Thursday, September 15, 2011

Homemade burgers have become a bit of a permanent fixture in our house - we eat them at least once a week. They are easy and convenient and in a effort to make them as healthy as possible we stick to a few basic rules:

  • Instead of burger buns we use wholemeal or whole/multi grain baguettes (this works well for a crowd as you can make a couple of baguettes into burgers and carve then up sub-way style!)
  • Mayo is always 'light; and used instead of butter
  • The burgers them selves are made from either Chicken breast, Turkey Mince or Fish
I generally use the following base:

Take a baguette and split it down the middle so you are left with a separate top and bottom. Slather both sides with light mayo. Top the bottom half with leaves (I stick to a mixture of baby leaves - spinach, rocket etc). Then top with grilled chicken breast, turkey mince pattie or fish, sliced red onion and batons of cucumber (seeds removed).

That's basically it - but here are a couple of few flavour variations to make things interesting:

Lime and Coriander Chicken Burger:

Place the juice of 2 limes, 1 clove of garlic (crushed) and about 2 teaspoons of sugar or agave syrup and a pinch of salt into a jar and shake. Set aside until ready to cook. (I like using agave as I always have it in the cupboard and as its a syrup you don't need to dissolve it)

Take 1/3 cup mayo, juice of 1 lime, 1 green chilli, a small handful of coriander and 1 of mint and chop all finely - mix into the mayo and slather on both sides of the baguette (let the size of the baguette dictate how much may you make - I tend to err on the generous side as the mixture will keep)

Take the chicken breasts and lay on the chopping board with your hand firmly over the thickest part of the breast. With a sharp knife start slicing the breast in half length ways, starting at the thick end of the breast ending at the narrow end. The aim is to end up with two skinny fillets per breast, as these cook faster and and fit on the baguette better.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a hot pan, season the fillets and place in the pan. As they fillets cook baste constantly with the Lime mixture until you have used it all. , about a minute before you are ready to take the chicken off the heat, splash the chicken with soy sauce (Id say between 1-2 tablespoons). The aim is to end up with beautifully caramelised fillets.

Assemble the burger as per above and enjoy!!!!!

Fish Finger Burger!!

Take 1/3 cup mayo, juice of 1/2 lemon, handful of gherkins, 1/2 small red onion, chop both finely. Mix into the mayo and slather on both sides of the baguette.

Grill your favourite white flesh fish - For sea bass, I season lightly and leave the skin on as the skin goes nice and crispy when cooked. If I use cod, haddock or the like I will pat down with while flour that has been seasoned with salt, pepper and finely chopped fresh dill, and then pan fry in some butter.

Assemble the burger as per above and enjoy!!!!!

The great thing about the burgers are you can go as light or as heavy handed with the condiments/herbs and onions as you like and a good chilli sauce never goes astray either.

The phots on this post were taken by my gorgeous photographer friend Britt Spring....
A fellow Antipodean ex-pat she suggested I cook while she took photos.... we had a great time, and even enlisted a few friends to come along and make the night even more hilarious.... However, next time I let someone photograph me while I cook I'm definitely going to book a hair and make-up session first!!!!