Poupon, Please

I’m on President Barack Obama’s side. But before you accuse me of playing politics, I want you to know this is all about food.

It seems that recently President Obama was criticized as an elitist by several conservatives — including Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh guest host Mark Steyn and Laura Ingraham of Talk Radio Network — for ordering a hamburger with "spicy mustard" or "Dijon mustard" while out eating with Vice President Joe Biden at a burger joint in Arlington, Va.

Hannity said that Obama ordered a "fancy burger" with a "very special condiment," while Steyn added Obama is trying "to enlighten us" through his order. And Ingraham asked this question: "What kind of man orders a cheeseburger without ketchup but Dijon mustard? … The guy orders a cheeseburger without ketchup? What is that?"

I’m not going to get into the Republican-Democrat thing here. I just want to say that Dijon mustard is great on burgers as well as numerous other dishes, including seafood.

The folks at Grey Poupon have taken it a step further. They’ve issued an open letter to President Obama urging him to grant “pardons” to all Americans who have ever been criticized for their love of Dijon mustard. (A copy of the letter can be viewed at www.greypouponpardon.com, where classic Grey Poupon “Pardon Me” television commercials also can be seen.

Here’s my take on the "controversy": I love regular old mustard and ketchup on burgers, but what’s wrong with switching things up once in a while. Heck, it would get pretty boring if we ate the same thing all the time.

And besides, the right to pick our burger condiments freely is quintessentially American and embodies the spirit of our democracy.

Here are a couple of recipes, one for a tasty burger, the other shrimp, both featuring a Dijon-flavored topping.  

Open-Faced Mushroom Burgers on Pumpernickel
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 8-ounce container sliced cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons Dijon or herb-flavored mustard
1 pound ground beef round
½ cup half-and-half or milk
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon salt
4 thin slices Cheddar cheese (optional)
4 slices pumpernickel bread
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat butter in a large skillet until melted over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer; stir in mustard. Cook 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a grill pan or broiler. Mix the ground beef, half-and-half, horseradish and salt in a medium bowl; form into 4 burgers to fit the bread slices. Grill or broil on a broiler pan to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium, placing cheese on top during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Place pumpernickel slices on 4 plates; top with burgers. Top burgers with mushrooms; sprinkle with parsley.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutrition analysis per serving: 365 calories, 48 percent of calories from fat, 20 grams fat, 10 grams saturated fat, 95 milligrams cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams protein, 953 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Spicy Lemon Shrimp
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
½ cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
Set oven’s control to broil. In a medium bowl, stir lemon peel, lemon juice, red pepper, salt, garlic and oil until well-mixed. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Spread shrimp onto a nonstick baking sheet and broil the shrimp about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm.
In a food processor, place the basil, light mayonnaise and milk. Cover and process until smooth. Serve shrimp with the mayonnaise.
Yield: Serves 4 as an entree.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (¼ of the shrimp with 2 tablespoons basil mayonnaise): 260 calories, 14.8 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrates, 636 milligrams sodium, 172 milligrams cholesterol, 23 grams protein.
 

Shrimp Dijonnaise
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
In a large resealable bag, combine all ingredients, seal the bag and turn to coat shrimp thoroughly. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, turning occasionally. Drain and discard marinade. Preheat your oven’s broiler. Spread shrimp onto a nonstick baking sheet and broil the shrimp about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm.
Yield: Serves 4 as an entree.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (¼ of shrimp): 237 calories, 12.7 fat grams, 6 grams carbohydrates, 317 milligrams sodium, 172 milligrams cholesterol, 23 grams protein.

One thought on “Poupon, Please

  1. You can’t criticize Obama for anything, even for his condiment choice, without getting the lefties razzled up.

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