Saturday, February 12, 2011

I shall think on you no more

One thing I like more than eating and cooking is watching movies.  There's something magical about a movie theater when the lights dim and trailers start playing.  Then the movie starts and you're transported somewhere else for two hours and the troubles for the day are long forgotten.  The cinematography, the soundtrack, the script...all of it, I love it all.  Lines from movies sneak in to my conversations and the best part in when someone recognizes it but too often  they don't. 

The other day I was explaining to someone the tenets of Paleo.  An incredulous response was returned and they stewed around on the thought of no grains.  That always gets people especially when they start thinking of all the stuff they make/buy with grains.  I just chuckle and confirm that it's all out.   I replied "I shall think on it no more" and then giggled to myself.  You see, that a line from a favorite movie on mine.  You guessed it, Rob Roy.  The original line is "you" instead of "it" but hey, I was referring to grains and not a person.  Don't you think Liam Neeson makes a more handsome highlander than Mel Gibson?  I have no qualms in admitting that I like Rob Roy much more than Braveheart.  Sorry, that's just the way it is.

Anyway, back to grains and Paleo.  I've been rather fortunate since switching over this time and haven't had any major cravings.  I think it's because I went cold turkey.  Now, that's not to say that I haven't spent thirty minutes thinking and drooling about Kuntz's Drive-In's steak strips or slightly gooey chocolate chip cookies.  I have.  One night I spent some time masterminding an ingenious plan of driving the two hours to Kuntz's without my family finding out.  I should tell you that it's probably been ten years since I had a steak strip from Kuntz's so why I spent all this time hatching a plan to sneak out there is beyond me.  The other time I obsessed over a food was when one of the docs brought chocolate chip cookies to work and left the huge container in the break room...unguarded.  I meandered to the break room to look at the Superbowl potluck and I spied the container on the third table.  My eyes locked on and I slowly made my way down the line, taking fleeting glances at the crock pots as I passed.  At some point I reached down and grabbed a carrot stick and approached the cookies.  I slowly walked passed them and, while crunching on that carrot stick, resisted the urge to take the lid off for a better view.  To remove that lid was pure danger and I knew it.  I made my way back to my desk and spent the next half hour thinking about the texture of those cookies in my mouth.  I snapped out of it when I had a vision of myself as Cookie Monster.   

I usually realize after a few minutes of obsessing over some pre-Paleo food that I'm doing nothing but undermining myself.  I make myself stop and one of the ways I do it is to think of that line from Rob Roy.  "I will think on you dead until my husband makes you so.  And then I will think on you no more."  Yeah, a little dramatic.  Plus, I'm not married.  And you can't really kill grains with a broadsword and I change the line a little bit but it's what I think of and it gets me through.  That and I think of how crappy I felt before.  Just do what you've got to do to get past the moment and think on it no more.  Just don't give in to temptation.

If you've hung with me this long I think you deserve a recipe.  What do you think?  Well, yesterday while hunting and gathering recipes I came across one that I was eager to try.  When you read the recipe it sounds like a lot of time for burger but it really does not not take that long.  The longest step was making the sweet and sour aioli sauce.  If you don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen, I suggest making the sauce ahead of time and storing in the fridge then make the burgers the next day.

Fire-Roasted Tomato Burgers with Aioli Sauce

Recipe by Scott Pampuch for the 2010 Muir Glen Tomato Vine Dining Tour
Makes 6 burgers

Sweet & Sour Sauce
1/4 c. juice reserved from canned tomatoes (below)
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

Aioli Sauce
1 pasteurized egg yolk
2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic
3/4 c. vegetable oil
Sweet & Sour Sauce (above)
1 Tbsp. reserved tomatoes (below)

1 lb. lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen Organic or Meridian Ruby Fire Roasted diced tomatoes, drained, 1/4 c. juice reserved, 1 Tbsp. tomatoes reserved
4 oz. bacon, crisply cooked and chopped
1 egg
1/4 c. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1.  In 1-quart saucepan, mix sweet & sour sauce ingredients. Simmer over medium eat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce coats back of spoon. Cool to room temperature.

2.  In food processor, place egg yolk, lemon peel, lemon juice, and garlic. Cover; process until blended. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle oil, and then cooled sweet & sour sauce through feeder tube until blended. Pour into small bowl and stir in reserved 1 Tbsp. canned tomatoes; refrigerate.

3.  In large bowl, mix ingredients for burgers; form into 6 patties. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Place patties on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 8-10 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160 degrees F.  Remove and top with aioli sauce.

NOTES:  This was served on buns which I left out but the rest of the recipe is as printed.  It turned out really good but I think the next time I will reduce the amount of tomatoes in the beef or just increase the beef.  It seemed rather sweet to me but my sister thought it was fine.  I don't know if it's because I don't consume sugary sweets anymore and that's why it was sweet to me.  I would probably cut the honey back some the next time I make it.

The sauce makes way more than you need but that's a good thing because I kept thinking of other meats and seafood to serve it with.  I actually think that the sauce isn't something I would normally serve with beef but it was tasty.  My sister was having grilled shrimp for her dinner and she used the some of the sauce for her shrimp and absolutely loved it!!  Tomorrow we are getting swordfish, tuna or salmon steaks for supper so we can have the sauce with them.  We both agreed that it would also make a great sauce for pork.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I forgot to add the tablespoon of tomatoes to the sauce but I don't think it matters.