French Fridays with Dorie: Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburger

A moment of personal privilege, y’all. When September rolls around and my weekends are free for cooking I am going to be one very happy French Friday Dorista. Photographing a naked hamburger in a dark kitchen on a weeknight with an empty stomach is not ideal. If I’d not been so delirious with hunger after getting home late, making a batch of granola, preparing this week’s recipe, then drooling over them as they cooked, I might have had the sense to photograph one of the cooled burgers AFTER we ate.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure there would be any left if I didn’t take the shot right away. A hat tip to Dorie Greenspan’s food stylist and photographer for making the one in the cookbook look great.

Whew, thanks. Glad that’s off my chest.

This week’s French Friday’s with Dorie recipe is Café Salle Pleyel  Hamburger. Its described as a sort of American French fusion, underscored by decidedly French flavors like tarragon and cornichons. The recipe was published in Bon Appetit’s Recipe Box  so even if you have not purchased a copy of Around My French Table, you can enjoy this one at home.  Just one tiny problem. Cooking a hamburger in my home is sort of like suggesting that you want to cook some pasta for Mario Batali. My darling makes a damn fine burger. Friends enjoy my food, but they request hamburgers and I’m not the one cooking them.  The bar is set pretty high.

Oh, and a second problem. (Damn, you are full of problems this week. When are you going to get to the hamburger? Soon? Yes, soon.). Capers. Not a fan of capers. I stared at that ¼ cup of capers. Paused. On one shoulder the little devil saying “Too many capers. Screw it. Leave ‘em out.”  On the other the little angel saying, “Oh, but you should follow the recipe the first time. Remember back when you hated mayonnaise?”

So I made the recipe as is. The onion marmalade was fantastic: sweet, flavorful, fragrant with coriander.  The burger has flavors I love: the intensity of sundried tomatoes, the bright herbal anise-y flavor of tarragon, tangy and sweet bits of cornichons. Er, and then there’s the capers. Sorry, but they were too much. I want to love them. Someone please send me a good brand/source so I can see if it’s me, or these particular ones. Overall more good than bad: the onion marmalade made the difference between liking and not liking these.

So a couple of notes for my version:

  • We don’t eat buns. Mine was served naked and cooked rare to medium rare. Nothing between me and my burger.
  • It’s topped with Fontinella cheese that we had on hand: flavorful aged cheese that tastes like a cross between Parmesan, Romano, Provolone.
  • I found I needed to cook the marmalade a bit more than 20 minutes. I ended up taking it off the heat, covering it and letting it steam, then returning to the heat to cook off the juices.
  • Next time, minimal or no capers.

East Coasters: batten down the hatches and stay safe!  And if you want to follow the rest of the French Friday crew head over to French Fridays with Dorie. There are a few potential recipes for September that I may skip: but just for fun, I’ll be playing catch up by cooking some of the 30+ recipes I missed!

Advertisements

About Tasty Mayhem

Love to eat, cook, write. Try to think of witty things to say about the world but my thoughts are consumed by food. Mostly.
This entry was posted in French Fridays with Dorie, Low/er Carb, Main Dish, Sauces and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburger

  1. dulceshome says:

    Love your post. I happen to really like capers, but I know they’re one of those love/hate things.

    Like

  2. Oh I like the look of your naked hamburger! I left out the capers too, just not a big fan, so it’s not you…or us, it’s the capers. 😉

    Like

    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      relief. and I tried to post on your blog…having problems (its me in this case. LOL.). I think the burger just photographs as charred. Look at mine. It wasn’t charred when we ate it, that’s for sure. Yours would be a hit for my sweetie, who likes to char things a bit then cool them in the freezer before eating.

      Like

  3. I often have a similar internal dialog with these recipes. On the one hand I want to try to follow Dorie’s recipe as closely as possible, at least the first time, but on the other hand it’s hard not to play around sometimes. Oh well, now you know for next time.

    Like

  4. Jill says:

    Is that on a bed of pickles? Yum! I think the photo is good – I’ve taken some burger photos that I would never publish because they look so awful. I’d take a bite of that, capers and all.

    Like

    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      It is indeed a bed of thinly sliced kosher dill pickles. I’m going to start doing that with other burgers. This photo is pretty good. Now that I’m figuring my way around the SLR, D and I are begining to disagree on how to shoot food. Up until now I think D’s photos are better and I’ve used them on the blog. The granola and burger are mine and I think they turned out better. We are so competitive.

      Like

  5. Eileen says:

    Fortunately, capers are one of those things that aren’t in a whole lot of dishes, so there’s no need to force yourself to eat them very often. Personally, I love their salty, briney hit, but I can definitely understand why you wouldn’t like it. I had an impossible time photographing my burger, so you’re not alone in that regard!

    Like

    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      I know, its funny I love salty, briny, and even the slightly bitter edge (I’m a fan of bitter foods). But, whoa, it just hit me the wrong way. now, lox with capers and onions and cream cheese? yum.

      Like

  6. I had to photo mine at home in the dark too. Burgers don’t make a pretty photo and after the first burger the next night I had my ‘followup’ bunless as you show it here and it was VERY good.

    Like

  7. I, too, find mysel rushing home to make dinner with enough daylight left to photograph! So jealous of your free time in September!

    Like

  8. Cher says:

    So sad about capers 😦
    And as an “easterner” I find it most frustrating that we have to worry about a silly hurricane. The Northeast is supposed to be SNOW country, not HURRICANE country…

    Like

  9. Elin says:

    I left out the capers too…not really a fan of them 🙂 your naked burger looks good !

    Like

  10. patty says:

    I like the way you described the flavors of the burger- made it sound so good all over it again! Maybe next time I should stick with the recipe;-)

    Like

  11. Kathy says:

    Your burgers look great and I enjoyed your post! I really enjoyed this one! Have a nice week-end!

    Like

  12. Good for you to give capers a chance. Perhaps you can also consider rinsing them with water and dried them before use?

    Like

  13. Elaine says:

    I really think this is a burger that stands perfectly on its own – no bun needed. I also don’t care for capers, but minced in the food processor along with the rest of the ingredients worked out fine for me and I just loved the combination of flavors. I actually think that it is refreshing to have a quick photo of the end result rather than a highly stylized one (and I am saying that as someone who enjoys the styling!), so I think your photo is a great reflection of how dinner is for most of us on a work week.

    Like

    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      I just saw that someone turned it into meatloaf – fantastic idea too! Thanks Elaine, the photo is probably more reflective of me and my life anyway. And we are having so much fun playing with the camera.

      Like

  14. Tammy says:

    I love capers, but don’t care for tarragon. I did use it, but will substitute it with something else next time. I also used homemade dill pickles on the burger … Yum.

    Like

  15. Alice says:

    Im playing catch up with the recipes too! I think you should try minimal capers 🙂 and when you do – reduce the extra salt a bit to compensate. I was weary of them and went for the full quarter cup and was pleasantly surprised. : )

    Like

  16. Krissy says:

    Your burger looks so juicy, and when I make them at home I often go bunless. I know you’ll have lots of fun in September.

    Like

  17. I didn’t have any capers on hand, but now I’m wishing I did just to try it. I would have definitely cut the amount to just a tablespoon, though. Love the pickle bed!

    Like

  18. yvette says:

    Think capers is one of those things you hate or love, I’m the latter. I cooked the marmalade longer too.
    Looks great!

    Like

  19. betsy says:

    My rolls were too big and the burgers were too bready. I liked this much better bunless on day #2.
    I’m a big fan of capers. I get them at Trader Joes. Their brand is a good one.
    I found the lentil chips you mentioned last week. Can’t wait to try them.

    Like

    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      Thanks for the tip Betsy. I’m going to check TJs out. I looked around other places but they all had the same kind as I already have in my fridge. Let me know what you think of the lentil chips. I’ve tried both the plain and the salt and pepper, both good for different things.

      Like

  20. Teresa says:

    I’m starting to lament the loss of light already – by the time dinner was ready, it was getting dark and I had to use flash for the photos. I should get organized and start making French Friday recipes for weekend lunches. I think bunless is a great option – my partner can’t have gluten, so we often skip bread altogether, rather than hunt down a suitable gluten-free replacement.

    Like

    • Tasty Mayhem says:

      I remember those Northern winter afternoons where its dark at 4…I think I’m just going to have to spread the cooking out so the photographs are in the AM. Bread is the thing i miss the least, such an afterthought now. Rice on the other hand…I may try making the cheesy rice on September’s list with some brown shortgrain I have on hand. White rice is like crack to me.

      Like

  21. yay for the naked hamburger. I too can’t wait for the fall and all the food I will get to make!

    Like

  22. I loved the marmalade as well! That looks delicious and like you did a great job adjusting it to your own likes!

    Like

  23. nana says:

    I love the taste of capers, but they must be tiny. Those big chunky ones gross me
    out. I was fortunate to have a jar packed in salt that I purchased EATALY in Manhattan
    awhile back. I never used this type before, but just rinse them and they are delicious. I had
    some meat left over, so this weekend I made a repeat but in the form of sliders that we ate
    bunless.

    Like

  24. Kayte says:

    Oh, that looks wonderful, and I agree about the buns, I rarely eat the bun. Love your selection of cheese, and your photo of it all is wonderful. I sampled that onion jam way more than was necessary for taste testing along the way…oh, yes, I did! I added you to my google reader so I can see your progress on FFwD. I just could not keep up as the choices were matching produce here, what my family wanted to eat that week, etc., so I’m just sort of doing my own thing with it. I think I am going to post them on Tuesday nights after my Tuesdays with Dorie baking blog along and call it More Dorie or something so I can post thing from the book and not collide with FFwD. Your notes were great. Thanks for stopping by my blog so I could find yours!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s