Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I had it in mind this evening to cook a nice comfort meal - with all the works. Tom N-D's Junk Food chapter includes many recipes for meals such as these. I discussed my idea with Rafa over email:

Me: Tonight I'm thinking burgers. Let me know what you think!

Rafa: With meat?

Let me explain. Rafa doesn't consider anything that wasn't once an animal to be part of a burger. So when I made Nigella's Mushroom Sandwich, I called it a Portabello Burger. He found that ridiculous; as how could it be a burger if the mushroom was never a living breathing walking animal! I am inclined to agree with him, and only called it a 'burger' because I didn't think 'sandwich' sounded substantial enough.

But for tonight I wanted to make a burger for real... and this time with lots of sides.

4. A basic, no-nonsense hamburger - *Junk Food*
5. Dill sauce - *Junk Food*
6. An edible coleslaw - *Grills*
7. Basic ice cream shake - *Afters*

I bought all the ingredients for dinner after work and got started as soon as I got home! The coleslaw came first as it needed to 'cure'. The carrot was grated and white cabbage finely chopped:

Then, they were put in a bowl with lemon juice, salt, and a pinch of sugar. They were left to 'cure' for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I started working on the dill sauce which was supposed to be an added condiment to the whole burger operation. I've never eaten dill sauce before, let alone made it. This is probably when I should tell you I haven't actually eaten an entire burger in my life! I have a phobia with minced meat, and I figured this project was the way to overcome it. The dill sauce was a very basic combination of mayonnaise, yellow mustard, dill, and chopped up gherkins. I am not exactly sure what gherkins are so I bought some lovely Israeli pickles instead... yum yum yum!
(I also added some dijon mustard and mayonnaise to the cole slaw when it was all 'cured', and it was ready to go!)

Love that color!
The condiments!!! Squeezy-bottle central!

Then I got started on the burgers. All that Tom indicates to add to the meat is some salt and pepper - the meat should do the rest!

I don't use this grill pan enough -- I love it!

And then it was all down to putting the burgers together. Rafa wasn't sure about the dill sauce, but he drowned his burger in it later... It's a yummy and pungent sauce; I could imagine using it for many things.

My burger - tarted up with cole slaw on the side and dill sauce on top

And Rafa's - tarted up in his own way ;)

After dinner, I watched a fabulous episode of Lost and then got started on our 'afters'. No burger diner experience is complete without a frothy and yummy ice cream shake.... Or maybe it's just me that has romantic visions of poodle skirts and tight sweaters, eating burgers with shakes after school... Or maybe I just watched Grease one too many times.

The 'ice cream' of choice was chocolate! Maybe too bold for Sandy Olsson, but definitely not for me!! A couple of scoops of ice cream were pureed with some ice in a blender and then a cup of milk was added.... Turned out to be the most fabulous shake ever!!! And a perfect end to a lovely meal!

I loved the combination of all the flavors and I'm looking forward to many more theme nights such as this one!


Gemma said...

Hi Ilana,

Your burgers look yummy. Gherkins are indeed large pickles like the type you get sliced on fast food burgers so your substitution was perfect. The project looks like fun so far!

Gemma x

domesticgoddess said...

Mmmm, it's 11am and all I want is that burger! What a delicious anniversary meal for you and Rafa.

Loving the blog, hon :)

p.s. why does it say Lindsay Lohan on your ketchup bottle?

Ilana said...

Thanks Gemma. I figured they were a pickle of some sort, LOL. The Israeli pickles I used were a bit slimmer than gherkins.. fantastic!
DG, good eye!!! It was a 'limited edition' ketchup bottle that had a celeb's quote... her's was 'Burger-licious', hence the title for the post!! I thought it was funny :))

(btw, she could do with eating a couple of those burgers, no??)