LIFESTYLE

National Burger Day: Blue Cheese And Basil, Smoky Beef And Spicy Tuna

10/01/2014 11:53 GMT | Updated 27/08/2014 11:59 BST

'Healthy hamburgers' sound like the world's biggest oxymoron, but when you've got an expert trio of cooks who are passionate about good, gourmet burgers, it just might be possible.

To celebrate National Burger Day, we've pulled together some top notch recipes.

David Japy, Élodie Rambaud and Victor Garnier are the team at Blend Hamburger, the amazing Parisian restaurant that has almost redefined the humble meat and two buns.

Here, they've shared three fantastic recipes from their gorgeous new cookbook.

Blue Cheese Basil Hamburger (4 servings)

hamburger

Homemade or bought buns

60g (2 and 1/4 oz) of Bleu d’Auvergne, or other strong blue cheese

500g (1 lb 2 oz) beef, minced (ground)

a few pinches sea salt

Sauce

50 g (1 and 3/4 oz) basil

80ml (2.5 fl oz/1/3 cup) thin (pouring) cream

85g (3 oz/1/3 cup) crème fraîche

1 clove garlic, chopped

200g (7 oz) Bleu d’Auvergne, sliced

For the patties, cut the well-chilled Bleu d’Auvergne into small cubes. Incorporate them into the minced beef and form 4 patties. Season them with the sea salt.

Sauce

  • Chop most of the basil; set aside about a dozen leaves for the assembly stage. Put the two creams in a saucepan and boil them with the garlic and chopped basil.
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Off the heat, add the Bleu d’Auvergne and melt it in, stirring if necessary.
  • Cool, then set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

  • Cook the patties in a hot frying pan over high heat, 3 minutes per side for rare patties.

  • Cut the buns in half horizontally and toast them for 2 minutes under the grill (broiler).
  • On the cut side of the bun heels put the patties, blue cheese and basil sauce and the reserved basil leaves.
  • Top with the bun crowns.

Smokey Beef Burger With Onion Rings (4 servings)

smokey beef onion rings

Homemade or bought buns

500g (1 lb 2 oz) beef, minced (ground)

100g (3.5 oz) smoked pork belly, diced

Onion rings

1/2 large onion, sliced into rings

100g (3.5 oz/2/3 cup)plain (all-purpose) flour

1 egg, separated

100ml (3.5 fl oz) milk

200ml (7 fl oz) olive oil

1 pinch of salt

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Toppings

2 sliced tomatoes

A splash of olive oil

120 ml (4 fl oz) barbecue sauce

A few leaves of shredded iceberg lettuce

  • To give the beef a smoky flavour, add the pork belly.
  • Cut out 4 rounds from it with a cookie cutter—you will use these when cooking the patties. Make 4 patties from the minced beef.

Onion rings

  • Separate the onion slices. Mix the flour, egg yolk, milk, olive oil and salt to a smooth paste.
  • Gently fold in the egg white, whipped to soft peaks.
  • Dip the onion rings in the batter so they are well coated then fry them in a deep-fryer or a frying pan with
  • oil heated to 180°C (350°F) (or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds) for 3 minutes.
  • Drain the onion rings on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Assembly

  • Season the tomatoes, then cook them in a frying pan with a little olive oil over high heat, 2 minutes each side.
  • Put the pork belly rounds on the patties, cover with a stainless steel bowl and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes on each side.
  • Cut the buns in half horizontally and toast them for 2 minutes under the grill (broiler). Spread the cut side of the bun heels with the barbecue sauce, add the tomato slices, the patties, the onion rings and the iceberg lettuce. Top with the crowns.

Spicy Tuna Burger (4 servings)

spicy tuna

Homemade or bought buns

4 small, about 140g (5 oz) each tuna steaks

Drizzle of olive oil

Relish 1

2 red capsicums (peppers), seeded, membranes removed and cut into chunks

1 diced tomato

3 tablespoons of water

1 small cayenne chilli pepper

Relish 2

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

50g (13⁄4 oz) caster sugar

Toppings

1⁄2 cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves

  • Cut the tuna into rounds with a ring cutter.

Relish 1

  • Put the capsicum and diced tomato in a saucepan over medium heat, add the water and the cayenne pepper whole so you can remove it later.
  • Stew together for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Relish 2

  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion for 3 minutes over medium heat, covered.
  • Remove the lid and add the sugar when the onion starts to brown.
  • Stop cooking when well caramelised: allow about 8 minutes in all.

  • When cooking the patties, pour the olive oil into a hot frying pan and sear the tuna steaks for about 1 minute on each side—tuna is usually seared briefly on each side.

  • Finally, cut the buns in half horizontally and toast them for 2 minutes under the grill (broiler). Spread half of the tomato–capsicum relish over the cut side of the bun heels.
  • Add the caramelised onion, the tuna patties, the parsley and the remaining relish. Finish with the crowns.

For more fun, delicious and healthy hamburger recipes, check out David Japy, Élodie Rambaud and Victor Garnier's new book Hamburger Gourmet.