I didn't get this one out a few days ago, so here goes now. Bea had a dinner with friends so I was on my own.
That's the burger patty before tossing it on the patio grill, of course. I'll eat and enjoy steak tartare,
but it's certainly not a favorite and I have to say I prefer it grilled
(whereas, I highly prefer raw sushi or sashimi to cooked fish). Grilled
to medium, with a bit of cheddar or pepper jack (or swiss even) melted
on top. Usually, I can get it just right, such that, when I turn it, I
place the cheese, close the cover to increase the captive temperature,
and by the time the first bit of cheese is dripping off the side, the
burger is done to a nice perfect light pink (as in: medium; medium rare
being a darker pink). Of course, that also has to do with thickness.
The problem with really thick burgers is that when they shrink you
often get more of a meatball than a burger patty. Try this: poke a hole
the size of a pencil right in the middle. I've found about a half-inch thickness (raw) to work pretty well.
Yes, I ate the whole salad. It's nearly a full "head" of green leaf lettuce, and other than that, I've got about four radishes sliced thick and a Campari tomato or two. Then there's a half can of white whole albacore tuna packed in water. Some people complain that water-packed tuna lacks some of the flavor of the oil packed stuff. My answer to that is the oil is crap. If you want your tuna moist and oily, which I certainly understand, then get the water packed, drain and squeeze the shit out of it (the oil packed is much harder to drain, too), then add good quality olive oil, or even some almond or avocado oil. Or, do what I do and get one of the very excellent Briannas dressings and dress your tuna in that. So, what I do is drain the tuna, break it up, add enough dressing to moisten it, then add it to the salad, dress and toss.
Just a final word about dressings. I like a lot of them, and on the creamy side, I live blue cheese. I often make my own, which is usually olive oil, vinegar (regular, not balsamic), salt, pepper, and sometimes yellow or red onion and sometimes a bit of Dijon mustard (Maille — all others are shit, as far as I'm concerned). The thing is, though I don't mind making the dressing, I'd just as soon use something bottled. Problem is, nearly everything in a bottle is worse than pig vomit on your salad. They either have too much sugar, or too much vinegar, and they always taste like crap. As far as the off-the-super-market-shelf stuff, I think Paul Newman's line is the best, and passable for most things (the balsamic vinaigrette is actually pretty good). There's also another line that makes a "restaurant-style-Italian that's pretty good. Briannas Real French Vinaigrette is so good and so like the vinaigrettes I used to make and enjoy from others while in France that I haven't even tried any of their other dressings.
I'll have to try it on artichokes, but I'm a die-hard mayonnaise fan where steamed artichokes are concerned. I did try it on fresh grilled asparagus the other night: wonderful. Here's a final tip: with any salad dressing, take it out of the fridge when you begin preparing your meal so that it will mix nicely when you shake it.
…Oh, the drink is jasmine-infused iced green tea.