“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Quoted from John Lennon
This was the first meal I made when I got home as a part of my healthy summer routine! I threw some sliced onions, red peppers, black beans, and mozzarella cheese on a flatbread and toasted it until it was warm. I then topped the wrap with avocado, tomatoes and a squeeze of lime. I rolled it all up and voila, a tasty, healthy and filling flavorful meal.
Behold the burger of all burgers. This was the first time I have ever made a burger myself and I am proud to say that it was the tastiest burger I have ever eaten! Usually I just go to fast food restaurants, with the occasional backyard barbeque in which my Dad did all the cooking. However, over spring break, I got a major craving for a burger and had no place to go buy one. It was time to get creative.
For spring break this year, I got the opportunity to go to Miami Beach with my two great friends Devon and Steph. My parents also joined us for part of the time. The trip was amazing! It was just the break we needed from our hectic lives this semester. The trip was the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure but throughout the entire vacation we ate delicious food!
This brings me to the burger. We have here a mozzarella stuffed Neapolitan burger complete with pesto aioli and grilled prosciutto. This was heavenly! I surprised not only myself but also my friends and Mom. The burgers were gigantic, about half a pound each. None of us thought we would make it through one, however they were so tasty that all of us ended up eating seconds. The meat was very flavorful because I had mixed freshly chopped basil and garlic into the meat. Then there was the fresh crunchy lettuce and the rich pesto aioli as a condiment. The prosciutto added a wonderful salty kick. However, it was the mozzarella that made the burger amazing. Imagine biting into a hot juicy burger that is so big you can barely fit it in your mouth and when you bite down, out oozes melted mozzarella cheese. I even added an additional slice of melted mozzarella on top of the meat patty for good measure. All in all, this meal was divine. What seemed like a simple American meal was transformed into an amazing taste experience. This burger, in conjunction with stories from my Mom’s college years that she had never previously shared, made for a great kick off to the best spring break I have had to date.
2 lbs Lean ground Beef
Fresh Chopped Basil
Finely Chopped Onion
Salt and Pepper
Sesame Seed Buns
When it came to making the patties, I combined the strategy of making meatballs with making juicy lucys. I divided the Beef into two bowls and made different mixtures. I added basil, salt, pepper, and onion to both mixtures. Onions are very important because they ensure that the meat is juicy and does not dry out when cooked. In one bowl I added finely chopped mozzarella and minced garlic. This was to be the inside of the patty. To the other mixture I added one egg and some breadcrumbs to create a lighter outside layer for the inner, gooey cheese and garlic mixture. I then formed small balls out of the cheese and meat mixture then covered them in a layer of the breadcrumb and meat mixture. I flattened the meatballs into the shape of a burger patty and voila, we’re in business. The pesto aioli was one of my favorite additions and it was very easy to make! I simply mixed mayonnaise with pesto and some minced garlic then let it sit so the flavors could mesh with one another. I definitely plan on repeating this recipe for future pool party barbeques in the summer.
Oops! There is a chunk of the sandwich missing because I was just so excited and in such a hurry to eat it that I forgot to take a picture first! I made this sandwich in a rush before class. It was delicious and I want to make it again! The sandwich tasted like pizza because of the flavors I added. I also think that all sandwiches are made better if you add a fried egg on top
Herbs de province
Salt and pepper
One fried egg
I tossed the arugula in garlic aioli as if it were a salad dressing and then generously piled all the ingredients on the bread. After that I broiled the sandwich to melt the cheese and make it hot. I topped it with a fried egg and there we go. Served open faced of course because that makes it look just that much better.
I love making sandwiches now that I live right by Little Italy. Specialty cheese shops + an abundance of bakeries = delicious creations. when I get stressed out (Like with midterms for example) I unfortunately seem to often ignore my responsibilities and turn to cooking instead to relax. But it works! I have been so busy studying and taking all these tests that I haven’t even had five minutes to update my blog. Last thursday I went down Arthur ave during my lunch break and bought all sorts of goodies, including some yummy (but expensive) cheeses and super doughy italian bread. I came home and made myself this grilled gruyere cheese and mushroom sandwich for lunch. Like usual I cooked the mushrooms in wine and onions…I really need to start experimenting with other ways to cook mushrooms but I love my way so much!
I broiled the bread with cheese until it got really melty and piled on the arugula.
As I said before, when I think of comfort food, most of the time that immediately makes me think of french food. Since the weather has been getting colder I’ve been wanting hearty flavors, and of course lots of melted cheese…At the beginning of this week my roommates and I had another family dinner! This time I made something “simple”, large sandwiches. They were SO delicious! I have actually been wanting to make another ever since because it tasted so good. I went all around arthur Avenue going to the specialty cheese shops, bakeries and butchers to get the ingredients I wanted. I had to fight a man (of course I’m too friendly to literally fight…which is probably why I lost the battle) to get the last baguette and I ended up getting a country italian loaf instead. The loaf was a little thicker and harder than I had wanted but it was fine. I had also liked that thin top roast so much from the week before that I got more slices this time. Then at the specialty cheese shop I got a nice big hunk of brie cheese. The resulting sandwich was a brie and steak sandwich with mushrooms, arugula and garlic aioli. The arugula was an excellent touch because I liked the peppery accent it gave to the combination. However it was really the garlic aioli that made the dish!
Thinly sliced top round
Country italian bread
Fresh chopped rosemary
I seared the steak while I simmered the mushrooms with all of its ingredients then layered the steak and brie on the bottom half of the sandwich. I broiled the bottom half to melt the cheese then added the mushrooms and its wine sauce on top. I spread the garlic aioli liberally on the top half of the bread and put the arugula on top of the mushrooms. The arugula mixed with the aioli a bit which was great. I had anticipated that because then the aioli had a double purpose of a condiment and a “salad dressing”.
MMMM yum, this was my first breakfast in the apartment! My own croque Madam with some french bread from a bakery on arthur avenue (Little Italy). Might I add that Little Italy is one block from my apartment? So Here we have french bread and swiss cheese broiled in the oven then topped with herbs de provence, salt and pepper and a fried egg! Bon Appetite