Thursday, 16 February 2012

Seeing Red

Panino con Polpetta di Manzo, Melenzane, Mozzarella e Marmalata di Barbabietola Rossa
Grilled Beef & Egg Plant Sandwich with Mozzarella Cheese & Beet Root Chutney

Just a simple grilled sandwich for supper tonight... well- simple enough, but a typical hamburger this is not! No- as usual, I had to try to do something a little new, so I decided to make my sandwich a little more fun!

The secret star of this show, is this simple little tangy chutney, which I whipped-up in just a few minutes. I made it by melting a little sugar in a saucepan until it began to caramelize and then adding the finely diced beet root, some grated ginger and a little orange juice. This will cause the sugar to immediately transform itself into a rock-hard, sticky clump- but don't panic! It will soon dissolve again and then you will be able to get back to stirring! I chopped 2 beets, about a 1" slice of ginger and used 3 tablespoons of sugar. Simmer and keep stirring for around 10 minutes and then add 2 finely chopped spring onions. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, a little ground fennel seed, 1 piece of star anise and a pinch of curry. Simple. Stir well, simmer for a further 5-10 minutes, add a squeeze of lemon juice and you are ready to go! 

Making the sandwich was a simple affair. The bread/roll, was made by baking some store-bought pizza dough on a griddle pan. Grill on both sides and set to one side whilst you prepare the other ingredients. The meat was mixed with a little crushed garlic, finely chopped spring onion, a little fennel seed, salt, pepper and a little Parmesan cheese. Knead together well, form into a flat patty and start frying on the dry griddle- yes, you guessed it- the meat has enough fat of its own!

Once one side it done,, flip the burger over and move to one side on the pan. Now lay the eggplant onto the part of the pan that is coated in the meat juices... it will taste so much better with  that added flavor!

When both the burger and the eggplant are done, you can start putting your sandwich together. I started with the egg plant, then came the burger, next was some Mozzarella and then came a couple of spoonfuls of the yummy fresh beet root chutney! Mmmm! And to top it all off and add a hint of freshness, a nice sprinkle of fresh cress! What a great combo! And so much better than a regular hamburger! Nom, nom, nom!

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