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Posts Tagged ‘Alfresco Refreshed’

California roll burger

by Sarah Steimer

The crab on top of this burger makes it extra rich, but also very summery. Other topping options could include pickled ginger, fish roe or other items usually offered at sushi restaurants.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 ounce crab meat (tail, claw, whatever)
  • 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon wasabi powder or paste (I added even more)
  • lettuce or spinach
  • tomato, sliced
  • avocado, sliced
  • nori strips (just take nori paper and slice into thin strips)
  • cucumber, sliced thin
  • sriracha (optional)
  • hamburger buns

Using your hands, combine the ground meat, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Form into four patties.

This is one tall burger – I highly recommend a soft bun so you can easily squash it down and jam it into your trap.

Mix together the crab meat with the 1-2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and set aside. Combine the 1/4 cup of mayonnaise with the wasabi, adjusting to your taste, to make the wasabi-mayo spread. Set aside.

Grill the patties to your desired “doneness” and remove from the heat. Pat off any excess grease with a paper towel – unless you enjoy that grease.

Place the tomato and lettuce/spinach on the bottom half of the hamburger bun (you’ll have too much balanced on top of the patties to add this later). Next add the hamburger patty, crab, nori strips, cucumber slices and avocado. Spread the wasabi-mayo on the top half of the bun, along with a swirl of sriracha if you so please.

Makes four burgers.

Recipe adapted from: Use Real Butter

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Greek turkey burgers with pickled onions and tzaziki sauce

by Caitlin Saniga

I love that these burgers are bursting with flavor. And if you’re wondering about the bread I used, it’s double-round sandwich flatbread I saw on sale at Kroger. It was perfect for these burgers!

Pickled red onion (make ahead if using):

  • 1 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Tzaziki sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

Burgers:

  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey (pork or lamb works, too)
  • 4 buns, pitas or flatbreads for serving
  • greens for serving

These super-easy pickled onions are a great way to get into pickling. They take minimal prep time, and most of the magic happens in the fridge. They last about 3 weeks.

To make the pickled onions: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onions, put the lid on and blanch for 1 minute. Drain in a colander. Put the onions back in the pan. Add the vinegar, salt and just enough water to cover the onion. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for two minutes.  Pour the onions and brine into a jar, cover and store in the fridge to chill. It’s best to make these a day before the burgers.

To make the tzaziki sauce: Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and store in the fridge to chill. This can be made up to a day in advance.

To make the burgers: Start up the grill or preheat a countertop grill (Foreman-style works.) if that’s how you plan to cook the burgers. (You can also make these in a pan.)

In a large bowl, mix the feta, olives, parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and salt. Add the ground meat and use your hands to thoroughly mash together the mixture. Shape the mixture into 4 round patties.

These burgers pack really nicely. I should know! I’ve been taking them for lunch at work for the past week. For picnics at the park, I suggest assembling the burgers with buns and greens, wrapping them in foil and packing the onions and tzaziki sauce separately to avoid mushy buns.

Grill or pan-fry the burgers until the internal temperature is 165 degrees, about 7-9 minutes on each side or 7 minutes on a countertop grill.

Serve on buns, pitas or flatbreads with pickled onion, tzaziki sauce and greens.

Makes four burgers.

Recipe adapted from: Food o’ del Mundo

Alfresco Refreshed is our spin on four traditional picnic staples: fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers. You can find all the recipes here.

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Lemony potato-fennel salad

by Sarah Steimer

With the tarragon and fennel in this dish, it tasted like a French twist on the classic American potato salad. Which probably means “healthier.”

  • 4-5 potatoes (I used a combination of medium-sized yellow and red potatoes)
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, finely sliced
  • 1 shallot (this means the whole clove), minced
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil

Wash the potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. You may peel the potatoes if you wish, but I kept the skins on. Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool in the refrigerator.

Whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Set aside.

Place the potatoes, fennel and shallots in a medium bowl and toss with the dressing, parsley and tarragon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Recipe adapted from: Josie Lee

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Garlic scape potato salad

Can’t find garlic scapes? That’s a bummer, but you could try substituting green onions or fragrant chives.

by Caitlin Saniga

  • 5 pounds red-skin potatoes, cute into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced finely
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced finely
  • 1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cub Dijon mustard
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, cook until tender but still firm, about 12 minutes. Strain the potatoes and transfer them to a large serving dish. Add the onion, celery and scapes.

In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the dressing to the potato mixture, and stir gently but thoroughly to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or chill in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Makes about 12 servings.

Alfresco Refreshed is our spin on four traditional picnic staples: fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers. You can find all the recipes here.

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The traditional Memorial Day picnic spread is great – it’s hard to argue with tradition. This year, however, we decided to keep the menu but ditch the recipes. Remember our Thanksgiving Twist guide from 2010? This is the summer version. We’re taking four traditional picnic menu items — fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers — and adding a new spin.

Although trying all of these new variations at a single party may upset a few people, you could just try one or two. Go ahead — shake things up a bit over the Tupperware this season.

Three-berry fruit salad with basil-mint syrup

by Caitlin Saniga

I love the idea that some of these ingredients can likely come from your very own garden. For me, I just had mint this time of year. But give it a couple of weeks, and I might have been able to use my basil and wild raspberries from the yard. I thought about using the mulberries from behind the house, too. This dish is very flexible. Use berries that are in season.

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries or blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Whisk together the honey, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the fruit, basil and mint. Pour the syrup over the mixture, and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 6 hours before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Gal Time

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Layered citrus-apple salad with honey-ginger syrup

by Sarah Steimer

A little sweet and very sour – thanks to those grapefruit. If you’d rather people not have to pull the grapefruit rinds off themselves, be sure to slice those off before serving.

  • 1 grapefruit, sliced horizontally
  • 1 granny smith apple, sliced horizontally
  • 2 clementines, peeled and separated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling if desired
  • 1/4 cup water

Layer with alternating grapefruit and apple slices. Add the clementine sections throughout.

Whisk together the minced ginger, honey and water. Sprinkle the syrup over the fruit. Refrigerate for at least one hour so the syrup has time to soak into the fruit.

Serve drizzled with additional honey, if desired.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Alfresco Refreshed is our spin on four traditional picnic staples: fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers. You can find all the recipes here.

Read Full Post »