Be­tween the buns

Shrimp burg­ers are a tasty de­par­ture from the usual.

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Jean Marie Brown­son

We en­joy burg­ers all the time, be­cause their charred good­ness never ceases to sat­isfy. But for spe­cial events, such as La­bor Day week­end, we’ll splurge on a de­par­ture from the usual beef: crispy shrimp burg­ers with a spicy home­made may­on­naise.

These in­dul­gent burg­ers are in­spired by a mid­day feast trav­el­ing in the United King­dom with friends. Af­ter a morn­ing ex­plor­ing Abbey Road, we ven­tured to the Hol­born Din­ing Room in Lon­don’s Rose­wood Ho­tel. The gor­geous mar­ble, pol­ished wood and red-ac­cented brasserie is well known for our fa­vorite sum­mer cock­tail: the gin and tonic.

The Hol­born’s Gin Bar fea­tures more than 400 bou­tique gins and 27 tonic wa­ters. In ad­di­tion, the restau­rant makes home­made syrups and se­cret po­tions to turn out more than 14,000 pos­si­ble gin and tonic com­bi­na­tions. Fresh laven­der, mint, rose­mary, thyme and other botan­i­cals, des­tined for mud­dling into a bar glass, scent the room.

It took us a long time to se­lect a gin and a tonic com­bi­na­tion. In the end, a laven­der and pink grape­fruit G&T swept us away. Con­verted, we spent the rest of the trip col­lect­ing gins to trans­port home. Sev­eral ver­sions of home­made syrups now line the shelf of my fridge.

The Hol­born shrimp burger like­wise haunts our memories. Ver­sions at local restau­rants pale in com­par­i­son. Fi­nally, I ven­tured into the kitchen to work on re-cre­at­ing it. Turns out, raw shrimp, some of it chopped and some nearly pureed, yield the juicy, nearly bouncy burger rem­i­nis­cent of Hol­born’s signature sand­wich. A hot, oily grid­dle, not a grill, cre­ates a per­fectly crusty ex­te­rior.

Ac­com­pany the burg­ers with an icy cold gin and tonic. Your labors will be ap­pre­ci­ated.

PHO­TOS BY ABEL URIBE/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE; MARK GRA­HAM/FOOD STYLING

Shrimp burg­ers and a grape­fruit and laven­der gin and tonic are in­spired by of­fer­ings served at the Hol­born Din­ing Room in Lon­don’s Rose­wood Ho­tel.

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