Thursday, August 25, 2011

FFwD - Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburger and Eggplant Caviar

This week's French Fridays with Dorie dish is not at all what you'd expect to see on a French dining table - a hamburger.  However, this is apparently not just any hamburger, but the Cafe Salle Pleyel hamburger, created for the cafe's owner, Helene Samuel, who stated the following about the burger in The New York Times:

“It has the taste of the forbidden, the illicit — the subversive, even. Eating with your hands, it’s pure regression. Naturally, everyone wants it.”

You can find the recipe online here, but in a nutshell, this burger is comprised of beef mince, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, cornichons (for which I substituted gherkins) and fresh herbs (I only used coriander and dried tarragon and skipped the thyme).  The burgers are browned to medium rare on each side:

An onion jam is made to go with the burgers:

The burgers are topped with thin slices of parmesan cheese:

and the whole lot is placed on a burger bun, as shown at the top of this post.  If you are so inclined, you can decorate the plate with dill pickles, but I also skipped this.

I am not sure that this burger was so good as to be subversive, but it was definitely delicious and beats the pants off the cardboard offering at your local greasy spoon.  I served my burger with Outback Spirit wild rosella cranberry relish one night, and with Cooper's Ale barbeque sauce the next - both combinations were good.

Playing catch up, I also made eggplant caviar from last week:

Just like Tricia S's teenagers, I didn't dislike this, but I wouldn't run out to make it again either.

Finally, I am featuring a gratuitous photo (sourced from Yahoo! Seven TV) of Bec's fab 1920's inspired wedding veil by Melbourne designers, J'Aton, featured in Tuesday night's finale of Winners and Losers:

There was a lot of criticism of Bec's hair and dress on Facebook.  Personally, the dress was not my style (too much like a doily), but I loved the much-maligned veil and hairdo - anything inspired by the 1920s wins my heart, and I thought Bec looked great.

Have a wonderful weekend!