Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dinner: Burgers and Cauliflower

By Diana Hsieh

When Paul and I sat down to dinner tonight, I considered taking a picture of my uber-full plate, so that I could post it with this write-up. (It did look quite marvelous.) However, I was too impatient to eat it. Hence, you'll have to make do this description. Here's the food we split:

  • one pound grass-fed ground beef patties, cooked medium
  • two strips of uncured bacon
  • one head of steamed orange cauliflower, with raw butter
  • one and a half cups of button mushrooms sautéed in bacon and beef fat
  • two small glasses of raw milk
The meal took up all of our plates. And now we're both pretty darn full. Happily, it took only about 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Here's what I did:
  • Cook the bacon on medium in a stainless steel pan -- not non-stick. While that's cooking, wash and chop the mushrooms. When the bacon is mostly cooked, drain off most of the bacon grease. (Save it in a mason jar for future cooking!) Add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. (They'll be dry for a while, but then they'll release their juices.)

  • Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a saucepan for steaming the cauliflower. Wash and chop the orange cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Add to the steamer, cover, and cook for ten to fifteen minutes, or until tender when tested with a knife. Later, when the burgers are done, transfer the cauliflower to the plate. Dot with butter, add salt and pepper.

  • Meanwhile, salt and pepper the ground beef, then shape it into two oblong hamburgers. Remove the mushrooms and bacon from the pan into a bowl. Add a small dollop of bacon grease back to the pan, then hamburger patties. (Add the bacon back to the side of the pan to finish cooking it, if necessary, then transfer it to the plates when done.) Cook the burgers on the first side for six minutes, flip them, then cook for another six minutes. After flipping the burgers, add the partly-cooked mushrooms back to the pan. Stir them around the burgers occasionally. When done, transfer the burgers to the plates. Cook the mushrooms in the pan for another minute or so, then transfer them to the plate.

  • Meanwhile, instruct husband to set the table. He'll pour the glasses of milk too. (Best of all, he cleans up all the dishes after the meal is consumed!)

  • Eat, eat, and eat!
If I wasn't so familiar with cooking those foods, I don't think I could have managed to do quite so much all at once. But practice makes perfect -- and easy!

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