Dinner 3: Burgers & Beer

The Recipes

0 Comments 23 July 2010

We decided on a simple backyard BBQ for our third dinner. Hamburgers, potato salad, a salad of fresh greens from a local farmer’s market, sweet corn cooked in the husk on the grill, a rich bittersweet chocolate mousse for dessert, sangria, and beer out of the growler from the Cambridge Brewing Company. Here are the recipes and expect more information and photographs.

German Potato Salad
We got this great Lidia Matticchio Bastianich from the WGBH food blog, The Daily Dish.


  • 2.5 lbs. red potatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 3/4 cup sweet pickles (about 4 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces slab bacon, cut in ½-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons German-style mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Put whole, unpeeled potatoes into a pot with 2 to 3 quarts cold water, enough to cover them by a couple of inches. Bring the water to a gentle boil, and cook the potatoes until a knife blade pierces them easily to the center–but don’t let them overcook, split, or get mushy.
  2. When done, drain the potatoes in a colander, peel them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle, and slice into 1-inch cubes. Immediately toss the warm cubes in a bowl with the chopped scallions and pickles and 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. Meanwhile, put the olive oil and bacon pieces in the skillet, and set it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the bacon has rendered its fat and starts to crisp, 4 minutes or so. Whisk in the mustard and vinegar, and heat to a boil. Continue whisking until the dressing is smooth and emulsified, then pour it over the warm potatoes and toss. Sprinkle over it the chopped parsley, grinds of black pepper, and remaining teaspoon salt. Toss well, and serve right away.

A simple tasty burger, with built-in ketchup, mustard, and mayo
These flavor-packed burgers are easy to make from ingredients and seasonings you probably have on-hand. We used fresh ground grass-fed beef from River Rock Farm, a central-Massachusetts cattle farm in Brimfield and hamburger buns from the great local bakery, the Hi-Rise Bread Company. This recipe makes 4-5 burgers, depending on how big you like them.


  • 2 lbs. ground chuck
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup relish
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown or grainy mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • For Serving: 4-5 buns, sliced and toasted and toppings. Sliced avocado, lettuce, and cheddar cheese are great.


  1. In a large serving bowl, combine the ingredients with the beef and mix with your hands until evenly distributed.
  2. Starting with a handful of chuck, first shape into a ball and then press and shape into a 3/4 in. thick patty and place on a pre-heated grill
  3. Grill to desired doneness. We like using these Rösle grill thermometers. They help the grill-master keep track of his domain, especially when everybody wants their burger done a different way.

Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse
We were looking for a chocolate mousse recipe without alcohol, and Martha Stewart had one. A friend recommended we use Callebaut chocolate, which we picked up at Whole Foods.


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Raspberries (we got ours from the Kimball Fruit Farm) and fresh mint for garnish


  1. Finely chop chocolate; reserve. In a double boiler, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, quickly whisk in chopped chocolate until melted and cocoa until smooth (mixture will be thick). Cool to room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Whisk half of whipped cream into room-temperature chocolate mixture. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream with a rubber spatula. Divide mousse among four serving dishes. Chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  3. Remove mousse from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with raspberries and mint.

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