Friday, August 15, 2014

Danish Burgers with Caper Sauce and a Fresh Spinach Salad

This was named “Danish” not because of the ground chicken. In fact ground poultry is rarely even found in Denmark! The term comes from the cheese used in the burgers. Havarti was named for the Havarthigaard in Øverød, just north of Copenhagen.
To make this dish more Danish, it is suggested that instead of ground chicken, you use ground pork (pork is the meat most used in Denmark) Omit the poultry seasonings: add ½ teaspoon of thyme and use 2 minced up cloves of garlic instead. Or if you like use Adobo! Be sure to cook the burgers to 71 degrees Celsius (160 degrees F). Use a thermometer to check. Everything else works fine with this cuisine.

Based on a recipe from Rachael Ray so you know it wont take long to make!

Ingredients :

2 lbs. ground chicken
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 

 5 button mushrooms, stems removed, finely chopped
Havarti with dill cheese
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 5oz cartons of non-fat plain
Greek style yogurt!
4 tablespoons capers, drained -
1 seedless cucumber, cut in ½ lengthwise, then sliced into ½ inch pieces
small red onion, peeled & sliced thinly
3 plum (also called Roma) tomatoes, sliced
1 lbs sack
washed baby spinach
3 tbs white wine balsamic vinegar
4 fancy multi-grain rolls or buns of choice


The Havarti with dill cheese will be found by the deli – not with the other cheeses! Stick it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This makes it so much easier to work with. Spray both sides of your grater with cooking spray first. Then use the large holes being careful that you only grate the cheese and not your fingers! You will be amazed at what a big pile this makes. Divide it by half. Half for the burgers and half for the salad.

While that is getting cold, mince the shallots (note that is NOT scallions),

Have you ever noticed the shape of a good Chef's knife? 
BTW You need one of these! 
 It is designed for the end to rest on the cutting board while you rock the back part of it up and down to chop. Also push the food under the knife with your knuckles not the tips of your fingers! And DO NOT speed through this or you will lose flesh and no one wants to eat your blood.

Mince the mushrooms. Mince just means to chop into tiny pieces!

Cut the cucumber lengthwise then cut into ½ inch pieces.

Slice the tomatoes using a serrated knife and sawing them. Don't just push, it will get messy!

Peel and slice the red onion (a sweet yellow onion also works) slave used a mandolin for this as I wanted a very thin slice. Again separate about a ½ cup out for topping the burgers.

Combine ground chicken, poultry seasoning, chopped shallots, Dijon mustard, chopped mushroom, grated Havarti, and a SLIGHT drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. If you wish add a pinch of salt and pepper to your tastes.

Mix thoroughly, slave uses a short wooden spoon for this. Lay out a sheet of waxed paper and divide the meat in to nice thick patties. Shape each of these into your burgers. Slave makes a lot of hamburgers to stretch the budget so I have a small hamburger press that makes nice round ones. However hand-formed burgers sometimes just taste better! Slave found this recipe large enough to make 6 patties.  
Press your thumb down into the center just enough to make a nice dent in the middle. This will give you a flat patty when cooked and not a meatball!

Preheat oil in a skillet to medium-high heat. Give the patties a quick spray with cooking spray – this will help brown them. Cook 6 minutes per side until the patties are firm to the touch and cooked through. (170 degrees F or 71 degrees C) Set a timer so you know when to turn them and when to remove them, but do not rely on time alone.
Check with a thermometer!

While the burgers are cooking, open and drain the small jar of capers. Run a table knife into the jar a couple of times just to break them up a bit.

Use a medium bowl to mix the drained capers into the yogurt. Taste it and add maybe a touch of mustard or pepper if you like. Slave tried a half teaspoon of sugar to offset the bitterness of the capers. But You adjust to Your tastes. You can chose to do this the night before to really combine the taste! This also makes a great dipping sauce! Just seal and refrigerate. 
If you ever get caught with left over capers you can ALWAYS make this dipping sauce!

In a salad bowl combine the cucumbers, sliced onion, tomatoes and cheese into about ¾ of the sack of washed baby spinach. Dress the salad with white wine balsamic vinegar, then drizzle with a couple tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to coat the salad lightly and evenly. Toss to combine.

Split the rolls or buns. Place the burgers on the bun bottoms. Top with a some of the onion, a bit of baby spinach and a heaping spoonful of herb-caper dressing! Toss the remaining sauce into the salad.

Slave is serving this with roasted asparagus and a desert of “little blue tart”! Tonight it is my honor to invite over my best friend forever Charlie for dinner, since my Master Indy is in Denmark now! Even so slave is still serving its Master from across the globe!


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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