Tag Archives: onions

New Beginnings: The Triestine Burger

Season three. (Better late than never)

“It’s about time” is absolutely right. I’ve been dilly-dallying. The original plan was to kick off the season with the still-in-the-works documentary about the creator of MSB, myself. The final version is still being touched up, and I’m hoping it will be ready before February is here.

But that is neither here nor there.

Let the beasting begin.

A new basketball season brings us a new appetite and a new MSB season. What’s more is that the new basketball season has brought me all the way to Trieste, Italy. Trieste is essentially the last city in Italy of the Northeast; it sits at the end of a very thin strip of land completely surrounded by northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia.  At some points, only a few miles separates the Slovenian boarder and the Adriatic sea.

Trieste is also home to one of the most strange weather occurrences that I can recall (coming from New England this is very impressive to me). The Bora is a hurricane like gust of wind that comes down the mountainside and barrels through the city with enough force to knock over people, flip tractor trailers, and throw boats from the water onto land. Experiencing the Bora is not a rare instance in Trieste. There is no sand on Trieste’s beaches because of the Bora. It also doesn’t snow in Trieste, it ices.

Trieste is that old wise grandpa you wish you had. It has seen it all, and is full of history.

An ever famous port city that has seen days as a Byzantine military post for Constantinople in the mid-fourth century, to being the number one port of the Habsburg Empire during the early 1700’s, to enduring hard times while being occupied by the fascist regime in the 1930’s, to having the only concentration camp with a creamatorium in Italy during the German occupation of the 40’s, to becoming the quiet, once bustling port city of Italy that it is today. Trieste has undoubtedly weathered some fairly burdensome times.

A past, of which, only adds to the vast array of local and history-influenced flavors that Trieste has to offer.

One of the main culinary staples of the city is something called ćevapčići (pronounced CHE-VAAP-CHEE-CHEE). A dish of Balkan origin which consists usually of mixed lamb, beef, and pork and other various spices. When I first got to Trieste, coming off of playing in Sardinia and Ostuni, I had no idea the amount of influence that the surrounding countries had on Trieste’s cuisine. You can imagine that kebab-like breakfast sausage looking things were right up my alley. I bought a grill specifically for cooking these scrumptious meat logs. The thing about ćevapčići is that they are served with this sauce called Avjar, which is a relishy-type sauce made from red bell peppers and garlic, it can be spicy or not-so-spicy, depending on what you want. It is absolutely inconceivable to me that I was not made aware of avjar before arriving here in Trieste. Unreal. It can be put on anything from toast, to eggs, you name it. Typically, avjar is mixed with raw onions and served on the ćevapčići. It sounds strange, and maybe raw onions aren’t up your alley, but believe me when I tell you that these three ingredients make a most excellent unified flavor of sweet, spicy, savory and awesome that your taste buds can only fathom before experiencing it for themselves.

Naturally, in true Snack Beast fashion, I must make a burger out of all of this.

THE SNACK

Pretty straightforward here (and on the smaller side in my opinion):

Double burger, Worchestershired, Louis style. I prefer Louis style with most of my burgers because that’s how the first hamburgers were made, I really like the idea of serving burgers on flat toasted bread; and the hamburger buns in Italy lie somewhere between the quality of two week-old challah and sponge cake.

All three important ćevapčići ingredients, including Avjar and raw minced onions.

As an added bonus I fried some mozzarella,  mozz is one of my favorite cheeses to put on a burger other than the amazing flavor,  it doesn’t melt, it gets really stretchy and pully, which adds to the experience.

In hindsight I probably should have used three burger patties rather than two, I felt like that toast wanted more burger to hold.

In the end I really enjoyed the Triestine, especially using my toast to wipe up all the burger drippings and avjar mix that was left on the plate after I was done. Pure heaven.

Until next time.

Beast on, fellow snackers.

 

@DDNumeroUno

 

Have a suggestion? Let me know!

 

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Creamy Bacon Onion Tomato Toast

So I had some extra pancetta (bacon) in my fridge, and I decided to fry it up with some onions and spices, and put that over some tomatoes toast, then drizzle some creamy Italian dressing over that… not too bad at all kiddies.

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Classic Remix: “The Drive-By” Shooter’s Sandwich Gone Philly Style.

Slapping something between two pieces of bread… Genius? I think so.

The sandwich has been a food staple dating back to the beginning of the Common Era. Ever since Hillel the Elder put some lamb and bitter herbs between two pieces of matzah, the sandwich has become one of the most innovative and creativity-laden snacks of this day and age.

The Idea: “The Shooter’s Sandwich” A portable Beef Wellington so Edwardian era hunters wouldn’t go hungry during a day out in the field.

The Twist: I don’t really care for beef wellingtons at all so I added an american twist, what better than the Philly cheese steak? You cross a shooter and Philadelphia, what do you get? Obviously a Drive-By, hence the name.

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 steaks, no bones, and big enough to fit inside your bread interstitial.

Bell pepper (the one in my picture is GIANT, and I didn’t use all of it)

Onion

Mushrooms

Cheese (I used Mozz. Only because I live in Italy on top of a cheese bodega)

STEPS:

I started out with a large, 1lb. loaf of bread, and sliced off the top.

Hooked out most of the bread inside and inside the top of the bread to make space for the steaky goodness, I also buttered the inside of the top bread cap.

I diced up the pepper, onion, and shrooms; and sauteed them in 3 Tbs of butter, pinched on some black pepper, salt, garlic

Next, I seared one of the steaks very quickly (about 1 minute each side) and stuffed it, directly from the pan, into the bread, juices and all.

I then took my now sauteed onion pepper and mushroom mix and poured that on top of the steak.

I added the second steak to the pan.

While this steak was searing, and because I have quick, Jedi-like dicing abilities, I diced the mozzarella and spread it over the veggies.

After the second steak was done, again that went directly from the pan to the sandwich with no resting.

I added the bread cap back on, wrapped it in a plastic lined paper bag, I suggest using wax or butchers paper for those who have it.

I wrapped that in a plastic bag, and pressed it with whatever I could find to make the sandwich flat.

This is the kicker: I then left for practice for about 3.5 hours (apparently you are supposed to leave it overnight but I don’t have that type of self control when it comes to food), the idea here is to let the sandwich self cook a little and let all those juices get absorbed by that bread. Don’t worry, the sandwich won’t go bad. The idea behind the original Shooter’s Sandwich was that the hunters could take the sandwich out and have it readily available to them at any point in the day without refrigeration.

After the sandwich has rested for a couple hours, take off the plastic, and cut directly through the butcher’s paper.

I took a video of me eating it, BUT due to my beastly eating habits, the content of the video would be considered illegal in a few states, so Ill leave it out.

Thank me later.

Beast on, fellow snackers.

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