23 May 2011

Happy Victoria Day! Bleu cheese stuffed burgers

It's the end of the world, as we know it...and I feel fine.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who had REM's music trilling through their brain yesterday morning as we (*gasp*) awoke and found life to be business as usual.

For those of you who don't know, or have forgotten, an end-of-the-world obsessed Harold Camping (an American radio evangelist) rejigged his calculations (notice the "re") and pronounced 21 May 2011 as the beginning of the end. Along with this was something like 200 million "true believers" were to be welcomed to the afterlife, and a tsunami-inducing earthquake was supposed to hit somewhere in the Pacific.

I'm not going to mention the dearth of reports mentioning people beamed up for their one-on-one with whomever they believe to be their maker. I've not read any evidence supporting a one-day more than 10-fold increase in average daily deaths on the 21st. I won't even hint that the earthquake's target area is known for regular seismic activity and the two *small* earthquakes that did happen didn't trigger tsunami warnings.

Really...It seemed like a pretty normal kind of day.

So while the nonagenarian preacher (with what I think of as an unhealthy obsession with the obliteration of the Earth) is "flabbergasted" that the end of days didn't come (or maybe he's just bewildered, that if it stealthily occurred, why the rapture didn't save him or apparently anyone he knew) the rest of the world ticks on...

And for those of us in Canada, it means getting on with our Victoria Day long weekend.

Victoria Day is Canada's unofficial start of summer. Those with cottages travel out to open them up for the season, gardens are turned, annuals are planted, and barbecues are fired up.

Well, just because I don't have a cottage, I've already taken care of my garden, the dahlias are in, and I don't have a barbecue doesn't mean I can't partake in the first long weekend of the season in appropriate fashion...

I suppose if I actually believed Saturday was the end of everything I may have planned a more appropriate menu...but really...if it's my last meal on Earth, I wouldn't have changed my game plan. I wouldn't have stopped eating red meat and bleu cheese and I wouldn't pour the gin down the drain.

For a last meal, why would I meander too far off my You Are What You Eat list? Why should I take on uncharacteristically trendy foodish airs or make a wholesale change in what I do in hopes that these last-minute changes in the final fleeting moments would change the inevitable?

So for this Victoria Day (or end of days day or not end of days day), my beginning of summer offering is a burger stuffed with bleu cheese and topped with red onions and fried mushrooms.

To me the key to a good homemade hamburger patty is to keep it as simple as possible.

Use ground chuck, fully speckled with flecks of white fat (regular ground beef, not lean or extra lean), salt and pepper. That's it: no eggs, no dried onion soup mix, no panade. For a bleu cheese-stuffed burger, look for a medium-firm cheese--I used Australia's King Island Dairy's Roaring Forties bleu--if you go with a softer cheese, you run the risk of it melting out of the burger while it cooks.

Top it however you wish. I chose dijon mustard, fried mushrooms and red onions. I will say if you happen to have any leftover bourgignon sauce in your freezer (as I tend to have) that works well with this burger.

Bleu cheese-stuffed burgers
Yield 4

500g (1lb) ground chuck, or medium ground beef
0.25tsp salt (or to taste)
0.5tsp pepper (or to taste)
4tsp medium-firm bleu cheese
four buns (hamburger, ciabbata, foccacia, etc)

Condiments and toppings (to taste)
Fried Mushrooms
Sliced red onions
Dijon mustard
Garlicky dill pickles

Mix the salt, pepper and meat together. Divide into four equal portions.

Take each portion and form a ball, then push on one side to make a bowl- or a well-like shape. Add one teaspoon of cheese to the bottom of the well and close up the meat around the cheese. Press and form into a patty. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

Fry or grill until done. Serve on a bun and top as you please.


I'm a quill for hire!


MargaretJ said...

leftover bourgignon sauce in your freezer?? Surely you jest! :-)

jasmine said...

Hi Margaret:

Umm...no. I make several cups of the stuff and freeze it in half-cup portions for emergency poutine cravings...