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All-Pureed Hamburger and French Fries

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Family Story

I inherited my love for cooking from my Japanese American mother. She taught me about delicious tastes, fragrances, and the visual art of preparing Japanese foods for our family and friends. So when my dear friend, Margaret, a pastry chef, was diagnosed with tongue cancer, I didn’t hesitate to cook for her. Learning that her cancer treatment would cause horrific pain and temporary loss of taste, I developed a three-dimensional pureed food technique focused on the natural visual beauty of whole foods with a whimsical "comfort food" theme. I made five servings of each of the nineteen different types of pureed meals and froze them so Margaret would have nourishment during and after her cancer treatment. My book, “Cooking For Her Eyes: A Story of Music, Food, Love, and Death,” is about my cooking journey, starting from my mother’s Japanese dishes to creating 100 pureed meals for Margaret.


1 Step

Hamburger Bun: Place bread slices (outer crusts removed) in a blender and puree, adding a bit of milk to thin (should be a mildly firm, bread dough-like consistency). Top of the bun: Spread part of the mixture in a plastic-lined, small, shallow bowl and freeze. Bottom of the bun: Spread the balance of the bread puree on a cookie sheet, and when workably frozen, use a round cookie cutter, the same diameter as the shallow bowl, to create the bottom half of the bun; return to freezer. When both sides of the bun are frozen, remove the plastic liner from the bun top, and brush on some sweet potato puree glaze on the outside of each bun to give it color. Hamburger: Thoroughly cook ground beef and puree, adding a bit of water to thin. French Fries: Thoroughly cook and puree potatoes; spread on a cookie sheet, and put in the freezer until workably frozen, then cut them into strips; brush on a pureed sweet potato glaze for color. Toppings: "Cheese" (puree of roasted yellow bell pepper) "Lettuce" (puree of broccoli) "Catsup" (puree of roasted red bell pepper) Note #1: Quantities are estimated and will vary depending on the performance of the appliance used to puree. Note #2: Since I prepared all the pureed meals for my friend with tongue cancer who could not tolerate any spices, I cooked with only whole foods and did not add any flavorings or spices.


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