- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008

As a Two’s Company cook you’ve probably made your fair share of hamburgers. After all, burgers are the perfect entree for two: meat, bread and vegetables with no leftovers.

However, what you may have thought was a no-brainer dinner is now hot stuff featured by celebrity chefs, according to Noble, a food-focused advertising and marketing company in Chicago and Springfield, Mo.

In their new rarified form, burgers range in size from a postage stamp to the envelope.

The base can be beef — prized Kobe, of course — or buffalo, ostrich, salmon or lamb. Or they can be vegetable-based, starring black beans, according to Noble’s trend watchers.

Despite the disparate ingredients, what this generation of burgers has in common is an attention to flavors and enough condiments, including black truffles and foie gras, to make the dish interesting.

So the next time you tell yourself you’re just having burgers for dinner, take credit for being smack in the middle of food fashion.

Two’s Company, not wanting to appear dowdy, also has a spin on trendy burgers.

The following recipe calls for lean ground turkey breast smothered in a Mediterranean-inspired mix of tomatoes, shallots and olives.

Turkey burgers

Tomato and shallot topping (recipe follows)

1/8 teaspoon dried crushed oregano

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

½ pound ground turkey breast

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 panini-style rolls

Prepare tomato and shallot topping. Set it aside, wipe out skillet and prepare turkey burgers.

Sprinkle oregano, salt and pepper on plate or in shallow bowl. Add turkey and gently work in seasonings. Form turkey into 2 patties. Heat oil over medium heat in medium skillet. Add turkey. Cook on one side 5 minutes; turn over and cook second side 4 to 5 minutes or longer to cook through. Do not press down on the burgers. Turkey breast is so lean the meat will become dry.

To serve, split rolls horizontally in half. Arrange a burger on bottom half of each roll. Spoon on the tomato and shallot topping. Makes 2 servings.

TOMATO AND SHALLOT TOPPING

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 cup small grape tomatoes

1/8 teaspoon dried crushed thyme

2 tablespoons small pitted Greek olives, optional

½ teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar (see note)

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add grape tomatoes and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and pulpy. Stir in olives and vinegar, and cook for 1 minute to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while making turkey burgers.

Note: Aged balsamic vinegar is syrupy and slightly sweeter than regular vinegar. If you don’t have it, substitute ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Bev Bennett

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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