Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pesto & Havarti Stuffed Burgers w/ Crispy Speck

Hmmm...what to do with some fresh pesto? Pesto/pasta salad? Nope. Crostini? No, sir. Whole-wheat, tofu-cheese, veggie pizza? What the...? With apologies to my veggie friends, this pesto was destined for a more noble application.

I stuffed the pesto inside a patty of ground beef with a slice of Havarti and topped it with crispy speck - and hey, a slice of tomato!

For the record, I also made a grilled ratatouille-of-sorts with charred and skinned peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and shallots as a side dish. While tasty, my execution could have been better. The veggies were flavorful but a touch over-cooked, in my opinion. A sprinkling of goat cheese and pine nuts did their part to enhance and put the finishing touch on the dish.

Back to the burger... These babies had some height to them. With a spoonful of pesto and the sliced havarti packed away like little bundles of joy, these burgers were just waiting for the heat of the grill to bring together a trinity of pesto/cheese/cow.

It's kind of fun, in a twisted kind of way, to push your friends just a bit with food. Teri wondered aloud how she would get her mouth around the towering concoction. Who doesn't love a challenge?

The whole burger package was kept moist with good quality 80/20 meat and the olive-oil based pesto. I'll take a little credit, however, for cooking these to pretty damn-near perfect (for this application) medium done-ness.

Emily shared a bottle of the Fess Parker's Frontier Red, Lot 82. This Rhone and Bordeaux mutt was clearly driven by the syrah, and it tasted good with the burgers. With 15.5% alcohol, however, one would be wise to let this one sit just a bit and blow off some of the blue flames that tend to linger in the glass.

Teri served a shot of Limincello along with her tasty dessert of shortbread cookies and Limencello-laced strawberry compote atop cream cheese. We decided a good description for the Limoncello could also double as a potential band name: Alcoholic Lemonheads.

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EmilyEE said...

One would also be wise not to play with Tom's camera over her goat cheese and roasted vegetables. Emily, alas, is not wise. Not only did she not wait on the wine, she did play with and subsequently drop Tom's camera into the veggies. That's no way to thank your hosts. These burgers were for real. Thanks for another fun evening T & J!

Tom said...

Ah yes...It just isn't a party until somebody dunks a camera into the dinner. That said, the "tight shot" you were obviously going for of the veg was a little fuzzy and thus, didn't make the post.

Good times...

EmilyEE said...

Live to trash your stuff another day, mon ami.