Tag Archives: eggs

This Is How They Do It Down Under: Aussie Burgers

Can you be homesick for a place you have never called home?  I miss Australia. I miss the smell of the air, the sounds of the voices, the quality of the sunlight, and the amazing wildlife.  To try and assuage my longing a bit, I decided to make a very Australian version of an everyday food: the humble hamburger.

An Australian hamburger has several key elements that differ from the typical American variety:  sliced, cooked beets, fried eggs, and capsicum, a condiment made from bell peppers  and spices that is used as a sandwich spread.  Also, rocket, a play on the French rocquette or arugula, is typical rather than lettuce, at least in restaurants.   I wasn’t able to find any capsicum on short notice, but the beets, egg, and arugula were enough to bring a cozily reminiscent taste to the meal.

Of course, every burger needs a fry, just ask my husband.  His food wish is my command, so here are two recipes for the price of one.

Oven Thyme Fries

serves 4-6

2 med.-lg. russet potatoes, cleaned (and peeled if not organic), and cut in 1/4 to 1/3″ thick stick, or wedges, or whatever you like

olive oil

kosher salt

fresh or dried thyme

Preheat oven to 450.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss cut potatoes with olive oil, salt and thyme.  Cook in oven, turning over gently once, until goldeny brown or done to your liking.  Check at 15 minutes and again every 5 minutes after.

Aussie Burger

serves 4

1+ lb. ground beef (or turkey or your meat substitute)

kosher salt and pepper

bacon optional (a really, really good option)


red onion


1 cooked beet (canned or boil it yourself with water and a touch of vinegar), sliced

1 egg per person

capsicum (or condiments of your choice)

buns optional

Heat cast iron pan on medium heat.  Separate ground meat into four equal portions and, manipulating it as little as possible, form into patties.  Salt and pepper the outside of the meat.  Place on hot pan and cook to desired doneness.  Fry eggs in a bit of olive oil or butter (just a touch).  Layer on your goodies and enjoy this, perhaps unusual, treat!

Green salad with white beans, boiled eggs, veggies and a champagne vinaigrette from http://www.oneishungry.com

Simple Food: Green Salad with White Beans, Boiled Egg and Champagne Vinaigrette

I can almost hear you thinking, “Simple!  What is simple about soaking and cooking beans, boiling eggs, and preparing a homemade dressing?”  but I promise it is true!  Let’s break it down.  The beans can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for several days, or they can be pre-cooked beans from a can (drained and rinsed, of course).  Boiled eggs take roughly 10 minutes from fridge, to pot, to ice bath, to peeled and quartered, ready to be eaten.  The Sauce, otherwise known as champagne vinaigrette, takes 2 minutes and a mason jar.  So toss up some leafy greens, throw in a generous handful of vegetables and you can have a gorgeous, healthy meal in well under 30 minutes.

green salad with white beans, boiled eggs and veggies

Green Salad with White Beans, Boiled Egg


salad greens (be adventurous and hop off the Iceberg; try green leaf, red leaf, romain, butterhead,arugula, or get really crazy with kale, chard, dandelion or escarole)

cooked white beans (aiming for toothsome, not mushy)

boiled eggs

suggested options:





red bell pepper


goat cheese


apple slices

loading up with goodies

The Sauce|Champagne Vinaigrette

adapted from  The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

2 Tbs. champagne vinegar

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 to 5 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil

(try this, and then play around with the ratios.  Jason and I love a vinaigrette with a bit of a bite and a lovely, well-emuslified consistency.  You may like something milder, or just different.)

Combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a mason  or jelly jar.  Swirl, or shake, to combine, then add oil.  Now put the lid on, and shake what your momma gave you (and the jar, too).  Continue to shake until oil and vinegar have emulsified (combined in such a way that they are not separate from one another).


Soup of the Day: Swiss Chard, White Bean and Chorizo Stew

We are half way between a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and the weather here in Alexandria, Virginia is dark and gloomy in the extreme.  In another light it might be considered peaceful, encouraging us to rest after holiday travels and travails.  Either way, it is the perfect weather for warm, hearty, nourishing stew.

Swiss Chard, White Bean and Chorizo Stew with Poached Egg

This is definitely comfort food:  bright, sweet tomatoes, spicy sausage, crisp rainbow chard and toothsome beans simmering into a succulent stew,  and a poached egg, golden as afternoon sunshine, topping it all to warm you from the inside out.

Remove tough stems and ribs before chopping

Almost finished

To poach an egg, bring roughly two inches of water to a near-simmer.  By this I mean that the water should be steaming and there should be lots of little bubbles in the base of the pan, but those bubbles should not break the surface.  You do not want boiling water.  To this water add 1-2 tsp. of vinegar (this will help keep your egg together) and the same amount of salt.  Break your egg carefully into a small bowl, being careful not to puncture the clear sack (the thin albumen) surrounding the egg white.  Keeping the egg white (and of course yolk) intact, assisted by the vinegar, should allow you to produce a beautifully compact poached egg.  Now, lower your egg bowl over the hot water and  gently pour the egg into the pan.  Allow your egg to poach until all of the egg white has congealed and you can no longer see any transparency.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg directly to your stew.  Enjoy!


Swiss Chard, White Bean and Chorizo Stew

adapted from Smitten Kitchen


3/4 lb. chorizo sausage

1 large bunch chard ( kale, spinach or another green), cleaned thoroughly and ribs and stems removed

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup  chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup  chopped shallots, about 4 medium

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 cup dry white wine

2 15-ounce cans (or about 3 3/4 cups) white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

Heat 1Tbs. of oil in a large pot. Add chorizo and brown fully. Remove chorizo from pot to colander/sieve to drain of grease.

Wipe out pot to dry it, and heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium. Add carrots, celery, shallots and garlic and saute for 15 minutes. Add wine (scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pot) and cook it until the liquid has reduced by three-fourths. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, a few pinches of salt, freshly ground black pepper, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add sausage, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chard and cook for 10 minutes more. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Add more broth if you’d like a thinner stew and adjust salt and pepper to taste.