Oh! What a glory day it was to celebrate the day of freedom. The dupe (our house) celebrated honored our country with great pride by coming together to make an awesome freedom meal.....well actually, to be honest, we really just needed an excuse to convince Jesse to make his infamous burgers made with red wine reduced sauce and shallots. Ever since he first mentioned the process on how to make those burgers a year ago, we've been dreaming about it ever since. So what better time to make a burger than on July the 4th?
Chika on the other hand took charge of making some homemade french fries & curry ketchup! You'd think that making fries is easy as cutting it up and just throwing them into a giant pot of hot oil...well, not these twice-fried-perfectly-crispy-outside-with-soft-inside-fries.
Chika peeled, sliced, and soaked them in water the day before to take out some starch. This was an important step to ensure the best result for the ultimate fries.
At the dupe, we don't joke around. We don't just do the most obvious and quickest cooking technique. We like to prolong the process, add more steps, or reduce whatever liquid we can to make these seemingly simple dishes more than awesome.

The burgers and fries were beyond my expectations. Burgers were juicy and well flavored...the fries were crunchy and soft at the same time. It was just heavenly. Burgers+fries=Freedom=Food coma in heaven.......with burger angels. ooh yeah.....
For dessert, I made Chocolate croissant bread pudding. This also required an extra step of pre-toasting the croissant so it's extra crunch and buttery! This is not a dish that's highly recommended for the South Beach dieters...fyi.
I used a recipe online, but altered it a little by adding sherry to the sauce and used 97% dark chocolate. I topped it with some toasted hazelnut and homemade cinnamon whipping cream. But here's my slightly altered recipe:
Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
  • 4 to 5 large croissants, cut into 1-inch cubes to measure 6 cups
  • 5 tablespoons softened butter, divided
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 / 2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sherry or brandy
  • chopped toasted hazelnut for garnish
  • Fresh mint for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut croissant into 1 inch cubes. Spread croissant on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted; set aside and turn oven off. Spread 1 tablespoon butter in the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish and add toasted croissant cubes. Heat half and half and remaining butter in a medium saucepan until almost boiling; add vanilla and sherry; cool to room temp. Whisk together sugar and eggs in a medium bowl and slowly whisk in chocolate mixture. Fill bottom of baking dish with one layer of croissant (use about a third of the croissant cubes), sprinkle with chocolate. Pour sauce over croissant cubes, making sure that all are coated with mixture. Repeat step until the whole dish is filled with croissant, chocolate, and sauce. Let stand for 1 hour and preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm with whipping cream or ice cream!

After our meal, we enjoyed a bike ride to Fremont and watched the amazing fireworks by Lake Union. It was a good freedom day.