Thursday, 30 May 2013

Amazing burger and rolls

Every once in a while I make something that makes me proud. Not surprisingly this meal started with Saint Dan, the patron saint of Elasticated Waists. I was looking for something a little different, sometimes I used left over pizza dough to make pizza swirls, a savoury Chelsea bun type affair. This time I consulted Saint Dan and went off piste - changing it on the way (as did the weather so the picnic was off).

Soft Olive, tomato and cheese rolls.
These are made in an unusual way, but boiling some of the flour in water makes the, deliciously squidgey.

25g butter
1 large onion (red onion was recommended but I only had a white one)
500g strong flour (I used a combination of white and wholemeal)
350ml cold water, then more as required
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar (mainly to keep the onion red, so I used a less and added some fruit vinegar)
100 - 125g pitted olives, drained and chopped)
50 - 75g semi sun dried tomatoes
50 - 75g chopped cheese, I used goats and blue
2 teaspoons fast action yeast
1 teaspoon fine salt
Polenta or corn meal - if you have
Oil for kneading

Cook the onions until soft for about 10 mins, them add roughly 8 level table spoons of the flour, the water and vinegar and whisk together. Bring to the boil beating out your worries to keep it from sticking. Stir I the olives and leave until it is tepid. Beat in the yeast, flour and salt and mix until it is a smooth dough. Cover and leave for 10 mins. I tend to over it with something non stick and a few kitchen towels to keep it nice and toasty.
This is where Saint Dan is also the patron saint of parents - rather than needing like a dervish for 10 minutes while the children go feral - you simply need just 8 - 10 times on an oiled surface them leave it for 10 minutes again. Ten repeat this twice more and finally leave for half and hour while you prepare snacks and have a rare cup of tea.

Mix in the cheese and tomatoes and roll it into a fat sausage about 25cm log. Brush with water and sprinkle with polenta (DB did this with great gusto). Cut into nine pieces and lay these onto a couple of trays lined with non- stick paper and leave for 1 1/2 hours while you heat the oven to 220'c. Bake for 20 - 25 mins.

Chicken, chorizo and mushroom burgers.

This is where the genius struck. We had been out all day and I had nothing planned for supper. I wanted to use the rolls, but Pickle wanted something hot (the picnic had been rained off). I always have chorizo in the fridge, I had some mushrooms in the veg box and chicken in the freezer. Chicken does not defrost that quickly, but I always freeze in in small portions and minced it would be a doddle.

2 chicken breasts or equivalent
100g chorizo
200g mushrooms
Half a red pepper
flour for dusting

Blitz the chicken until it is almost minced the. Add the other ingredients which have been roughly chopped. Prepare a plate of flour for dipping. With wet hands (trust me it helps) form the burger shapes and dip in the flour. Fry in a little oil.

As I was doing this from frozen, give or take the mincing process, I used a meat thermometer to check that it was cooked in the middle. Cooking it slowly so that it does not burn. If you have time you can cook them in the oven so you don't need to hover.

On one site i notice that Heston Blumenthal cooks his chicken to an internal temperature of 60°C, if you want to stick to safety guidelines your chicken should reach 75°C.

I served with salad fresh from the garden and sweet chilli sauce.

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