Physalis Chutney Burger
Yesterday, I was playing around with the concept of burgers, which is something I enjoy doing, and has earned me the title of burger engineer from Marie-Lynn. The day before, we had some brochettes that included physalis, a small yellow-orange fruit I was used to eating raw. Physalis have a nice mix of sweet and bitter flavors, but the character was changed in a very surprising and pleasant way by grilling. This experience started me thinking about making a condiment for a burger, sort of a cooked salsa or chutney, based on cooked physalis. I wanted to balance the bitterness, in the brochette, this came from the sweetness of the onions and peppers, in my chutney, I chose to have shallot, ginger, garlic, corn and a little bit of pineapple that happened to be on the counter. Caramelized the lot, adding the ginger and garlic late to avoid burning.
Setting the chutney aside, I prepared the bread part which, for the occasion, was made of grilled cheese sandwiches, provolone, strong aged cheddar and some slices of cooked bacon for depravity. Meat, in this case was pretty standard, store bought pork-veal-beef, seasoned with pepper, Worcestershire sauce and some horseradish, grilled on a striated pan.
Result was surprisingly light and summery, something that will not feel like a rock in your stomach on a hot day, yet I found the chutney too bitter, by a small margin, and was under the feeling I would need to rework the recipe. I ate one and a half, Marie-Lynn half of one. Tonight, I went to eat my other half, and found Marie-Lynn had eaten it, leaving me with her half She, I discovered, puts relish in her burgers, a condiment I usually shun. Yet in this case, the relish suddenly balanced out the chutney, allowing the whole structure to come together brilliantly. I thought she was being overly nice when she told me it was delicious the preceding evening, but with this slight addition, all the flavors where suddenly identifiable, the cheeses, the meat, the ginger and garlic. The physalis retained their bitterness that gave the light and pleasant feel to the whole, without the feel I had the day before that some random leaves from the park had been added, not bad, but unbalanced. A fun simple burger for hot days, with relish.