Monday, May 31, 2010

Burgers and Bleu

Happy Memorial Day!

Here's to all the veterans who have served our country well. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you want to know a little about Memorial Day, check out this Wikipedia link.

And now to how important family can be. I adore my family. It's multi-layered (extended), with kids, step-kids, surrogate kids. I adore them all and I'm so lucky to have them in my life. What's more fun than having a crowd for a cookout?

My protagonist, Charlotte, adores her family. Like me, she takes any opportunity to have a cookout with her family and extended family. Her grandfather "Pepere" loves to barbecue. Grandmere is in charge of the cocktails and fun. Potluck? That just goes with the territory.

My favorite thing to fix at a cookout is a burger. And what could be tastier than a burger and blue cheese?

For today's cookout, to keep things light, I decided to make my rendition of a "steak salad."

First, I tested out two blue cheeses: Irish Cashel Blue and Papillon Roquefort, both recommended by my local cheesemonger. They were so different. The Irish Cashel Blue had a creamy texture with a smooth, almost sweet taste. The Papillon Roquefort was pungent, tangy. In the picture to the right [the Papillon is the one on the right of the plate], notice the difference in the textures of the cheeses, the pockets of "blue air".

Whatever your pleasure when it comes to blue cheese, this mock steak salad is a tasty treat!

Barbecue and Blue

(one portion)
8 ounces hamburger, formed into patty
1 ounce blue cheese (Papillon Roquefort)
1 Tablespoon pistachios
1 Tablespoon spicy mustard
1/2 cup mixed greens
3 olives
1 Tablespoon grated carrots
1 slice red onion
2 slices mushrooms
2 slices cucumbers


Set your salad plate first. Arrange so that it's pretty to the eye.
Set the red onion on top of the lettuce.
Squirt a swizzle of mustard on the onion.

Cook the burger to your liking. I like 3-4 minutes a side, depending on the temperature of the coals/barbecue/broiler.

Set the burger on top of the mustard and onion.

Serve with a hearty red wine. A zinfandel will really match with the spicy flavors of the cheese without dominating.


By the way, Julie's contest is almost at an end, so hurry up and enter!

Julie's Contest!

Julie’s first book in The Manor House Mystery series, Grace Under Pressure (starred review in Publishers Weekly!), debuts TOMORROW!

To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Pre-order Grace Under Pressure, and you're eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!)

No receipts required. Just email Julie at with the date that you pre-ordered and the name of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Put "CONTEST" in the subject header!)

And Julie's provided a few helpful links to get you started:

Independent Bookstore List: here

- Mystery Lovers Bookshop (free shipping on book orders over $10!)
- Centuries & Sleuths (Julie's local mystery bookstore)

-Barnes & Noble


Have fun!!!! And good luck. ~Avery


  1. Happy Memorial Day!

    Burger looks appetizing.

  2. Great recipe. Happy Memorial Day everyone at Mystery Lovers Kitchen. Have fun.

    Thoughts in Progress

  3. Avery - that is one loaded burger! Great idea to use the blue. Have a good Memorial Day, everyone. :)

    ~ Cleo
    Memorial Day Coffee Drawing today LIVE at 7 PM (est)
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. Love this! Great idea for those of us who like to go bun-less. I never thought of making a burger salad but I'm jumping all over this one, Avery!

    I wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day as we take time to remember those who have sacrificed all for the freedoms we enjoy.


  5. Avery, what a great post... buns are over rated some days

  6. Oh, "Year,"
    LOL :) Grinning from ear to ear.

  7. This I am making! Can hardly wait. MJ

  8. What's more traditional than a burger? I bet more people are grilling burgers this weekend than anything else. Yum! The blue cheese on top is perfect, though bread lover that I am, I might be tempted to put the burger, the cheese, and that lovely slice of red onion on a bun -- no matter what Dave says about buns. ; )

    ~ Krista

  9. Oh YUM~!

    I was eying that red onion, too, Krista! Looks absolutely delicious. And I haven't put blue cheese on a burger...why didn't I think of that!

  10. Glad everybody is enjoying. Happy day! ~Avery

  11. Happy Memorial Day! Oh, I love blue cheese
    on a burger. Yu-u-um! Great pics, Avery!
    I'm drooling.