"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Monday, August 24, 2009

A salad that was a long time coming, plus my first homemade burgers

I love Trader Joe's and any occasion to go is a joyous occasion indeed. Many times when I'm there I pick up a container of balela salad (a Mediterranean chickpea dish), and pretty much every time I sit down to eat it I think, gosh, I should just find a recipe for this and make it myself! It seems easy! It's so tasty! It'll be cheaper if I just make it myself. I should do it! This went on for about a year. I kept forgetting to look up the balela recipe.

Well, no more! I finally remembered and my expert Googling skills turned up many results. Here's the recipe I finally used (it looked most similar to the balela I was used to getting from TJ's), from Relish magazine. It's easy and very delicious. It also keeps well, so you can make a big tub of it and let it sit for a couple of days in the fridge--everything marinates even more in the olive oil and lemon juice, so it gets even tastier.

Ingredients
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

As this recipe calls for half a cup of freshly chopped parsley, I thought it was time to put my herb mill to use--a handy little device into which you put whole fresh herbs and turn a crank that minces them up.



It's a little messy because the moisture released by the leaves tends to make them stick to the apparatus, but you just shake them out or scrape them out with a fork, and it makes easy work of that much parsley. (Half a cup is a lot of parsley and I'm lazy!)

Also, last night we made hamburgers out of some tasty ground beef and they were amazing. We combined the package of ground beef (which was one of those all-natural no-hormone, grain-fed kinds) with some salt and pepper, some garlic and onion salts, and a dash of Worchestershire sauce, and then we took a bundle of shredded horseradish cheddar cheese and rolled it into the center of each burger. We seared them in a pan for about 4-5 minutes on each side and they were a nice medium-well: still juicy and soft, with the tangy cheese inside. Yum! And even better, we had them on lightly toasted onion rolls--divine! We froze the extra two patties but we sort of already want to eat them.

The moral of the story: don't forget to find recipes you want in a timely fashion, and also eat horseradish cheddar cheese, especially wrapped in a slice of Genoa salami (which we also had this weekend) or in the center of a tasty burger. It's super amazing!



Why hello, delicious horseradish cheddar, please be my new best cheese friend.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Herb mill? I must get one of those...