There are times when I end up having the house all to myself. My husband travels for work frequently and my girls share time between their dad and me. Most times my husband is out of town it works out that my girls are here and I make the best of it by using that time to bond with them and we usually end up eating kid/teenager friendly food. It's kind of a nice indulgence for me, and, fortunately, temporary. When they're all here I enjoy, most days anyway, feeding them all my various and crazy dishes. Usually they're happy to be my guinea pigs, and my husband is usually beside me in the kitchen helping to come up with our crazy recipes. But, on the weeks I'm alone, I really don't feel like cooking. When I cook, I cook to feed people. Don't get me wrong, I still love to eat, but my incentive to cook plummets a thousand fold when its just myself I'm feeding. I tend to commit the terrible crime of frozen pizza's, egg rolls, or take out. Or if I'm lucky I can afford to go to lunch during my work day and have some leftovers for dinner. But, every now and then, I feel the urge to feed myself. Tonight was one of those nights. My original plan was to eat some frozen shrimp thingies I have in the freezer and have a few glasses of wine after mopping the kitchen and doing some laundry. But on the way home I got this tremendous craving for a good burger. To be specific a AA Bar and Grill Burger. One of the best burgers on the planet! All the way home I ran ideas through my head on how to talk a group of my friends to meet me on Friday for a burger at AA. (I'm still working on those plans by the way) By the time I got home I was jonesing hard for a burger. At this point almost any burger would do. There was no way I was going to disappoint myself with a Burger King or McDonalds burger. My favorite diner in town is closed tonight, so that option was out. So...... Ok, I decided to actually cook a real meal for myself tonight. I mean why not? I deserve it right? I stopped at the nearest grocery store and picked up some locally raised grass fed hamburger, brioche buns and some pre-sliced crimini mushrooms. I had everything else I needed at home.
This is what I came up with:
I took about 3/4 lb of the burger and mixed in about a half tsp of jarred minced garlic and a tablespoon of crumbled roquefort cheese. I pressed it into a patty, salted both sides and set aside. I took a half cup of the sliced crimini mushrooms and sauteed them in a tablespoon and a half of butter, a tsp. of fresh minced garlic a pinch of salt and a splash of white wine. Just as they released their juices and started to turn brown I removed them and turned up the heat. I placed the seasoned burger in the hot pan and cooked for about 4 minutes. While that was cooking I put a slice of white onion in the pan in the same mushroom butter flavoring and browned it. I flipped the burger over, placed the sauteed mushrooms on top and topped them with a slice of Swiss cheese In the mean time I removed the onion and put the brioche slices in the same pan to brown. After getting a nice toast to them I took them out and spread mayo on them and some dijon mustard on one side. I placed the burger on that slice (it was cooked to just under medium) and topped it with the grilled onion, tomato and lettuce and then I spread my homemade tomato chutney on the other slice of brioche. (Click on the link for the recipe for the chutney - it's waaaaayyyyyy better than ketchup! )
I sat down at the table and took a big bite and was blown away at how good my burger was, I really don't mean to brag, but it really was outstanding. I was literally expecting the worst. I knew I was craving the best burger ever and that I would never meet my taste buds expectations. I just knew I'd take a bite and be almost choked up with tears of disappointment. I just never thought I could ever meet my own high expectations. Wow! Not only did I meet them, I exceeded them, by far! My biggest disappointment was that I could only eat half of it. I was stuffed halfway through. In fact I ate more than I should have because it was so damn good! I had to put the other half in the kitchen out of site so that I wouldn't continue to force it all down and make myself miserable. I'm not kidding!
I cleaned up the kitchen , but left the prized burger on the counter for just a bit, just in case I just happened to burp or something and make enough room for just one more bite. I sat down in front of the TV and chatted with my love on the phone for a bit. When I hung up I could hear a strange whining noise coming from the kitchen. I walked into the kitchen to find this: