Girl + Fire = Food



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pink & Lavender Turkey Mini-Burgers

I recently became obsessed with lavender. I've always liked the color (it's so pretty) but I didn't really know how it tasted. At one point I was trying to figure out what to do with a decadent wedge of Humboldt Fog goat cheese, and learned that typical French herbs lavender and thyme paired nicely with it.

Them French know a thing or two about food.

Lavender is quite perfume-like. Too much of it and you will feel like you sucked down some Chanel No. 5, which is a very lovely fragrance. (If any fans wants to gift G+F some perfume, nous aimons Coco.) But you don't want to taste it for the rest of the day. Use sparingly.

Another lovely pantry staple is pink peppercorns. These are less pepper and more berries, and also hail from France. I have had them for a while, wondering how and what to use them in. Turns out these pink beads blend nicely with its equally colorfully-hued French friend lavender. I was making on my way to making a pink and purple rainbow of food.

Plus I grow thyme in my little patio garden, so now I just had to figure out what to do with this spice blend and cheese.

Enter ground turkey and King's Hawaiian mini buns. And then you have mini burgers! Not sliders, as Serious Eats explains, but mini burgers. They're as easy to make on the stove as on the grill. And even though we're having some unseasonably warm weather in Los Angeles this winter (in the 70-80 degree range, which is weird even for southern California), I still haven't fired up the grill. Mostly because I gave it to my dad and no longer have one.

Thinking about it, I suppose you could make these into sliders. But I like my onions caramelized and IN the ground meat mixture, not just steaming on top of it.

I made two of these, ate them, and they tasted fine. I let the rest sit in the fridge until the next day, made two more, and they tasted so much better. The flavors were much better combined. So that's the trick, let the mix sit overnight. More yummy bang for your buck.

Don't forget the oozy cheese!

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Pink & Lavender Turkey Mini-Burgers
French lavender and pink peppercorns help turn a normal turkey burger into a gourmet mini burger.
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions, choppped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried lavender
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme)
  • dash of salt
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 8 mini burger buns
1. Crush the peppercorns and coriander to a powder (use a spice mill if you have it). 2. Combine the crushed spices with the turkey, onions, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, and salt and mix well. Optional but highly recommended step: let sit, covered, in the fridge overnight.3. Form into 8 mini burgers. Grill on high heat for 3-4 minutes per side.4. Serve on mini buns with a 1-ounce piece of goat cheese (Humboldt Fog is strongly recommended!). Let the cheese melt a bit. Add additional condiments if you feel it necessary.
Prep time: 5 minutes - overnightCook time: 8Total time: 13 minutes +Yield: 8 mini burgers

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Food: Fluffy Homemade Spiced Pancakes

The first time one cooks for a man, it probably should not be a dish that one has never made. If it's true that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then this seminal event should showcase one's best dish.

That's all well and dandy, but he wanted pancakes. I'd never made pancakes, so I faced a dilemma: did I risk the first meal on an unknown dish or opt for a tried and true breakfast what, oatmeal? Pancakes seemed simple enough. And really, there is nothing sexy about oatmeal.

Turns out he wasn't expecting homemade pancakes. I could have saved myself a lot of anxiety and simply bought a box mix, but there ain't no romance in Bisquick.

With a devil-may-care flourish, I threw caution to the wind and set out to mix flour with milk n' stuff. The last thing I wanted to do the morning after a weekend-long series of late nights and festive new year celebrations was make a complicated dish, so I found the simplest recipe Google had to offer and then added a few extra little touches. I couldn't serve him just any generic ol' pancakes, could I?

I picked up a few tips from All Recipes, such as substituting carbonation for some of the liquid and letting the batter sit. Then I added some cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Served with butter and syrup, scrambled eggs, and a banana blueberry smoothie, it was quite the successful breakfast.

And quite the auspicious start to the new year.

Why yes, we do drink smoothies out of wine glasses in this house. Don't you?

print recipe
Fluffy Homemade Spiced Pancakes
Simple yet delicious and fluffy.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or milk and the juice of 1 lemon)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons ginger ale
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • butter, for greasing the griddle
1. If making buttermilk, juice the lemon in a glass measuring cup then add enough milk to make a full cup. Let stand 5 minutes.2. Heat the oven to 200 F. Place an ovensafe dish inside.3. In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices) together.4. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg, ginger ale, and vanilla extract until just combined. Do not overmix, you don't want to over-develop the gluten in the flour and lose the fluffiness!5. Let batter stand 10-15 minutes. 6. Heat the griddle until drops of water sizzle and evaporate immediately. Melt butter across the surface (about a tablespoon per batch).7. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter onto the hot griddle. Wait for the edges to dry and bubbles to form on top, then quickly flip the pancake. Cook for another minute or so, then move to the plate in the oven. (You may need to sacrifice one or two initial pancakes to make sure the temperature is correct. They won't be pretty, but probably still edible).
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Approximately 12 pancakes