A French Evening

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Dearest Jess,

Things have been busy. But things have been so good. We were able to relax at the cottage this passed weekend. Lots of swimming, canoeing, wake-skating, sunbathing, and eating happened.

I know I have been doing lots of burgers this summer (summer burgers, and spanish burgers), but I have another one for you. I love burgers in the summer. And really, with the heat we’ve been getting I much prefer a BBQ meal to something that involves firing up the panggangan and/or stove. Even the microwave seems a bit much.

This burger is very light and very delicious. The Mushrooms give off such an amazing aroma, and the onions add a strong flavour with some amazing colour. The Brie is a nice creamy touch, but this would also be incredible with Goat Cheese!


The Ooh-la-la Burger
Red Wine Caramelized Onions
1 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
Sauteed Mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
8oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 lbs medium ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
4oz brie cheese, thinly sliced
8 slices French bread (not baguette) (we used stone mill bread)
Grainy Dijon mustard to taste
2 cups lightly packed washed and dried mache (lamb’s lettuce) (we used spinach)
1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add red wine and sugar. Bring to a boil, then bubble, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes or until wine has almost completely evaporated.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes or until onion is very soft and slightly sticky, reducing heat if onion starts to stick to saucepan. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and golden grown. Stir in garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
4. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, shallot, tarragon, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper, mixing gently but thoroughly. Form beef mixture into 4 even-sized patties about 3/4 inch thick. With the heel of your hand, make an indentation in centre of each patty (this helps burgers cook more evenly).
5. Cook patties on well-oiled Medium heat BBQ grill for 8-10 minutes, turning once.  Just before burgers are ready, top each burger with one-quarter of the brie cheese. Add bread slices to grill and toast on 1 side until golden.
6. Arrange 4 slices bread toasted-side down and spread with Dijon mustard. Top with mache (spinach), dividing evenly. Add a burger to each slice, along with caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms. Top with remaining bread slices.
We paired these burgers with a Cabernet Sauvignon. I really liked the concept of using a strong, grainy bread instead of a bun. It really added to the flavour and brought something new to the burger concept.
I hope everything is going well! I’m excited for this weekend! It was awesome to see you on Friday and Saturday. I miss you like crazy.

Sumber http://lovelettersinapan.blogspot.com/

Best Restaurants in America If you eat out in the U.S.A. and want the best dining experiences possible, this guide is for you What makes a good restaurant a “best”? Food that’s better than just good, of course. A dining room and a level of service that suit the quality of what’s on the plate. A good wine list (which doesn’t always mean an encyclopedic one), good beers and/or cocktails where appropriate. And then the less easily quantifiable stuff: personality, imagination (or intelligent commitment to a lack of same), consistency. 101 Best Restaurants in America (Gallery) When we were a young website, way back in 2011, we drew up our first 101 ranking ourselves, making a list of the places where we, The Daily Meal’s editors, liked to eat. Taking into consideration our mood, our budget, and where we happened to be when we get hungry, how would we vote, we asked ourselves — not only with our critical faculties but with our mouths and our wallets? Where would we send friends? Where would we want to dine if we had one night in this city or that? By this method, we ended up with a shortlist of 150 places. Then we argued, advocated, and cajoled each other on behalf of restaurants ranging from old-fashioned to avant-garde, ultra-casual to super-fancy. Finally, we invited an illustrious panel of judges (restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and bloggers) from across America to help order restaurants via an anonymous survey and tallied results to assemble a ranked list. Upstairs, the simple Scandinavian-style dining room is kitted out with tables that look like tangled tree trunks, carved by Tom senior. The ingredient-led 12-course tasting menu is constantly changing (you might spot one of the chefs picking a final herb flourish outside minutes before it hits your plate). Starters could include a mouthful of smoked eel and apple, or an exploding dumpling of ox cheek and lovage. A crapaudine beetroot slow-cooked in beef fat is meaty in texture as well as flavour, and local lamb is paired with turnip and mint. Even the bread with sour butter is sensational. Afterwards you’ll be grateful for the walk through the village to a pretty rose-covered house where some of the nine bedrooms have antique oak four-posters and copper bateau baths. Wake to the sound of cows mooing in the next field and head back to the inn for a simple breakfast of sheep’s yogurt with fresh berry compote and house granola or toasted brioche heaped with mushrooms and a duck egg. Unsurprisingly, the most talked about restaurant in Yorkshire is often full, so book it quick. By Tabitha Joyce.

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