Happy Fourth of July! In honor of the occasion I thought I'd give you two recipes that are All American, and all good.
Extra Good Burgers
There's no excuse for merely slapping a patty of fresh ground beef on the grill when you can just as easily throw a few things in it and get something that is far greater than the sum of its parts. This is adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe so you know it's good for you. The original is made with ground turkey. If you opt for that, buy thigh meat; it's darker and more flavorful. But any kind of meat works.
1 tsp olive oil or a few squirts of cooking spray
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground meat (turkey or beef)
1 large egg, beaten
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1. Preheat broiler and oil broiler pan (with olive oil or cooking spray). In a small pan, saute onion in olive oil or cooking spray till soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
2. In a large bowl combine ground meat, cooled onion, egg, parsley, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper. Mush it around with a wooden spoon or your hands till well mixed. Form into 4 patties and broil 4 inches from the heat until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If you are lucky enough to have a grill and an outdoor space, obviously dispense with the broiling and head out to the grill with your manly tools and a glass of wine.
Double Potato Salad
Yield: 12 1/3 cup servings
This is from The New American Plate, a cookbook of healthy recipes that are chock full of cancer-fighting phytochemicals -- and flavor. I've made this three or four times in the last few months, always for others, and the raves are unanimous. You could easily use the vinaigrette on the potato salad you normally make (e.g. potatoes, celery, onions) but I love the sweet orange yams and the crisp raw spinach.
1 pound each boiling potatoes and sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch cubes
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 TBSP white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup minced shallots
1 TBSP each fresh minced rosemary & fresh minced thyme
Salt and pepper
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1. Throw potatoes into separate pots with water to cover and bring to a boil with lids on. Once boiling, reduce to simmer and cook till just tender, about 4-5 min (potatoes will continue to cook after removing from hot water).
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk mustard & vinegar. Gradually whisk in olive oil till smooth. Mix in shallots, rosemary, thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Drain potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Drizzle in half of dressing and toss gently, then set aside to let potatoes absorb flavors while cooling. Once potatoes are at room temperature, gently mix in the spinach and remaining dressing. Adjust seasoning if needed and serve immediately or at room temperature.