Thursday, July 16, 2009
Grilled Pork Burgers Indochine
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Ellie Mathews creates great recipes. She's won the Pillsbury Bake-Off and Build a Better Burger competitions, so her cooking credentials are well known. What you may not know is that Ellie is an established writer of fiction and memoir. I backed into my knowledge of her after reading "Ambassador to the Penguins" and "The Linden Tree," her first two books. Ellie then went on to write "The Ungarnished Truth: A Cooking Contest Memoir" which chronicled her experiences as winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off. They are wonderful books that show the range of her writing skills as well as her honesty and the scope of her spirit. I hope you'll visit her website, Ellie Mathews. Ellie's recipes are easy to prepare, ever so slightly exotic and made with ingredients that you can pull from a grocer's shelves. This winning burger recipe is no exception. I grind the pork for these burgers myself. It's not necessary, but I prefer the texture of home-chopped pork to its commercially available equivalent. That also allows me to control the fat content of the meat. Star anise has a mild licorice flavor. If you can't find it, 1/2 teaspoon of regular anise seeds can be ground and used as a substitute. In keeping with the Asian origins of this recipe, the patties are formed into rectangles that will fit within French rolls. The patties and the sauce that's served with them take about 15 minutes to prepare. Here's Ellie's recipe.
Grilled Pork Burgers Indochine...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Ellie Mathews and Sutter Home Winery
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Thai basil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc nam)
4 teaspoons jaggery (palm sugar) or brown sugar
1 teaspoon sriracha or other Asian hot chile sauce
2 pounds freshly ground pork
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground star anise
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 French rolls, split
6 interior butter lettuce leaves
1) Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.
2) To make dressing, combine mayonnaise, basil, cilantro, green onions, and lime juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
3) To make patties, place fish sauce, jaggery, and chile sauce in a medium bowl and combine well. Add the pork, peanut butter, ginger, garlic, and star anise and blend loosely with a fork. Form into 6 equal rectangular patties to fit inside French rolls, making a slight depression in center of patties to compensate for a tendency to bulge during cooking.
4) Brush grill rack with oil. Grill patties with grill top closed for 4 minutes. Turn and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of patties registers 160 degrees F, about 4 minutes longer. During the last 2 minutes of grilling patties, place rolls, cut side down, on grill to toast.
5) To assemble burgers, spread roll bottoms with a thin layer of dressing, followed by a lettuce leaf. Add patties and top with generous dollops of the dressing. Add the roll tops. Yield: 6 burgers.
Recipe courtesy of Sutter Home Winery - Build A Better Burger 2005 and Ellie Mathews