27 August 2011

4 burgers. 1 night. Fully extreme.

I have a huge number of recipes located around my house in which to try. Sometimes I decide to kill multiple birds with one stone (metaphorically). I’d done it before…potato skins (easy) with five different toppings all to be served at once (not so easy).
But I’d set myself a new challenge…and it would be my most difficult yet.
Prepare and cook four different sliders (mini burgers) all on the one night and all with their own uniqueness.

Over a 3-4 hour period I muddled my way through each recipe getting everything as prepared as I possibly could in order to make those final few stages go smoothly. The bread rolls had come together nicely in the breadmaker, the hot water cupboard had risen them efficiently and the oven did its job like a trouper.

Finally it was time to cook the patties. I had myself and my mother to feed immediately so it was eight patties in one pan and different cooking times required on each. After one mishap with a forgotten ingredient and precious time melting away, I started to wonder what exactly I was doing. But the burgers were cooking and hungry mouths to feed. In then, I did serve up 4 burgers, in 1 night, and it was fully extreme.

The burgers were as follows:

Turkey and mushroom patty, topped with a red wine, balsamic and tomato reduction, sautéed onions and crispy bacon.
 Wilted watercress stuffed lamb patty, topped with curry mayonnaise, radish and watercress.
Pork patty, topped with sautéed spring onion and mandarins marinated in its own juices, honey and balsamic vinegar + avocado.
Fresh salmon patty, topped with minted yoghurt, hard-boiled egg and baby spinach.

18 August 2011

Hey Guac, where's your avo?

Guacamole – defined as ‘a dish of mashed avocado mixed with chopped onion, tomatoes, chili peppers, and seasoning’. Sounds pretty good to me.
Search for guacamole recipes and you will find hundreds of slightly varying takes on this classic dip.
But at the crux of the matter, avocado is the star of the show. Whether you mash it completely to a smooth spread, or leave it almost untouched for an incredibly satisfying chunky topping, avocado makes guacamole.
So tell me then, how can MasterFoods sell a product called ‘Creamy Guacamole’ whilst using only 1% avocado in their mix? Let’s set aside that fact, for now at least, that they have used thickener, yeast extract, citric acid, lactic acid, xanthan, flavours and colour. On their website, MasterFoods describes their guacamole as ‘a smooth and creamy blend of tasty avocados, fresh capsicums, garlic & fragrant spices’. Using this same description, here is what is actually going on in MasterFoods ‘Creamy Guacamole’…‘a smooth and creamy blend of tasty water, fresh onion, garlic and sugar’. Not so appetizing any more, maybe?
I’m not out to get MasterFoods or any other particular brand. This is just one example I have found of a company making money on a product that is pretending to be something it isn’t. And there will be many many more out there doing the exact same thing.
Keep your eyes open and avoid checking the ‘nutritional information’ to decide whether something is healthy or not…look at the ingredient list and see what you’re feeding yourself.
[One final note: I am a ‘whole foods’ kind of girl, if you hadn’t figured that out…but I’m by no means strict to the point of annoying. I like to make things from scratch and eat a good healthy diet…but when Kapiti Ice Creams, Cadbury Mousse chocolate (and other such store-bought delicacies) are provided, there ain’t no way on God’s good earth that I’m not eating that all up].