Look what I got:
Le Creuset! My lovely friends gave me a gift certificate to William Sonoma for my birthday many many months ago. To be thrifty, I waited for the January sales to use it. Turns out this was a brilliant idea as I bought a forest green enameled cast iron grill pan for a song. Beauty.
For its christening I made some truly plain but truly delicious burgers. I used to do all kinds of things to ground beef when making burgers. I’d add egg yolks, grated onion, garlic, nutmeg, chilies and I’d massage it all like crazy into the meat. I now touch it as little as possible. I shape the patties by breaking pieces off the mound of ground beef, then I season with some salt and a lot of pepper and (this is the important/delicious part) brush them with melted butter. That’s right, I melted some butter, brushed it on the patties and then put them in the fridge so the butter could harden up.
They were delicious, especially topped with some classic American cheese.
I like to go sans bun:
We also had a little blood orange salad. They are just so pretty – you should make it too! Peel and slice oranges, lay out on a plate/platter, season with a bit of salt and a good grinding of black pepper, drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil, and top with sliced red onions and some chopped/torn mint leaves.
Since its been cold it seems like all I cook is things in tomato sauce using my dutch oven. I love love love lentils and really want to eat more. So I bought some nice de Puys and whipped up this little gem by combining recipes from my two favorite Englishmen: Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater.
– Cut 2 small onions and fry in some olive oil until tender/transparent, then add some thinly sliced garlic
– Add tomatoes of some form (in hindsight I should have used canned tomatoes, but I hand blended about 48oz worth of a mixture of grape and Romas that I already had), some fresh rosemary and thyme, a bay leaf, salt and pepper, fresh or dried chilies to your liking/tolerance, 150g of washed lentils and 250ml water.
– While doing the above, fry up some sausages. You needn’t cook them through, just get a bit of a char on them. I used some nice lamb merguez sausages but any kind will work.
– Bring the tomato mixture up to a boil, lay the sausages on top, throw the lid on your pot and put it into an oven heated to 375F.
– I left it in the oven for about 45 minutes then took the sausages out and put the pot back onto the stove to boil off some excess water.
This meal is rustic, super easy and truly lovely. I’ve made it without the lentils using whole mixed organic tiny/cherry/grape tomatoes. When I did that I also poured some good balsamic vinegar into the bottom stewy tomatoes.
I have recently become a real life big, bad, mean mother shucker.