Win's Perfect Burgers and Espresso Jello
I didn't expect to have Win home for dinner tonight, so it was an unexpected treat when he called and said he was on his way and that he'd love to grill up some burgers and eat on the deck. I've mentioned it here before; Win is excellent with the grill and an all-around good cook of meat. I don't know how he does it, but he always manages to cook all varieties of meats appropriately to maximize their flavor and to suit the tastes of the eater. I think it must come from a life of extreme carnivorousness.
Now we all know burgers aren't that tough to do, so I'm not going to ask you to buy into his meat cooking prowess based simply on how he does burgers...we'll wait until he shows off something more complicated. But c'mon...you can't tell me this burger doesn't look absolutely delicious. Perfectly seasoned and cooked (his rare, mine medium-well), these were some tasty burgers. We kept it simple tonight and just had some potato chips on the side and washed it all down with a beer. Tonight we had a Honker's Ale from the Goose Island Beer Company. Goose Island is a local Chicago brewery and they turn out some delicious ales. Always nice to drink local.
For dessert, I made the jellied espresso mentioned in Food & Wine magazine this month. It was incredibly simple to make, but the recipe produced a beautiful, bold dessert. The espresso flavor is quite strong, and that flavor paired with the gelatin's texture is quite unique.
Active Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Prep Time: 3 hours
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1.5 cups hot brewed espresso
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
coarsely ground coffee, for garnish
1. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the espresso and 1/4 cup of the sugar and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Pour into 4 1/2-cup molds or a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, 2-3 hours.
2. Meanwhile, in another bowl, whip the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until it holds soft peaks.
3. Dip the molds in warm water and turn the desserts out onto plates or cut the gelatin into 1-inch squares and mound in wineglasses or bowls. Garnish each serving with whipped cream and sprinkle with ground coffee.
So tonight was a quick and easy dinner, but a really tasty one. I realize I haven't said too much about Lima lately; I'll have to fill you in on her in some upcoming posts. She's become quite the character lately.