(What is Sabbath week?)
This afternoon, my wonderful and generous friend, having read yesterday’s blog, brought round some oranges, flowers and a pineapple. After my initial protest (going something along the lines of “Hey! Stop bringing me things when I’m trying to empathise with the poor…”), I accepted the gift and relished the thought of having fresh fruit beyond, maybe, Wednesday. Not sure what her thinking was behind the flowers. Perhaps the vitamins would come in handy, should we get desperate when the weekend comes. Anyway, they’re currently looking rather beautiful (albeit a little nervous) on top of our TV cabinet. Love my friend. (And yeah, we have a TV cabinet – so what? Flatscreen, schmatscreen.)
Dinner on a Monday needs to be quick. My gorgeous Belfrey group hang out till at least 5pm, and if the kids don’t eat by 6 – nay, 5.45 – they start to grow horns and colour in the carpet. Hubby’s out till late, partying (sorry, working) with the students, so it’s a one-lady show. Tonight my quick fix was burgers from the freezer but made by moi a couple of weeks ago. After a nasty incident with some shop-bought meatballs a little while back (I’ll save you the description, but think gristle and you’ll just about get there), I vowed that neither me nor my children would ever eat shop-bought meatballs or burgers again. Then I discovered, fortunately, that making burgers was actually stupidly easy. Here’s what I do – bear in mind it’s a very rough recipe with amounts of things, I usually just chuck stuff in, so do alter my quantities according to your taste preferences.
Easy peasy burgers (makes 8-9)
If you have a food processor, blitz together 500g mince, 25g fresh/frozen breadcrumbs, an egg and 1-2 tbsp of whatever fresh herbs you need to use up. On this occasion I used thyme, but mint works well (especially with lamb mince), as does parsley or chives. You can also add 1-2tbsp of pesto or curry paste, if you have them lurking at the back of the fridge (hey everyone, it’s Sabbath week), and half an onion adds a bit of oomph too. Season well. Shape into burgers and grill for about 5-6 minutes on each side – or freeze, layered between greaseproof paper and wrapped well in cling film. Defrost thoroughly before grilling as above.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix it all with a strong wooden spoon, but a good old blitz does help to break down the mince and combine it with the other ingredients, preventing the burgers from falling apart when you shape them.
In my humble opinion, these burgers are massively economical as they make a small bit of meat go a long way. You can make it go even further by adding greater quantities of onion, beans, cheese, breadcrumbs or whatever. Go crazy. And, because they’re so yummy, one is usually plenty, as long as you put it in a tasty bun with nice bits and bobs on the side. (My tasty buns, thank you for asking, were 18p for 6 at the Co-op. Get them cheap when they’re at their ‘best before’ then freeze them for a rainy day (or a sunny day, and a BBQ).)
I served these burgers with peas (from the freezer) and sweet potato chips drizzled with sesame oil and seasoned with Special Seasoning (aha! you’ll want to know what it is now!) before roasting at Gas Mark 7 for 30-40 minutes. Yum!