Eating out: Fresnan wins with blue cheese burger
Jan 01, 2013 (The Fresno Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Cremini mushrooms, rosemary rolls from La Boulangerie and gooey, melted blue cheese were the keys to a local cook winning a national burger contest.
Kara Adanalian of Fresno won the national "Show us how you melt" burger competition in December, hosted by Wendy's and food blog Serious Eats. Her "Xtreme Mushroom Bleu Burger" won her $5,000 and a trip to New York for the competition.
Adanalian is a graphic designer by trade, but she also is a "contest cook" who regularly enters -- and in Adanalian's case, wins -- cooking contests. She has won the grand prize at three competitions and placed in several others.
But back to the food.
Adanalian's entry featured a burger cooked with marsala wine and garlic. It's topped with triple-cream bleu cheese -- she likes the Cambozola brand -- and arugula. Onions and mushrooms sauteed in butter and more marsala make the cheese extra melted.
"The cheese was what did it for me," she said. "It was the most important part."
She had envisioned all of this goodness on a toasted artisan rosemary sandwich roll that would soak up the dripping juices of the burger. She found it at La Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe.
The bakery doesn't regularly make the rolls. They're actually the dough from their rosemary breadsticks made in a different form. But you can order the sandwich rolls from La Boulangerie as long as you buy at least a dozen.
Adanalian thought that a city the size of New York would have a bakery selling similar rosemary rolls. But after making endless phone calls, she couldn't find them. The version that the contest organizers provided her were "hard as a rock" and "terrible," she said.
She had brought some La Boulangerie rolls with her just in case and ended up winning the contest with them, even though they were four days old.
"I cannot believe that (in New York) of all places on the planet, I couldn't find these rolls," she said. "But I got them in Fresno, Calif., my hometown."
Her recipe for the burger is below. You can see a video of Adanalian and the other two finalists at: BURGER VIDEO.
-- Fans of the Grand Palace Chinese restaurant, I have good news for you.
The restaurant is planning to reopen in the former Carrows at 1484 E. Shaw Ave. near Millbrook Avenue.
Ever since the restaurant closed in October due to lease issues -- with the promise of reopening elsewhere -- many of you have asked where they would reopen.
They're shooting to open this month and I'll keep you updated on a specific date.
The family still has a lot of work to do and is rebuilding much of the interior themselves.
Tracy Young, who you probably saw waiting tables at the old location, was working away in a face mask and gloves when I stopped by.
The restaurant will have a new name, too: New City Chinese Restaurant. It's the same food -- Mandarin food and dim sum -- and the same family, including the chef.
"Hopefully, this is the luckiest name for us," Young says.
-- Wayside Noodles is open at Fig Garden Village.
The Vietnamese restaurant sells pho and other noodle soups, noodle and rice dishes and banh mi sandwiches. For soups, it offers beef, chicken and a vegetarian broth.
Wayside Noodles is a fast-casual restaurant, tucked in the northeast corner of the shopping center in the former WineStyles wine shop. It's the second location in Fresno -- the first, on Milburn Avenue near Herndon Avenue, will remain open -- and the fourth location statewide.
Xtreme Mushroom Bleu Burger
1 pound freshly ground chuck (beef)
4-6 large cloves fresh garlic (about 4 teaspoons minced)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine (like Florio brand or Colombo)
8 ounces triple-cream blue cheese
9 ounces freshly sliced cremini mushrooms
4 rosemary burger rolls (see note)
4 small handfuls fresh baby arugula (about 1-2 ounces)
Divide beef into four patties, season each side with equal amounts of minced garlic, a few grinds of black pepper and a drizzle of Marsala wine.
In a large skillet over medium high, heat water and about 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add onions and about 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until water has evaporated and saute until tender and slightly browned. Remove from heat.
In same skillet saute mushrooms in single-layer batches with equal amounts of remaining butter and season with black pepper, cooking until nicely caramelized. Add reserved onions and Marsala, and continue cooking until liquid is almost evaporated. Keep warm.
Lightly toast cut sides of rolls, spread inside of each top with a small amount of cheese while still warm.
Over a hot grill, cook patties to your taste (about 3-4 minutes per side), season lightly with kosher salt. While still warm, top each with equal portions of remaining cheese.
To assemble, place one beef patty on each of the roll bottoms. Top with equal portions of warm mushroom mixture, a small handful of arugula and remaining tops of buns. Serve immediately!
Note: The texture of the rolls should be similar to a focaccia bread (more substantial than a regular hamburger bun, but not as heavy as a sourdough roll). If unavailable, a tablespoon (two tender sprigs) of freshly chopped rosemary leaves mixed with a tablespoon of butter or extra virgin olive oil is requested so the buns can be seasoned.
-- Kara Adanalian
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6431, email@example.com or @BethanyClough on Twitter.
___ (c)2013 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.) Visit The Fresno Bee (Fresno,
Calif.) at www.fresnobee.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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