Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger

French Fridays with Dorie

Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger

“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:

8-22-2011 8-07-13 AM

That’s right. Hélène and I have something in common. We were both gushed over by Dorie!

Hélène’s restaurant is a tiny but trendy dining spot located out of common view on the second floor of the prestigious Salle Pleyel concert hall on Paris’ famed Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. To know about it you had to hear about it and this famed burger helped make it all happen for Hélène. Who wouldn’t tell a friend about this burger? Now that I am featuring it on the menu here at Sis. Boom. Blog. I am expecting popularity to Hélène .

While we are on the topic, am I the only one who thinks that all of Dorie’s friends are named “Hélène”? It seems that Dorie collects friends named Hélène like I collect burger recipes.

Just days ago we tried out a Bison Burger to die for (well, if you are a bison you definitely died for it!) Guests to my home routinely get served high volume turkey burgers, lamb burgers, sliders and even, well, hamburgers. If you want to make the burger experience even more illicit and subversive do what I do and serve it on your best china with a very expensive bottle of red or Champagne. It works. And it will work quite nicely with the Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger.

Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger

Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger

This particular burger has it all going on. In fact, it has a lot going on! The recipe calls for quite a bit of chopped add-ins to the meat patty — any two of them would be enough to elevate the burger to ‘special’ but here more is more and quite a sophisticated taste comes through. All accomplished without it one bit of its recognizability as hamburger.

I substituted some dried (but reconstituted) sun dried tomatoes for the jarred, oiled variety and suffered no negative effects. Those tomatoes sticking out of the patty darkened and caramelized putting off even more delicious flavor with each bite.

8-22-2011 8-05-24 AM

Read about the award here!

Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger


Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger

This is what you will need:

  • 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.

This is how you make it:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine red onion with butter, coriander and 1 cup water and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small food processor, pulse sun-dried tomatoes with capers, cornichons, tarragon and parsley until finely chopped.
  4. In a medium bowl, lightly mix meat with sun-dried tomato mixture and season with pepper.
  5. Shape meat into 4 patties about 3/4 inch thick.
  6. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.
  7. Add burgers and cook for about 2 minutes on each side for rare or 3 minutes for medium rare.
  8. Transfer burgers to a platter and top with Parmesan.
  9. Lightly toast buns.
  10. Spread a thin layer of onion jam on bottom buns.
  11. Top with pickle slices and burgers.
  12. Cover with top buns and serve

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. How cool to have Dorie Tweet you not once, but twice! She has commented on my blog before, and it’s always a thrill. Congrats!

  2. Lovely, delicious photos! And, oh yes, the French and their lofty food exaggerations! lol 😉

  3. I love the dark, caramelised meat in youtr burgers – delish.

  4. Love the shot of the burgers in the pan…so enticing. I too think that Dorie has a lot of friends named Helene! Must be in the water. Fun post, as always!

  5. Great post as always! Glad you loved them!!

  6. Trevor, I love the quote…my blog post seems somehow so very pedestrian after reading that 🙂 But that’s why I keep coming back to read your reviews…and get a giggle or two. Rubbing shoulders with Dorie on Twitter? You do this all so well…happy you joined us this week!

  7. Welcome back to Dorie-land Trevor!
    Yes – I was wondering if all the Helene’s were the same person or if there were multiples 🙂
    Happy Friday! (and great looking burger…)

  8. Love how engaged Dorie is with her readers! Congrats!

  9. I always enjoy reading your posts, and I’m not at all surprised that you trampled the competition and won an award for it. Congratulations! I love that Dorie seems to keep tabs on you too. (Hi Dorie!–just in case. lol)

    Good work, and your burger looks divine. I’m physically incapable of taking beautiful pictures of meat, but yours looks great. hehe…sorry…my mind just went to the gutter for a sec.

  10. Congrats on all the authentic Dorie gushing!

  11. Well, you are becoming famous. And you should…your burger is perfect and that should be acknowledged. Love your posts…you have a great sense of humor and I love that you give me lots of smiles and a few laughs pretty much every week.

  12. Next time Dorie gushes about you in your comment box or on Twitter, can you please mention me and send a bit of that gush my way? LOL. Whether they’re in or out of the pan, your burgers DO look illicit and subversive…but they are not completely forbidden, are they? Now those bison burgers in the post below really have my juices flowing!

  13. Wow…Dorie commented on your twitter…you are sure lucky 🙂 and I love your hamburger picture. I didnt manage to capture the burger…it was hidden by all the garnishing :p but who cares it tasted so good and we dont have to fly off to Paris to have a bite…we can have it at home now. Thanks to Dorie for sharing the recipe with us 🙂

  14. This reminds me, I would like your breakfast sausage recipe 🙂

  15. That is one great looking hamburger! Love your photos! I am so jealous that you get comments from Dorie…definitely well deserved! Great post…you always make me smile!

  16. Wow, blogging and tweeting with the best of them and this burger doesn’t look so bad either;-)
    Congratulations again on your blue ribbon award- your blog wears it well!

  17. Love the last photo of the patties sizzling in the frying pan. Funny observation about “friends named Helene” too!

  18. Great pictures made me very hungry!! Great tweets!

  19. Trevor, wonderful post, as always! I love that you’re getting all the attention you deserve! And I still want an autographed copy of your first book!

    I say we have a Dorista meeting at the Cafe in Paris & see who shows up!

    And…am I becoming that predictable? LOL!

  20. You are so right – this burger should be served on fine china and with a bottle of fine champagne!

  21. how awesome that Dorie tweeted you? excuse me I have to borrow err steal your idea and go buy some china….

  22. Enjoyed your post! I’m still smiling about Helene..

  23. loved reading this post and the mustard tart one! I see the red wine lurking in the background, great accompaniment.

  24. So glad you’ve decided to join us again! I love your blog. I actually stepped out on this one, sort of, and instead linked to your post! Hope you enjoy some traffic.


  25. I love your post! Dorie has at least this Hélene and the Marie Hélene from the cake. Glad to see I’m not the only one noticing those little things. I loved this burger and it will be making another appearance on our table soon.

  26. I think this burger is certainly worthy of good china and a little fine wine. I’m not much of a burger fan, but this one really worked for me.

    Glad you got some well-deserved Twitter love from Dorie, too!

  27. The corn is so fresh at the farm stand I just had to make that corn
    pudding again. Congrats on your award, that is really wonderful.

  28. I think Dorie’s becoming a fan. This wasn’t my favorites, but your great photos make me want to try again.

  29. I think you should consider changing the name of your blog to Sis! Boom. Fancy. or Fancy! Boom Blog. Don’t you think so? I always think that success is the best revenge. I know that I am feeling more successful by proxy. This is well-deserved recognition for one of my very favorite bloggers. Dorie, if you are reading this, I am impressed with your good taste!

  30. I always love coming here to visit! You certainly are entertaining and you have scrumptious looking photos!! Congrats on your award!! You deserve it.