Sunday, September 6, 2009

The capers made it.

Tonight we made tuna burgers. To paraphrase Guy Fieri, a tuna cake is tiny but a tuna burger is huge! We put combined canned tuna, capers (yay!), freshly shredded parmasean, crumbled club crackers, an egg, salt and pepper (of course) and some mayo. Then we shaped the mixture into patties. We fried these in a pan and served on toasted buns with a spicy aioli and finely chopped scallions.

I think I mentioned I'm letting myself make mayonnaise based sauces here and there. For a long time, I avoided them because Darling Husband was very against them. I decided somewhat recently that he doesn't have to eat them, but I can enjoy them all the same. Tonight's was made with a thai chili pepper from the garden and some white balsamic vinegar added to the mayo. It was thin, tangy, spicy and briny tasting. It made a nice counterpoint to the tuna, I felt. I did get one bite with way too much spice in it--but that's the nature of the beast!

I really enjoyed the burgers, particularly the crunchy crust from letting them in the pan for a while. It was a nice texture counterpoint to the fairly creamy burger. The capers were fantastic, salty little pockets of flavor studded throughout. Great job to Darling Husband for thinking of them. They were actually best when they were on the very outside and got fried themselves. What a cool garnish that would be for something!

Capers are just cool little things. They are the pickled buds of the caper bush, which I understand to be a prickly thing which produces beautiful flowers (see picture) as well as fruit called caper berries. My father puts pickled caper berries in his martinis sometimes. The taste of capers reminds me of steak tartare as a child.

Making these burgers again, I'd probably add some fresh greens to the sandwich, such as bibb lettuce. I might also add some fresh herbs to the patties, and make sure they're not too thick so as to preserve the crunchy crust to soft middle ratio.

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