Since I started this blog I've been avoiding red meat. Not all together - I had a steak on my birthday, but as a general rule I'm trying to stick to fish and poultry. I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a few months and he said my coloring looked really healthy. I wonder if it's because I haven't been eating steaks, burgers and roasts. I did like the occasional (beef) burger before starting this blog. But I'm the guinea pig for my blog and a key element is eliminating red meat. But now I have a craving for a burger, I make chicken burgers instead.
Eggplant - a nice side dish
My chicken burger dinners have an Italian twist. I serve the burgers with marinara and lemon and I have roasted eggplant on the side.
First, cut the eggplant in half lenght-wise and score
The eggplant dish is really easy. Cut the eggplant in half lenght-wise and score a checkerboard pattern on the top, about 1/4" deep. This makes it easier to dig out the eggplant once it's cooked. I top with olive oil and slice tomatoes, salt and pepper. If you'd like you can top with oregano or herbs de provence.
Top with extra virgin olive oil and slice tomatoes
I top the eggplant with extra virgin olive oil and sliced plum tomatoes. Then add salt and pepper - and perhaps some oregano or herbs de provence for a little color. Roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Form patties and top with oil
I don't put anything in the burgers except for the ground chicken, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Don't overwork the patties and be sure to wash your hands afterwards.
Fry for 3 - 4 minutes per side till you get the grill mark char
I made the patties on the large side - I got a pound of ground chicken and made 2 patties. I fry for 3 - 4 minutes on each side - until you get the nice grill marks and char. I finish off in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes so the insides cook. Notice I have the fan going and there's a window open to the right to cut down on smokey smell.
This is the look you're going for
Don't forget the candles - it helps blot out the smell of frying
Serve with marinara and lemon
The chicken can be on the bland side, so I serve with a bottled marinara (this one is Mario Batalli's) and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
For the burgers
1/2 lb ground chicken per burger
2 tbsns extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup bottled marinara
Pre-heat cast iron skillet over medium heat
Form the patties - two per pound
Once formed add olive oil and salt & pepper
Grill for 3 - 4 minutes per side till you get the charred grill marks
Finish off in a 350 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes
Heat up marinara in a sauce pan or microwave
For the eggplant
1 eggplant per person
two plum tomatoes per eggplant
2 tspns extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tspn oregano or herbs de provence (optional)
Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees
Cut eggplant lenghth-wise
Score a checkerboard pattern about 1/4" deep
Put 1 tspn olive oil over eggplant
Slice the plum tomatoes and arrange on top
Add remaining oil and salt & pepper and other spices if you wish
Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour
Hubbell stationed outside the kitchen -
you never know when a tidbit may fall to the floor!