hamburger mornay with chimichurri sauce

Hamburger Mornay with Chimichurri Sauce

Here's another adventure in flavour mash-ups!

When you're bored and feel a sudden dash of inspiration at 3 in the afternoon and somehow have the energy to pull it all together and make it real - this is what happens. You end up creating something bizarrely delicious.

Now, I personally have never had a burger like this in Melbourne. I admit this doesn't look like your classic burger. It doesn't taste like one either. But a burger's a sandwich and depending on what you feel like, let your imagination run wild.

Why on earth would someone take on English, French and Argentinian cuisine to create a mash-up like this?

Well, because we can. The only laws in cooking are the ones you make as you go ;-)

It all started when the other day I brought home some leftover Chimichurri sauce from our production kitchen.

That thing is so good it would be a travesty to throw it away. There's enough olive oil in it so it freezes quite well too.

I digress.

hamburger mornay with chimichurri sauce

 

So, I thought, "what could we make with this sauce?". We had already done steaks over the weekend. Dee, my wife, was craving a burger. This was timely. We just happened to be at an Aldi store. Their brioche buns are awesome. These sweet-ish buns would complement the tangy chimichurri sauce beautifully.

Feel free to play around with your own combination of soft and hard cheeses. This was just my random concoction, which to my utter surprise worked quite well. But duh! It's melted cheese, of course, it's going to be good.

The only important thing is to be careful with the pan temperature. Burnt cheese sauce tastes horrible.

Chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri sauce is an Argentinian green salsa like Salsa Verde. Its tangy, and packed full of flavour. It's bright green, thanks to chopped herbs in oil.

For 1 portion

Parsley 20 g
Garlic 10 g
Oil, Olive 60 ml
Vinegar, red wine 15 ml
Juice, Lemon 1 ml
Onion, Red 10 g
Oregano, dry 0.2 g
Pepper, black 0.75 g
Salt 0.75 g

Simply blitz all the ingredients together in a blender.

Mornay (triple cheese) sauce

You can't really have a burger without cheese. A few weeks ago I had stumbled across a ridiculously delicious cheese sauce. I made it like a French Mornay sauce but instead of using gruyere cheese I threw in blue cheese, parmesan and cheddar. The cheddar makes it creamy. The blue cheese gives it a strong earthy taste. Kind of like having mushrooms. And the parmesan, although much sharper than gruyere gives the sauce a sharp taste.

The sauce is loosely based on a classic French Mornay sauce. The classic sauce is made from gruyere cheese but you'll notice in the ingredient list that I've gone a bit crazy with my cheese choices. Hey! If it tastes good, no complaints!

Again, for 1 portion (because it's easier to multiply up):

Parmesan 15 g
Cheddar 15 g
Blue cheese 10 g
Oil, Olive 30 ml
Flour, plain 10 g
Garlic 10 g
Milk 50 ml

Steps:

  • Fry garlic in olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat
  • Add flour and toss until it blends with the oil and garlic
  • Add milk and heat it just short of bubbling
  • Add all the cheeses and whisk about until they all blend with the milk

Check the video for the consistency you want from the sauce. Make sure you remove all the lumps from the flour.

Making the burger

I haven't been too prescriptive about the condiments for this burger. You'll notice in the video that I added some grilled tomato, which, by the way, is delicious when sprinkled with a touch of salt. The direct flame cooking makes it

If you make this at home, do come back to tell me how it went. I'd love to hear about your adventure.

Other tips

In case you didn't notice, the barbeque is set up with a stone tray and volcanic rocks just below the grill I'm using to cook the burgers. That's why the flare-ups are much tamer. The volcanic rocks are great because they absorb the heat and make the grill super hot, They also tend to absorb the grease and prevent it from falling on the burner. You can find both the stone tray and the stones at your local Bunnings.

The buns, however, were grilled on the direct flame on low heat on the other side. That's how they've got thosrestaurant-stylele grill marks.


poached eggs how to cook

Harry's Home Cooking Tips - Crispy fish skin & Gooey poached eggs

How to get the perfect crispy fish skin?

Now I'll be honest with you, I've ruined my share of good and expensive fish. The one thing that stood out the most was the flame size. The flame is a good indication of how hot your pan will become.

To get the perfect crispy skin, I oiled the skin with olive oil, while the pan was heating on medium heat with a dollop of butter. Use a non-stick pan if you can. You don't want the butter smoking or going dark brown.

Season the skin with a pinch of salt. I like using flaky sea salt to compliment the seafood flavour.

Lay the fish, skin side down, gently on the pan, away from you. Press it down on either side to get an even sear. Yeah, this is an important step. DO NOT stuff this up. I know you won't (because now you've read this 😊) Cook the fish covered. Shake the pan to ensure the skin hasn't stuck to the pan. Control that stove flame. Whether you're using gas or electric or induction, I cannot stress enough how important it is to watch the heat. If the pan gets too hot, you'll end up with either burnt fish skin or no skin at all.

Next, carefully remove the lid and don't let the condensed moisture hit the pan (unless you love a fishy smelling sauna). Flip the fish. A fish turner comes in handy or you can really push your hand coordination and use a regular spatula. Once turned, season the fish again with a pinch of salt. Press the fish down to get a good sear.

Now you'll see some hot butter floating about. If you don't, well, you've burnt the butter. Using a tablespoon, baste the skin side with hot butter. Try spooning away from yourself. I'd hate for you to get butter splatter burns. I've done it and it's not fun (it's downright dangerous). If you've done everything correctly you should end up with a gorgeous piece of fish fillet with crispy skin. Plate it skin side up to show off your elite cookery skills.

barramundi fillet with miso vegetables and quinoa feastively 15 minute meals

Don't you wish your breakfast was hot like this?

How to poach gooey egg yolk eggs?

Turns out you can just throw poached eggs on top of roquette leaves and spinach with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. It makes for a delicious and healthy brekky. Skip the hash brown! 😝

So yet another quick recipe to create gooey poached eggs. As you can see, the one in the back is overcooked. I would have liked the one in the front to be cooked slightly lesser too. ** drumroll, cue music ** Here's my bulletproof way to get the poached egg right (after a few sacrificed ugly ones)

Fill a saucepan 3/4 with water. Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of vinegar. Make sure the saucepan is big enough to leave plenty of room for the egg to float about. Bring to a boil. In the meantime crack the egg in a bowl. Be careful not to crack the yolk. Once the water starts boiling, drop the heat till it's barely bubbling.

Now, let's play spin the water. Yeah, make a water vortex. Again, what heaven's sakes, be careful and don't spill boiling water on yourself. When you have a self-sustaining vortex after removing your spoon or ladle, gently empty the whole cracked egg into the centre of the vortex. Watch it swirl about. Cool hey? The egg white will wrap around the yolk. If it's flying around like Casper the friendly ghost, then you either don't have a fresh egg on hand or you dropped it too far of the centre.

This is like flying a fighter aircraft buddy. No pressure though 😝 Okay focus. Leave it the water for 4 minutes for an egg yolk waterfall-like egg. Use a slotted spoon to scoop it out of water when done. Place it gently on a plate covered with tissue. Well, where else were you going to put it?

Once dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and you get extra points for a light drizzle of olive oil. BOOM! Cafe brekky done!

Up next - how to cook chicken perfectly every damn time. Stay tuned.

Like what I shared here? Want to know more? Hit that chat button and I'll personally chat with you.


korean beef bibimbap bowl

Korean Beef Bibimbap (Mixed Rice with Veggies)

After bulgogi, this is a Korean cuisine favourite in the Feastively kitchen. It's the perfect dish to savour any seasonal veggies. It's packed with probiotic kimchi, lots of protein and oodles of flavour from Gochujang paste, a fermented soybean and pepper mixture. It's traditionally cooked by sauteeing the veggies and meats and served on a bed of rice cooked in a clay pot.

I still fondly remember my time in Seoul in the middle of winter when this would be a welcome dish. If you let the veggies cool down you can still have it in summer. Imagine a barbecued steak, sliced with its juices, sitting atop the sesame coated rice alongside these delicious veggies. Mmmm my mouth's salivating just thinking about it.

You can get gochujang at most Asian grocery stores. The pastes vary in terms of heat. I personally use the hot one and it's really not that hot.

Make sure you use a good quality sesame oil. We need this for adding a strong sesame flavour to the dish. You'll find these in most supermarkets in the Asian food section. I've used Chang's and Yeo's brand before and they're both good.

Kimchi can be a tricky one. I've had the ones from the supermarkets but they lack the full flavour profile. Ideally, you want a strong peppery flavour with vinegary sourness. The cabbage should have become nice and tender and absorbed much of the spice. Again, you'll be better off buying one of these from the Korean grocery stores in Melbourne CBD.

korean kimchi fermented cabbage
Image: huongnghiepaau.com

Let's make this:

korean beef bibimbap bowl

Korean Beef Bibimbap

This is perhaps one of the better known Korean dishes after bulgogi. Take my word for it, this is not a salad. This is a heavy duty, highly nutritious hunger buster. It's made with rice, sauteed veggies, beef mince, kimchi and egg. The secret ingredient that binds all the ingredients together is Gochujang, a fermented soybean and chilli paste. You can vary the heat on this dish to your liking. Gochujang is easily available at most Asian grocery stores. Traditionally this dish is cooked in a clay pot. That's how you get sticky rice at the bottom of the pot because it's only after the rice is cooked that the other ingredients are added to the bowl. But don't worry if you don't cook with claypots, you can easily make this at home and serve it in a regular bowl.

  • 60 ml Sesame oil (Try not using olive oil because it will change the flavour. Vegetable oil and canola oil are too mildly flavoured to make a difference.)
  • 80 g Gojuchang paste
  • 200 g Spinach
  • 240 g Carrot
  • 12 g Garlic
  • 300 g Rice (Best to use Sun rice medium grain. You can use other )
  • 800 g Beef mince (You can use stir fry ribbon cut. Alternatively, for a richer dish, use porterhouse steak and cook it as normal until medium rare and then slice into thin slices)
  • 30 ml Dark soy sauce (dark)
  • 4 g Sesame seeds (optional, for garnish only)
  • 80 g Kimchi
  • 4 Eggs
  1. Let's get started with prepping the carrots. Slice carrots into juliennes. If they're too tender, cut them into matchsticks. To learn how to Julienne carrots check out this Youtube video.

  2. Next, cook the rice. Add a pinch of salt to the rice as it's cooking. A good measure for cooking rice with the absorption method, to keep it nice and sticky, is 2 cups of water to a cup of rice. Cook it on a medium/low flame and never overload your pot. The weight of the rice above will squish the rice below and make it turn to mush. Generally, don't let the rice and water mixture rise above 5 centimetres.

  3. While the rice is cooking, let's get started on the condiments that'll be served with rice. Bring a tablespoon of sesame oil up to temperature and fry the garlic until it turns light brown.  Toss carrot juliennes and stir continuously. Since the juliennes are so thin, they'll cook very fast. So stay sharp. Season with a pinch of salt. As soon as the carrots feel a little limp, remove them from the pan.
  4. Next, wilt the spinach. No need to add more oil just yet. Simply season with a pinch of salt and the heat, along with the salt, will draw out the moisture. As soon as the leaves wilt, remove them from the pan.
  5. Fry the eggs one at a time. Season with a little salt and remove after 2 minutes. You don't want the egg cooked to the point that the yolk becomes too thick. A runny yolk will nap the rice and give the dish a creamier texture. remove from pan and keep aside.
  6. Finally, lower the heat to cook the beef mince. All we'll add to the beef mince is some dark soy sauce. Spread the beef out on the pan and let it cook gently so that the beef sweats a little. This will melt the fat and make the beef nice and granular instead of chewing on tasteless lumpy bits.
  7. Assemble the bowl as shown. Rice first, then a small pour of sesame oil. Then assemble the other ingredients as shown.

You can use other veggies for this too such as capsicum, mung bean sprouts, turnip, zucchini, cucumber and Korean native veggies such as Fernbrake. The combinations are endless.

You could even use chicken instead of beef. Make sure you pan fry the chicken with a little garlic and soy sauce for extra flavour.

korean beef bibimbap bowl


italian salad

Italian Salad

 

 

Italian Salad

A good hearty salad is the hallmark of a great Italian dinner. Balance the richness of pasta and tomato based sauces with the freshness and crunchiness of lettuce. The cheese and olives add to the salad's umami.

For the Dressing

  • 1 cup Flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp honey

For the Salad

  • 1 Romaine lettuce (washed, dried and cut into large, bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 red capsicum (large, chopped)
  • 1 cup cucumber (continental, diced)
  • 1 carrot (peeled into ribbons)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 8 pitted olives
  • Feta (crumbled to taste)
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor and blitz to blend.
  2. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Right before serving, add about half of the dressing and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

salad

Mexican Salad

 

Mexican Salad

Super easy to make this fresh and zesty salad with all the mouth watering Mexican flavours. Use this salad to compliment fish tacos or quesadillas. Looking for a health kick? Just have the salad by itself. Experiment and discover which other cuisines you can pair this delicious salad with.

  • 1 pc Romain lettuce (large)
  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 pc Avocado (diced)
  • 1/2 pc Cucumber ((continental))
  • 1/2 pc Brown onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup Snap/snow peas
  • 1/2 cup Corn Kernels (canned)
  • 1/3 bunch Cilantro leaves

Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1/3 cup Lime juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black pepper
  1. Combine all salad dressing ingredients and whisk together until mixed well
  2. Chop salad ingredients and combine in a large bowl.
  3. Shake the salad dressing before pouring over the salad ingredients. Toss the salad ingredients until they are well coated in dressing.