Saturday. HOORAY! I thought you’d never come.
This week seemed to go by painfully slow. Maybe it was the unseasonably cloudy weather. Maybe it was because two weeks from today I’ll be sp-ahhhhing in Northern Virginia wine country with Lettuce and Yam, and you know how work is when vacation is on the horizon. Maybe it was just one of those weeks.
What made this particular one of those weeks bearable is that Apple Crisp and I had our annual fancy pants birthday dinner. About five or so years ago, we decided that rather buy each other birthday gifts, we’d doll ourselves up and go to a nice, more expensive than usual meal to celebrate. I mean, we both love food so much. One of the many ties that bind.
We’ve done a really good job of picking restaurants. I can’t say that we’ve ever been disappointed on our big nights out, and this year at Moto may have been my favorite so far, though I’m pretty sure every year both of us end up saying those words, that night’s meal fresh in our minds and bellies.
Moto is known for molecular gastronomy, mixing art and science in ways that allow chefs to create dishes that aren’t what they seem. We genuinely oohed and ahhed as the servers brought out plate after plate, and after dinner, we got a behind the scenes tour of the science lab, complete with liquid nitrogen and centrifuges, the kitchen and little hydroponic gardening room. It was all very cool.
During dinner, when talking to Apple Crisp about Australia, and my kind of lackluster attempt at picking exciting food from there (though, the Anzac have been a hit with everyone, Apple Crisp included), she said that everything was sort of weird…sort of Polynesian, sort of outback. Just weird. Funny, since at about that time we were eating a dessert of orange and raspberry sorbet placed atop a shortcake… designed to look like a chili dog. The irony was not lost on me.
In any event, Apple Crisp cited the Aussie Burger as one of these really weird foods.
What exactly is an Aussie burger?
Well…it’s a ground beef patty topped with pineapple, pickled beets, sriracha mayo and an egg, all nicely encased in a bun.
That did sound weird.
But, I had to make it. I mean, it’s the AUSSIE BURGER.
Could I stomach it?
I had flashbacks to all the other weird food I’d made in the Pacific Islands (Kapisi Pulu comes to mind). However, I also had flashbacks to food that I thought would be weird but ended up being a favorite (Bobotie, anyone?). Therefore, tally ho, onward.
I will confess that changed it up a bit. I made it into chili.
It’s still weird, but don’t be scared. Well, you can be scared, but trust me.
I decided to make chili because last night it was 50 degrees and rainy. Not burger weather. Definitely chili weather.
Taking the flavors of the Aussie Burger and melding it with the flavors of traditional chili, my dinner came together to be sort of a sweet and sour chili. I will say that I think the egg is necessary by tempering some of the sweet.
Thoughts? Not half bad. Not bad at all, actually.
I’m serious. Do you trust me?
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 TB chili powder
- 3 TB red chili paste
- 1 TB cumin
- ½ cup pineapple, diced
- ½ cup pickled beets, diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes, with liquids
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 4-6 eggs (depending on how many bowls you have)
- Cilantro to garnish
- 2 TB olive oil, plus a bit more for the eggs
- Heat a large, deep stock heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, chili paste and salt and pepper.
- Add the ground turkey, and cook until brown, stirring often. Add the beets, pineapple, beans, tomatoes and stock. Reduce heat the low and let simmer about 15 minutes.
- While the chili is simmering, add a dollop of oil to a skillet and fry the eggs. I like mine over medium.
- To serve, fill a bowl with the chili and place an egg on top.
- Beef would no doubt work well.
- No meat at all would also work well.