Friday, 8 July 2011

Storecupboard Challenge Days 5 & 6 Soup and Cheeseburgers

So far so good then. We've eaten well without having to buy any extra food, except for stuff for kids packed lunches and 1 small leek. The meals have been nice and really easy to cook because I don't always want to slave over a hot stove when I come home from work. Yesterday I made a lovely spring vegetable soup, made with the stock I made from the chicken carcass and today i'm making homemade cheeseburgers with the mince.

The burger tends to get a bad press, mainly because of its association with the fast food industry. Like pizza its a great healthy meal, if homemade and served with a green salad. It took less then 5 minutes to make and shape them and 10 minutes to cook - now thats fast food!

I'm really glad I made pesto in the week as i'm having my fathers day present tomorrow. My wife is in charge of catering (hence the pre-made pesto) and i'm taking the train, first class, to London and spending the day there all on my own. Those of you who have children will appreciate the need for a bit of travel and culture without considering the kids needs. My children are 8 and 13 respectively and this is the first time i've ever done anything like this and when i'm in Claridges bar sipping a martini (they make the best in London) I know I will miss them but know they will have their dad back on Sunday ready and raring to go on week 2 of storecupboard challenge!

Cream of spring vegetable soup

A recipe is not relly necessary here, just some guidelines. Chop into small dice 2 carrots, 1 onion, 1 small leek and 6 new potatoes. Sweat these in a little butter and add a tablespoon of flour and stir in. Add a pint of hot stock gradually and simmer for 30 minutes. Add about 50ml of cream, salt and pepper and some chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread.


Nothing beats a thick, juicy homemade burger, served in a bun with lettuce and tomato with a dollop of mayo and ketchup. Homemade deep fried onion rings finish it in style. I personally don't think you should over complicate the flavour in the burger - keep it simple or the flavour of the meat will be lost. These will serve 4 but if you want them to stretch further then add a handful of breadcrumbs and an egg to bind. To know you have got the seasoning right, make a mini burger and cook it and see. Adjust as nesessary.

500g minced beef
1/2 red onion, chopped very finely
1 tbsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
50g of whichever cheese you like

1)  In a large bowl mix, with your hands, all the ingredients and then shape into burger patties and cook in a griddle pan or heavy frying pan for 5 minutes on each side. Or you can do them in the oven but it needs to be really hot. Make sure they are cooked all the way through but still juicy.
2) Pop them in a bun and garnish with lettuce, tomato and whichever condiment you prefer.
3) If you are pushing the boat out make some onion rings by peeling a large onion and slicing into rings. Make a simple batter with plain flour and soda water so its thick. Dip the onion rings in and fry for a few minutes until crisp. Drain and sprinkle some salt on.

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