“It has the taste of forbidden, the illicit – the subversive, even.”
That was Hélène Samuel, Dories Greenspan's friend, and no, she was not describing Sis. Boom. Blog! -- although I wish she was. She wasn't even talking about the latest Paris nightclub, Lagerfeld's latest season, or some fancy, overly-light or obscenely-dense chocolate dessert. What was she talking about? She was describing a hamburger.
Yes, that is a lot of hyperbole for a burger but you must consider the French tend to exaggerate things a lot so why not let them? (Just look at what they did when they got their hands on the recipe for "toast".) Chef Sonia Ezgulian's burger recipe, created especially for Hélène's oft-talked about Paris restaurant Cafe Salle Pleyel, is all of that and more.
I must also say that Hélène must be one smart cookie. She knew that to get your restaurant oft-spoken about it is a good idea to get Dorie herself as a friend and fan. Dorie has spoken about the restaurant and burger a lot in her blog and in her cookbooks. And lets face it, my dear, dear friend Dorie knows exactly what she is talking about. If you don't believe me here is all the evidence you need to show she knows quality and you can trust her opinion:
That's right. Hélène and I have something in common. We were both gushed over by Dorie!
Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes (2.5 ounces), drained and chopped
- 1/4 cup drained capers (1.5 ounces)
- 6 cornichons
- 1/4 cup tarragon leaves
- 1/2 cup flat parsley leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin, chuck or mix
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
- 4 large sesame-seed hamburger buns
- 2 dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise with a vegetable peeler.
2. Meanwhile, in a small food processor, pulse sun-dried tomatoes with capers, cornichons, tarragon and parsley until finely chopped.
3. In a medium bowl, lightly mix meat with sun-dried tomato mixture and season with pepper. Shape meat into 4 patties about 3/4 inch thick. 4. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add burgers and cook for about 2 minutes on each side for rare or 3 minutes for medium rare. Transfer burgers to a platter and top with Parmesan. Lightly toast buns. Spread a thin layer of onion jam on bottom buns. Top with pickle slices and burgers.