Dinner For One #5: Sometimes You Just Need A Burger
This is the last installment of my "Dinner For One" series for a little while since J is now home and will be for at least a couple of weeks. I'm glad I stayed in the kitchen even on those nights where I had to nosh alone, because a lot of good eats came out of it! As tempting (time wise, at least) as it is to just heat up a Lean Cuisine pizza, the results just aren't 1/10 as satisfying as having something homemade.
Speaking of satisfying, I felt the need to satisfy an urge I had the other night for a big, old-fashioned cheeseburger. I don't eat them nearly as often as I get a craving for one, and it had literally been months since my taste buds had come in contact with anything resembling a burger. Keeping in mind that I try to eat as healthy as possible (to balance out my wine habit!) I took a short trip to Trader Joe's with the focus of brain surgeon. I knew what I had at home (spicy mustard, ketchup, pickles, lettuce, kewpie mayo - don't gag..! Mayo in small amounts is good on a burger!) and knew what I had to purchase in order to create my burger. I picked up a 4-pack of already formed "super-lean" ground beef patties, sliced cheese, a pack of bright red tomatoes and a fat, red onion. The only buns available at TJ's are these massive white ones or the too-sweet honey-wheat ones which I'm not crazy about. A quick stop at Von's and a pack of Roman Meal Multigrain Buns (I like my buns to be hearty....ha) later, I was home and ready to start my mission!
Whoops, forget the lettuce in this shot...
First, I had to prepare the side dish. What goes best with a cheeseburger, you ask? Well, fries, of course. Unfortunately I was not born with Kate Moss' metabolism so I decided to have a serving of Fat Free Pringles, which are surprisingly delicious and yes, I am aware of the, er, digestive side effects warning on anything containing olestra products but have never, ever experienced any sort of tummy aches eating these.....but again, probably because I hardly EVER buy them. I think, as with anything, moderation is key. Ahem, back to the topic at hand. What better to top off a meal of cheeseburger and potato chips than a nice big helping of Brussels sprouts, right? I knew that's what you were thinking. When people think "cheeseburger!" they immediately go to "Brussels sprouts!" Ok, well maybe not but I love me some Brussels sprouts IF they are made properly. My love affair with the little green cabbage-like creatures started at Firefly Bistro in South Pasadena where they come almost BLACK- sautéed to a golden....well, black. The sugars in the Brussels sprouts make a delicious crust if they are sautéed long enough. Over the last year, I've learned to make my own version with some onions and a splash of balsamic and it's been in regular rotation at our house.
Blackened brussels sprouts......
After making a batch of those, I cooked my beef patty to a nice, medium rare and piled on all of the fixins'. This healthier version was just as juicy, delicious and flavorful as any cheeseburger I'd had and filled that NEED for one. It was so good that I actually had the exact same dinner the night after! Now I have two patties left in the freezer and I think I'll have to treat J to a cheeseburger dinner this week.
Cheeseburger, get in my belly!