Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lemon Leek Walnut Burger with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil

     Again I am using some leftovers to create a new dish.  When I was head chef at a little restaurant in Santander Spain we would do something called "Menu Del Dia".  It was a 3 course meal and we would offer a selection of 3 first courses, 3 second courses and 3 desserts.  We would change the menu del dia daily and try not to repeat any of the dishes.  This created and allowed for great creativity which chefs crave for.  And because time is always short in a kitchen, you want to create something quick and easy.  Something else you do as a chef is to control food costs, which means little or no waste.  So you have to be creative, do it quick and control food costs while making the customer happy and wanting to come back for more.  What we would do to solve this problem is use the previous days food to create something new.  For example, lentil soup from the day before, rinse the lentils in cold water, pick out any meat and turn these lentil into a salad.  Or throw the lentils in a blender add some coconut milk and curry and call it "Pureed Lentil Soup with Coconut and Curry".  Or maybe some leftover Monkfish so you saute it with onions then finely chop it all, add some herbs and stuff peppers with it.  A little bit of beef leftover you turn it into a beef and mushroom stew.
      So that is what I am doing with the leftover lemon leeks that are leftover from the beet raviolis.  I am turning them into little veggie burgers, sauteing them and putting them on a bed of sliced mushroom then a drizzle of truffle oil.  Simple but divine.

I was generous with freshly ground black pepper

The French Mandolin which can be seen
above the plate is a must for any home chef

The raw mushroom with the truffle oil give this plate its earthiness 

Lemon Leek Walnut Burger with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil
by Jeff Harter
Prep Time: 1/2 hour
Cook Time: 1/2 hour
Keywords: saute appetizer entree gluten-free low-carb soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian

This is a deep intense dish with well rounded earth tones and a hint of acidity. If you wanted to throw on a couple asparagus spears it would make this a main dish and throw it over the top of healthy goodness.
Ingredients (serves 4)
    Lemon Leek Walnut Burger
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 16 medium leeks, white part only, washed and thinly sliced
    • 16 walnut halves diced
    • zest of one orange
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • salt and pepper
    • 4 large button mushrooms very thinly sliced
    • truffle oil
    • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
      Lemon Leeks
      • Heat saute pan over medium heat and add 3 tbsp olive oil and heat for 2 mins then add sliced leeks. Add a pinch of salt and saute 5 mins then cover for 5 mins stirring several times. Add lemon juice and cover for 10 mins stirring several times. Take lid off and add walnuts, black pepper, orange zest and more salt if needed and continue cooking until all liquid is evaporated. Place in bowl and put in fridge for 15 mins to cool. When cool divide into 4 and make burgers with a ring mold if you have one.
      • Heat skillet over medium heat with 2 tbsp olive oil for 2 mins then add lemon leek burgers and saute on each side 2-3 mins.
      • Slice mushrooms as thin as possible then make a circle in the center of each plate with the mushrooms overlapping slightly kinda like a clock starting at 12 and working your way around with a slice on each hour.
      • Once you have the mushroom clock you can place the lemon leek burger on the middle of the clock then drizzle some truffle oil over the mushrooms then sprinkle some salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper over all.

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