Galley: 1) the kitchen of a boat. Sally: 1) a venture off the beaten path, 2) a military action in which besieged troops burst forth from their position, 3) a witty remark.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Feta-Stuffed Burgers and Blueberry Salad

I think it is fair to say that while Martha has fantastic and delectable food photography, and incredible sounding recipes to boot, she is quite less concerned with the quality (or is it quantity?) of my pocketbook.

On a short tangent, who grows up to be a professional food designer? How do you get that job? Is it an offshoot of the floral arrangement school? Because there is a huge amount of skill involved, and I'm not sure how/where it is taught. I mention this because my soups never look like the picture soups, and when I dish food onto a plate it never looks quite so luscious as the photographs (my one claimed exception being the Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings.) That said, I'm pretty happy with the pic I have of tonight's dinner.

Now, back on track... my pocketbook. I had this killer recipe picked out from Martha's everyday food. I loved that it had only three main ingredients, and would require very little prep. Time to hit the store! My daughter loves buying melons (I've wrestled many a watermelon out of the cart), so she was excited to help pick out the cantaloupe for the recipe. Then I moved on to the prosciutto. Call me naive, but I've never bought prosciutto before. I was in awe. Awe that a three ounce package cost $5.79, and I was supposed to buy 1/3 pound (i.e. two packages 'cause I couldn't find it sold another way), which makes $11.58 for one ingredient. Uh-uh. I went ahead and took a peek at the third ingredient, bocconcini, and had to pass. At least another ten bucks there. What to do with a promised cantaloupe in your cart? Add blueberries (on sale!) and who needs french fries?

P.S. This dinner only took 30 minutes to make!

Feta-Stuffed Burgers and Blueberry Salad

Serves 2-3
You will need...

1/2 cantaloupe, scooped into balls or cut into chunks
(no, I don't own a melon scoop, but my daughter's play cook set had one!)
1 cup blueberries
5 Tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
broccoli spears if you choose
ground beef (everyone likes their burger a different size, buy what you need)
lettuce and tomato to garnish
salt and pepper

1) scoop/cut your melon, mix gently with blueberries, and set aside. You have a beautiful summer salad with almost no effort.

2) Clean and prepare your broccoli. I like to steam my broccoli. If you don't have a steamer (I don't), just put a very little water in the bottom of a pot with a secure lid. The water should not cover the veggies, you just want enough to make steam. So, broccoli plus little water in pot, set aside on stove, ready to go, but don't start yet.

3) Make burgers. For each burger, you need to make two thin patties. Place 1.5 Tablespoons feta in the middle of one patty, then "make a sandwich" using the other patty. The edges of the two patties then need to be pinched and molded together. Don't be shy about this step. Really get after it, otherwise the patties will pull apart while cooking and your feta will leak out (this happened to my first burger, but not the others!).

Sorry no pics here, my hands were "raw meated."

4) If you have a grill, awesome. I don't. I used a covered skillet on the stove top. Cook your burgers a little longer than usual, as they are a bit thicker than usual.

5) Start your broccoli when your burgers are almost done. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Broccoli only takes a few minutes to cook. Don't cook it until it is done, as it will then continue to cook itself a bit more. Stop a bit shy of perfect, and then it will be perfect.

6) Added challenge: See how prettily you can plate your creations. Use your extra feta to sprinkle over tomato topped burgers, and if you have lovely lettuce (thank you farmshare!) try that instead of a bun.

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