Like delicious collaboration beets, this recipe started with a conversation that juxtaposed unexpected ingredients. This time my frolleague Carl raised doubts about the prospect of cardamom and rosewater in burgers. I use cardamom for cooking with beef all the time, and I was intrigued by the idea of adding rosewater. I was a little concerned that the rosewater might be too sweet, but a quick taste reminded me that rosewater is not itself sweet, even though it's often used in desserts. Even Younger pronounced these a success. Here you have the process we followed tonight:
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef*
1/2 cup 4C seasoned breadcrumbs*
1/2 Tbsp cardamom, ground**
2/3 tsp cumin, ground**
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp rosewater
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Heat cast iron skillet over med-high heat and coat with cooking oil of choice (olive oil in my kitchen).
Form a tiny, one-bite burger, cook, taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
Divide burger mix into four or six even portions, form into burger shapes, and cook to desired doneness in skillet.
Serve with caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, sharp mustard, and feta. Today, I had pita from my neighborhood halal market, but I would eat these again with onion buns from the regular grocery.
* Grass-fed beef tends to be less fatty than standard beef in US grocery stores, and I made a lot of unsatisfactory burgers before I started including egg and breadcrumbs as binders. If you're using regular ground beef, you may not need the egg and breadcrumbs.
** Sorry, I grabbed the weird measuring spoons.