juice, reserved orange zest, salt, sugar, and cayenne; whisk in the extra virgin olive oil.

4. Line a platter with arugula, arrange the orange slices, overlapping them if necessary in a circle inside the arugula. Mound the radishes in the center and top them with the olives. Drizzle the salad with the dressing just before serving.



Me with my two favorite butchers from Esposito’s—Joe and Sal

Where did I buy my 80/20 ground meat mix in Philly?
Esposito’s Butcher Shop
1001 S 9th Street
Phone: 215-922-2659

Here are some online sources for good quality ground meat:
1.  Niman Ranch – sells burgers online (sixteen  1/3 lb burgers for $49.95) all natural, no hormone, and no antibiotics.

3.  DeBragga – also has a lot of mixes   – American Waygu – $29.95 for 2 lbs ground beef (75/25%); Burger Comparison Kit: 2lbs each of grass fed, American wagyu and DeBragga’s blend  $50; naturally raised 8oz ANGUS BURGERS (4 per pack) $15.95.

2. Pat LaFrieda – sells several burger blends in pre-formed patties – Original, Brisket, Short Rib, Lamb, Dry Aged Original. $40-60 for eight 6oz patties

Piquillo peppers come from the Ebro River Valley in northern Spain.  They’re hand-picked and slow-roasted over open wood fires.  I first discovered them years ago at the Fancy Food Show in New York, where they impressed me immediately. If you can’t find these sweet, hot, smoky peppers at your local supermarket, you’re welcome to substitute regular jarred roasted red peppers.  Or you can order them online at LaTienda.com

Spanish paprika is available in gourmet stores, some supermarkets, and by mail from LaTienda.com (888-472-1022) or TheSpiceHouse.com (847- 328-3711).


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