Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beef Sliders with Sweet Potato Fries

I only assembled this dish; very little cooking for me on this one. Did make sweet potato fries in the past, but too much work and I wasn't really happy with the results. These Alexia sweet potato fries tasted quite good!

I used these tasty challah hamburger buns from Whole Foods; perfect for a summer burger. Could use thicker, larger sliders and more cheese next time. I did grill them to a nice medium however.

Duo of Summer Salads

I had wanted to make a watermelon salad for some time, here's my rendition! I was going to make a purple potato salad as well, but the potatoes lost their color, even though I steamed them with the skin on.

Grilled watermelon salad

- Watermelon, cut into 3/4" rounds
- Daikon pickled in rice vinegar, water, sugar
- Oven roasted beets (roast with skin on, about 1.5 hrs)
- Quartered yellow tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Feta cheese
- Balsamic vinegar/red wine reduction (add balsamic vinegar, red wine, a little sugar together (can omit sugar), reduce)
- Salt/pepper; sprinkle after assembly.
- Olive oil; can brush the watermelon with some before assembly.

Overall, pleased with the plating, but could use some more improvements next time. The watermelon didn't have sufficient smoky flavor, probably because the grill wasn't hot enough (was in a bit of a rush to grill before thunderstorm struck). Also, pickling juice could use less sugar, a little more seasoning in the roasted beet, and more feta cheese for a sharper contrast.

Helps to use a squeeze bottle to drizzle the balsamic/red wine reduction.

Overhead view; I was generally pleased with the assembly and plating. Watermelon could've used a smokier flavor.

Smashed Chickpea Salad
(Modified from smitten kitchen)

- 1 x 15 oz chickpeas
- chopped cilantro
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 x diced green onion
- 1/2 cup sour cream or light plain yogurt
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 seedless cucumber
- 1/2 Tbsp whole seed mustard

I'm toying with the idea of adding a little mustard in next time for a little extra kick. My addition of yogurt/sour cream and cucumber almost makes it a mediterranean style tzatziki.

I plated them together, but really, I think the watermelon salad would be fine on its own. The chickpea salad is more like an afterthought.