Burgers and Beaujolais

My litmus test when buying a new top or heels is "can I wear this with jeans?" I have a similar test for my red wines. "Will this taste good with a burger?" Yes, dear readers, I am quite the snooty sommelier!

Last night, I hosted a WineTwits live tasting event: Burgers with a Side of Beaujolais.

Hosts throughout the country were sent three George Duboeuf wines to sample with friends at our own cookouts. We were also sent three different burger recipes to taste with each wine. We were given the option of making all three burgers or just our own. For the sake of keeping things simple, we stuck to our favorite burger blend. When time permits, I'll be going back to try the rest of the recipes. (All recipes below).

During our eating and tasting, my guests and I shared our thoughts on the wines on Twitter with our followers. We followed the other tasters' comments from across the country on Twitter, too. You can see more comments than the ones here by doing a search on Twitter using the hashtag, #GDandBurgers.

The first wine was a Beaujolais-Villages (suggested burger: Angus Burger). I enjoyed the light, berry/cherry flavor of the BV. It had just a hint of spiciness keeping it from being too sweet.

The next wine was the Julienas Chateau de Capitans (suggested burger: Turkey Sliders w/Sun Dried Tomato Basil). This wine was darker, a deep reddish purple with a thicker consistency. Sniffing this wine, you could almost smell the oak barrels. While sipping, I had a random thought: "I bet this would taste good with chocolate!" We set our burgers aside for a moment and broke out a few pieces of chocolate. Yep! It definitely was a good mix.

Our final wine was the Brouilly (suggested burger: Portabella Mushroom). This wine was a deep, dark, almost black purple. I had to inhale pretty deeply before I smelled the black licorice. The taste was dry, smooth, mellow. Just as with the aroma, the taste eluded me at first, until I caught it at the back of my throat. This one definitely tasted great with my burger, but I probably wouldn't drink it alone.

My guests enjoyed the burger mix I put together, so I thought I'd share it here. I don't have exact measurements. I'm a season-to-taste kind of cook, so my "recipe" is just parts. You decide how much of each tastes good to you.

Mix the following ingredients together:

  • Ground Beef
  • McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Bread Crumbs
  • 1 egg

Don't be shy on the seasoning and sauce. I know I told you I don't measure, but I'm going to say 1/3 cup of each of those to 2 lbs. of beef.

Here are the Burger recipes for the party (with exact measurements) created by Chef Bob Waggoner of PBS' Ucook with ChefBob.

All recipes serve 2.

ANGUS BURGER

Ingredients:

  • 2 regular sesame buns
  • Angus ground beef - 16 oz
  • Red heirloom tomato - 4 slices
  • Vidalia onion - 4 slices
  • Smoked bacon
  • Fresh rosemary - 1 tablespoon
  • Peeled shallots - 3 diced thinly
  • Butter lettuce - 1/2 a small head
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground white pepper to taste
  • Aged white cheddar cheese - 2 oz - diced

Directions:

In a small saute pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Add shallots and cook for 3 more minutes on low. Add the chopped rosemary and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from pan and let sit at room temperature.

Form 4 thin patties of beef approximately 4 oz each. Then place bacon, shallot and rosemary mix on top of 2 of the patties. Add diced cheddar, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cover with other parry. Pinch the sides together to form one big burger. Salt and pepper the top of the patty.

Grill. When burgers are almost done, grill buns.

On the bottom bun, place the burger, Vidalia onion rings, tomato rounds, and lettuce.

TURKEY BURGER SLIDERS w/ SUN DRIED TOMATO & BASIL

Ingredients:

  • Ground Turkey meat (15% fat) - 1/2 lb.
  • Sun Dried tomato - 2 oz
  • Shallots - 3 each - thinly sliced
  • Medium sized garlic cloves - 3 each - thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil - 8 large leaves - roughly chopped
  • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Water - 1 1/2 cups
  • Baby Arugula - 1/2 cup
  • Red Onion - 4 slices
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • Mini Pita Pockets - 4 - split in half
  • Salt
  • Fresh Ground White Pepper to taste
Directions:
In a 10 inch saute pan, heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the sliced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the sliced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the sundried tomato. Add 1 tsp of salt, 3 cranks of fresh ground white pepper, and 1 1/2 cups of water and let simmer until all water is evaporated. Add copped basil, remove from pan and set aside. Leave at room temperature.
Form 4 small patties using 1/2 lb. of turkey meat. Salt and pepper both sides. Gently grill for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side, depending on temperature of your grill. Grill the red onion slices at the same time. Just befoe the burgers are done, lightly grill the pita pocket that you have split in half. When the burge is cooked, place a small amount of arugula in the bottom of the pita. Top with a turkey patty and arrange your slider with the grilled red onions and the sun dried tomato basil mixture.

GRILLED PORTABELLA BURGER

Ingredients:

  • 2 large portabella mushrooms - stems removed, gills scraped
  • Fresh thyme - 2 tsp
  • Green onions - 4 each
  • Yellow tomato - 4 slices
  • Large eggplant - 4 round slices
  • 2 Kaiser rolls
  • Beaujolais wine - 4 tbsp
  • Olive oil - 4 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground white pepper to taste
Directions:
Gently drizzle the olive oil over the sliced tomatoes, eggplant, and green onions. Salt and pepper all. Gently grill and set aside - 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Salt and pepper portabella mushroom. With a small paring knife, make checkerboard cuts gong halfway into the mushroom. Drizzle 2 tbsp each of Beaujolais onto each mushroom and let it seep in for 2 min. Add a tiny bit of olive oil on the mushrooms and grill for 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
Once pulled from grill, sprinkle with fresh thyme. Gently grill Kaiser Roll. Stack portabella mushroom, tomato, green onions, and eggplant on the Kaiser Roll.

Cheers!

No One Can Hear You Scream OR Thank God for Twitter and Facebook

I lost my voice. If you know me, you know that's like my personal hell. I talk all the time. From the minute I wake up, I'm processing stuff. And if anyone is near me, I'll process all over them. I'll talk about the strange dreams I had about broken windows and people trying to get into my house. I'll talk about all the things I need to do that day. I go down to the water for some quiet time, talking all the way. I'll sit quietly for a moment... aaahhhh... then I'm back to walking and talking, and processing all over again.

But not today. Today, it's all quiet, all day.  I sit here, mute, unable to use my voice, with just a cowbell to ring for help. It's so frustrating that all I want to do is scream... BUT. I. CAN'T!

Do you know what that feels like?

It feels a whole lot like this:

[caption id="attachment_906" align="aligncenter" width="237" caption="Edvard Munch "The Scream""][/caption]

Thank God, I have Twitter. And Facebook. And, on ocassion, the spinning circles of Google Plus. On days like today, when I can't chew people's ears off, I'm on-line in a somewhat more, how you say, obsessive/compulsive manner. I suppose my timing couldn't be more perfect. See, tonight, I'm doing something I don't do very often. I'm going to be part of, not one, but TWO chats!

The Children's Place Million Fan Party

As The Children’s Place closes in on their 1 Millionth Facebook fan, they want to celebrate the milestone with their fans by throwing a party with some of Hollywood’s hottest moms (including Denise Richards!) and a handful of fashion writers from mom and kid friendly online destinations.

And also some crazy bloggers.

If you aren’t a fan of The Children’s Place on Facebook yet, become one now, and party with us tonight. The more the merrier! From 9pm-10pm EST, we’re inviting fans to join us for a Facebook Fiesta live chat hosted on The Children’s Place Facebook page where our celebrity mom and fashion editor co-hosts will chat with all our fans in an open forum about all things fashion, family and fun in the summer months.

You can join the chat on the Million Fan Party tab!

Burgers with a Side of Beaujolais

This one is going to be lots of fun!

3 Burgers, 3 Ways, 3 Wines... one perfect summer night!

My friends at WineTwits are hosting a live event tonight. Several of us were sent wines to taste at home with friends along with three burger recipes to pair them with. Follow along with us on Twitter using the party hashtag, #GDandBurgers. And if you have any special burger toppings or suggestions, share with the partiers!

While I'm insanely frustrated with not being able to speak, I'm so glad I can still chat with all my friends on-line.

See you tonight!