7.31.2015

Mini Burgers with Caramelized Pear



Here’s to the weekend! 


Serves 6


Ingredients
1 lbs. ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
6 -8 slices of Brie cheese
1 bosc pear, thin sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
6 mini buns/rolls


Preheat oven to 350°F

Directions

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, garlic, salt, black pepper, paprika and cinnamon.  To shape the patty, you may use ½ size measuring cup but do not fill up the cup. Place the patties in the refrigerator while preparing other ingredients.

Cut the pear into thin slices. In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium low heat. Add the sliced pear. Cook for few minutes until slightly soft. Then add sugar. Cook until soft and golden brown in color.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, ketchup and a teaspoon syrup from the caramelized pear. Set aside.

Heat the non-stick pan over medium heat. Sear the patties about 1 minute on each side just to have nice color. Place the patties in the oven and cook them for 5-8 minutes depending the thickness of the patty. Check doneness by using a food thermometer, at least 160°F.  Slice the buns/rolls in half and warm them in the oven. Add the Brie cheese on each patty and put it back in the oven. Remove once the cheese melt. 

Assemble your mini burgers with burger patties, sweet dressing and caramelized pear. Happy Weekend!

7.27.2015

Lavender Infused Crêpe with Lavender Honey





In Provence, lavender season starts around end of June until July.  And around this time, I reminisce my life there as an intern and daydream of walking through the luscious field of lavender being baked under the sun.
I was always in search of good crêpe, until I stumbled upon this Crêperie Le Chant De L’Heure located in Apt, France.  The crêperie had a rustic feel with brick wall and wooden stairs that would take you to the main restaurant and balcony. 


During my visit, I ordered a crêpe brushed with butter, sprinkled with sugar and drizzled with Grand Marnier. I didn't ask for any toppings, I wanted the crêpe to be simple so I could really taste the crêpe. The crêpe was so light that almost melted in my mouth.


While I was waiting for a table on the first level of the restaurant, I couldn't stop and whiff the delicate scent of dried lavender that was hanging on the wall and the nutty aroma of the crêpe being cooked on a hot griddle.

This recipe is inspired by the heavenly aroma at the crêperie - I infused a little bit of dried lavender just to have a hint of the "scent of Provence".


Makes 6 - 8 crêpes


Ingredients

1 cup All Purpose flour
4 eggs
1 ½ cup milk
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt
4 - 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1½ tablespoons dried culinary lavender



Directions

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat, sprinkle the dried lavender and toast to intensify flavor until fragrant. Turn off the heat and pour over the milk. Set aside and let it infuse for about 10 minutes.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl then add sugar, salt and flour. Pour the milk into a strainer and discard the lavender. Add milk into the mixture and mix well. For lump-free, pass the batter through a strainer.

Heat not-stick skillet over medium heat. Wipe the skillet with butter and pour ¼ cup of batter.  Cook for 10 seconds until you can peel off the crêpe from the pan then flip over. Serve crêpe with butter and lavender honey.  Enjoy!


Lavender Honey

2 tablespoons dried lavender
½ cup really good honey

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add lavender and toast. Lower the heat once fragrant then add the honey. Be careful the honey may sizzle. Stir rigorously until runny. Turn off the heat then pour honey into a strainer and into a clean and dry jar with lid.