While I was in Trader Joe’s today, I saw my good friend, Karin. I was telling her that I was going to be making “ranch” burgers for dinner tonight and asked her opinion on what she thought would go with ranch. I had blue cheese in my cart, thinking blue cheese would pair well with ranch, and that was my start. Karin mentioned blue cheese and also mentioned grilled apricots and caramelized onions. What a great idea! I never thought to add apricots to my burger …. yummmmmm! The apricots added something fantastic to my burger in tonight’s meal. I also caramelized a red onion and I had some fennel that I needed to use, so caramelized that along with the onion.
I cut the apricots in half and removed the seed. I then drizzled olive oil and honey on the inside of the apricots and added a pinch of kosher salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
Let me just tell you, Karin is one of the best cooks I know. She is in my dinner club and is one of my favorite people. Karin is the first (and only) person to ever make a beef Wellington that I was able to try. We were together at another friend’s one Christmas Eve. JoAnne and her husband hosted and we each brought something. JoAnne is a fabulous cook as well, just amazing! She is also in our dinner club. Karin brought the beef Wellington that night and it was the first time I’d ever tried it. To this day, that is one of the best memories I have of a wonderful holiday spent with friends and it is one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
I wanted to have leftover burgers for Dennis and Kylie for the week so I started with two pounds of ground beef (I use 96% lean). I put the beef in a large glass bowl and to that I added kosher salt, pepper, onion salt, one egg and one egg white and one package of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix.
I mixed this together lightly with a fork. I then formed my patties and placed them on a foil lined cookie sheet. I added about two tablespoons of aged blue cheese to my meat so it would cook into the burger.
I wanted to cook my burgers in the oven instead of on my indoor grill pan. I was thinking of my burger as an individual meatloaf. I placed the burgers in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. My burgers had no pink in the middle. Dennis and Kylie prefer their burgers cooked well. If you would like a medium burger, check them at 11-12 minutes.
I wanted to eat my burger without a bun, so served it on top of arugula that I dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of a half lemon, a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
For the caramelized onions and fennel that I served atop the burger, I cooked one red onion and fennel in one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of melted butter. I cooked them for about 15 minutes until they were starting to caramelize and were softened to my liking.
The apricots were cooked in a small sauce pan over medium high heat until they started to get charred marks on them. I cut the apricots and laid them across the onions and fennel over the burger patty.
2 pounds ground beef (96% lean)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1 package Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
1 egg white
blue cheese (2 tablespoons per burger), plus some for the top of each burger
2 fresh apricots, grilled (drizzled with olive oil and honey and sprinkled with kosher salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix salt, pepper, onion salt, ranch salad dressing mix, egg and egg white into ground beef lightly with a fork. Form beef into six patties, adding the blue cheese individually before forming each burger patty.
Line baking sheet with foil and place patties on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes for well done. Check at 11-12 minutes for medium.
Lay burger patty on arugula that has been dressed in a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon, plus a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Top burger with caramelized onions and fennel and sliced, grilled apricot.
Until next time, Kris