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Topical Currents

Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen with Author Anne Willan

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09/24/15 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview Anne Willan author of Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen. She created La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris 40 years ago. She now teaches in California. She gives tips on how to make the basic recipes we all need to create great dishes at home. How about a perfect pie crust? 

~~Dinner in Minutes~~

Autumn Burger Sliders with Red Pepper and Sweet Potatoes – to welcome the first days of autumn.

Mushrooms, onion and a hint of maple syrup add an Autumn flavor to these mini-burgers.
 
Using a microwave shortens the timing for this dinner and saves washing extra pots.
 
Look for extra lean ground sirloin in the market.  Ground turkey or chicken can be used instead of beef.
 
 
Recipes
 
AUTUMN BURGER SLIDERS
 
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
 
1/2 cup coarsely chopped button mushrooms
 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
 
2 tablespoons maple syrup
 
3/4 pound lean ground sirloin (95 percent lean)
 
4 whole wheat slider (mini hamburger rolls) rolls
 
Place onion and mushrooms in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
 
For stove-top, heat a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray.  Add onions and mushrooms and sauté 3 to 4 minutes.
 
 
 
Mix the mustard and maple syrup together and set aside.
 
 
 
Add half the mushrooms and onions and half the mustard mixture to the meat in a bowl.  Blend well.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Form into 4 small hamburgers (about 3 inches in diameter.)  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the hamburgers.  Saute 2 minutes, turn and sauté 3 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees for medium rare.  Place the burgers on the bottom of the 4 slider rolls.  Spoon the remaining mushrooms and onions over the burgers and pour the remaining mustard mixture on top.  Close the burgers with the tops of the slider rolls and serve 2 sliders per person.  Makes 2 servings.
 
RED PEPPER AND SWEET POTATOES
 
1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (1 3/4-cups)
 
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
 
2 teaspoons olive oil
 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Place potatoes and red bell pepper in a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap or a plate.  Microwave on high 5 minutes.  Let stand 1 minute. Remove cover and add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss well.  Makes 2 servings.
 
 
Nutrition Information
AUTUMN BURGER SLIDERS:Per serving: 495 calories (21 percent from fat), 11.7 g fat, (4.4 g saturated, 5.2 g monounsaturated), 216 mg cholesterol, 47.6 g protein, 48.6 g carbohydrates, 6.3 g fiber, 632 mg sodium. RED PEPPER AND SWEET POTATOES:Per serving: 152 calories (28 percent from fat), 4.7 g fat, (0.7 saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 2.4 g protein, 26.2 g carbohydrates, 4.7 g fiber, 64 mg sodium.
Shopping List
 
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.
 
To buy: 1 package button mushrooms, 1 jar Dijon mustard, 1 bottle maple syrup,
 
3/4 pound lean ground sirloin (95 percent lean), 1 package whole wheat slider (mini hamburger rolls), 1/2 pound sweet potatoes and 1 medium red bell pepper.
 
Staples: Onion, olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.
 
 
Helpful Hints
 
    Use 2 regular burger rolls is sliders aren’t available.
 
Countdown:
 
    Prepare ingredients.
    Start hamburgers.
    While hamburgers sauté, make potatoes and red pepper.

 
Copyright © Linda Gassenheimer

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 20 books including her newest, The Flavors of the Florida Keys and Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.  Follow Linda on Twitter: @LGassenheimer, Facebook: Linda Gassenheimer

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WLRN Radio's Joseph Cooper says producing and hosting Topical Currents is the most rewarding experience of his long radio career, which began at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in the 1970s.
Richard Ives came to WLRN in September 2000 to begin a new career in radio. Born in Fort Lauderdale, his family moved to Long Island, New York, where he grew up. After graduation from college and an unsatisfying stint in a job that, as he puts it, "paid the bills but for which I had no passion" he found himself contemplating a midlife career change after being laid-off.