So by now you might have noticed that I am a big fan of comfort food. I love to cook comforting meals and thinking up ways to reinvent classic combinations is always fun. This week its burgers!
I serve these bun-free… you know… to make it healthy 🙂 I top mine off with blue cheese but you can use any kind you like. This combination is so tasty you don’t need the usual burger staple sauces like ketchup or mayo.
My secret to keeping the burgers really moist is adding grainy mustard into the burger mix. It helps to bind them and keep them moist. The little mustardy zing goes great with the blue cheese and kale too.
You can’t have a burger without fries… in my opinion. So I serve mine with crispy sweet potato fries and a sriracha dipping sauce. Getting your sweet potatoes actually crispy in the oven may have been tough before, but I guarantee if you follow my recipe they’ll turn out every time! (These ones may have been left a little too long…but they were still tasty!)
Blue Cheese Burgers with Crispy Kale
Sweet Potatoes & Sauce: (they take the longest so start these first!)
- Preheat your oven to 225C
- Take your peeled and sliced potatoes into a big bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for at least an hour but you can also do this the night before and place in the fridge.
- Drain your potatoes and pat dry with a clean towel.
- Toss the potatoes in the arrowroot or cornstarch and then drizzle olive oil overtop. Sprinkle with a little salt.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and line up so there is space in between each piece. Don't crowd or they will steam.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and then flip and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes until crispy.
- Meanwhile make your sauce by combining all the ingredients and mix well together.
- Mix all your burger ingredients (save the cheese) in a bowl and form into patties. Put the patties in the fridge. You can make these a day in advance if you prefer.
- When ready, cook your burgers for 4 minutes on each side in a grill pan or frying pan over medium high heat.
- When you flip your burgers, place the cheese on the cooked side.
- Once cooked, let the burgers rest on the plate for about 5-8 minutes before serving.
- Place your kale on a baking sheet and "massage" the olive oil into the leaves.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Place in the oven and cook for approx 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it. It doesn't take long for it to go from perfect to burnt!
Pile the kale on top of the burgers. I like to serve mine with roasted cherry tomatoes on the side.
*If you don't like sriracha you can substitute with chipotle powder or a minced whole chipotle in adobo sauce.
Yesterday was a rough one. My boys have just started pre-school which means 2 hours of freedom for moi 4 mornings a week – yay! Yesterday, however, the youngest twin terror had a fall at school and ended up having a breath holding spell. He’s suffered from these since he was 6 months old but hasn’t had one in almost a 9 months, so we thought we were through them. When he suffers a sharp pain, he ends up getting so upset that he holds his breath until he passes out. Then his body takes over and starts breathing for him, but its a scary minute or so and he comes out quite confused and upset – who would blame him! So this was the first one he has had without me. The teachers were amazing and did just what they were supposed to but still… I wasn’t there. I know this is the first of many many many of these types of things. But it was the first. So I’m allowed to wallow in the guilt.
When we got home, we ended up staying in and cuddling on the couch all afternoon, which meant no trip to grocery store, leaving me without a whole lot of options for dinner.
Scanning my fridge, I found beetroot and puff pastry and some yummy blue cheese leftover from my Tartiflette last week. I make a mean apple tarte tatin and I’ve been meaning to test out a beetroot one for a while, so last night was the night. To be fair, I had never made this recipe before last night. It was all an experiment! I wanted to add some balsamic into the tarte but ended up forgetting to put it in. But, I fixed it by creating a nice reduction to drizzle over which was just as delicious!
Caramelized Beetroot & Red Onion Tarte Tatin w/ Blue Cheese Crema
- Preheat your oven to 190C
- Cook your butter, sugar, beets and onions in a oven proof pan on the stove over medium heat until the beets and onions are nicely caramelized.
- Remove from the heat and place your puff pastry directly on top of the beets and fold under the edges.
- Put in the oven and cook until crisp and brown at the edges - around 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a plate.
- Meanwhile, place balsamic vinegar and honey in a sauce pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and let simmer until it has reduces to 1/3 cup. About 10 minutes.
- Combine the cheese and creme fraiche in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- To serve, top with crema and arugula and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
- Store leftovers (if there are any!) in an airtight container and reheat in the oven.
If you are on a low-fat diet, look away now. Or don’t. But I warn you, once you read what’s below, you won’t be able to resist. And how can you. I mean I’m talking bacon, cheese, cream, potatoes.
With all this horrible cold, wet and windy weather, I was craving something warm and comforting. I first came across this recipe in Delicious Magazine. A Tartiflette is a very traditional French dish made with Reblochon cheese. I, however, mix it up and do mine with a soft blue cheese. I also add a few other less traditional ingredients like dried herbs, mushrooms and courgette. For some reason if I add a few vegetables I feel a whole lot better about consuming all that yummy cheesy, creamy, bacony goodness. This is also a great meal to make with leftovers from a roast chicken dinner – using the leftover chicken and even the leftover vegetables!
So with the twins fully entrenched in some serious train track building, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite comfort foods.
P.S My mouth is already watering…
A new take on a traditional French Classic
- 3 chicken breasts or the leftovers from a roasted chicken - shredded
- 3-4 medium sized waxy potatoes sliced thin
- 200g of smoked bacon - I used traditional French Lardons
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 courgette - sliced thin
- 200g of chestnut mushrooms - sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1 teaspoon of tarragon
- 2 tablespoons of flour (or you can use arrowroot powder for grain/gluten free)
- 250g of soft blue cheese chopped
- 200ml of chicken stock
- 200ml of double cream
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C and grease a roasting dish.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the bacon.
- Cook the bacon until it just starts to crisp up. Remove and set aside.
- Add the onion to the frying pan and cook until soft.
- Once soften, add the herbs, mushrooms and courgette and again, cook until they start to soften. Once softened, add the bacon back in and sprinkle over the flour. Mix to combine. Take of the heat and set aside.
- If you don't have any leftover chicken, poach the chicken breasts in a pot of stock for about 10-15 minutes. Take the chicken out and shred.
- Add your potatoes to the pot of stock (or a pot of boiling water) and cook for 5 minutes, then drain. Mix together the chicken stock, cream and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Now you're ready to assemble. I like to do two layers. First some potatoes, then veg, then chicken, liquid and 1/3 of your cheese. Repeat one more time then cover the whole top in a layer of potatoes.
- Put in the oven and cook for 40 minutes until the potatoes are nice and brown. Add the remaining 1/3 cheese to the top with 15 minutes left.
- Remove from the oven and ideally let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into it
Although I’ve never been able to wait – but when you go back for seconds the sauce will have thickened up a bit and taste even better. This is just as delicious the next day.