The “casual dinner” is, for better or worse, a concept that escapes me.  I crave the nuances of a perfectly planned multiple-course menu.  Settling for the straight-forward is painfully lackluster. This sounds excessive, but creativity in the kitchen and the methodical process of changing ordinary meals into the extraordinary keeps me inspired.  And, as I may have hinted before, I’m nothing if not passionate.


This affliction has intensified over the past year to the point that I rarely make anything that isn’t for a formal dinner party.  It’s either an entire day spent slaving in the kitchen or chinese takeout from speed dial.  In an attempt to inject some gray into my black and white world, I’ve challenged myself to start cooking simple meals once per week. 


As my culinary cohort, the Barefoot Contessa says, I’m “getting back to basics.”  And there is nothing more basic than a cheeseburger.  No aioli, no caramelized onion, no truffle oil.  Just meat, cheese, bun, and traditional pub-style trimmings.   

The result was to die for.  Tangy danish blue just barely melted into medium-rare juicy sirloin is a combination a girl could get used to!  Even better – it only took me twenty minutes to make.  Though autumn is upon us, I will be keeping summer alive just a little longer by putting this grilled recipe into regular rotation.  I hope you will too!  xx tt 


Blue Cheese Burger Recipe – (serves 4) adapted from Barefoot Contessa


· 1.5 pounds ground sirloin (or 85% ground chuck)

· 2 tablespoons steak sauce

· 3 extra-large egg yolks

· Small yellow onion (grated)

· ¼ cup dry seasoned bread crumbs

· 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

· 1 teaspoon black pepper

· ¼ stick cold unsalted butter

· 4 hamburger buns (Safeway brand buns are fantastic, seriously)

· 8-ounces Danish blue cheese

· Arugula

· Vine tomatoes (sliced for serving)


· Place meat, steak sauce, egg yolks, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs in a bowl

· Grate half of the yellow onion into the bowl

· Carefully mix the ingredients together with your hands (or two forks if you are a sissy), and then form four patties

· Prepare grill or if using an indoor grill pan heat on high for a few minutes until VERY HOT

· Slice cold butter into four pieces 

· Place butter onto the top of each patty and press it in firmly so that it is encased in the meat

· Cook patty butter side up for five minutes on each side for medium (four minutes on the first side and three minutes on the second for medium-rare)

· Remove patties and put on a plate covered tightly with aluminum foil for five minutes so that they rest and retain all of their delicious juices

· Meanwhile, lightly toast buns on the grill/grill-pan and slice tomatoes 

· Assemble your burger and enjoy!


t+tSTYLE: While we’re getting back to basics, here are my Autumnal picks for classic outerwear.  Hitchcock heroine-chic from Ted Baker for her, and ruggedly handsome Ovadia & Sons for him.


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