Monday, June 7, 2010

Crazy Days

So it has been a few days since I have posted anything. Thankfully Kerrie stepped up and filled in the gap. Between BBQ's and a lot of hours of work I have not done much cooking until today. Since I felt like my head was above water for the first time in a while I wanted to take advantage and get some food to the table. Unfortunately I was craving junk food and I really didn't want to go that way. So instead I turned my craving for a burger into a nice meal that, while it was not perfectly healthy, was a whole lot better than a burger out. Thus we wound up with

Fresh ground sirloin and chuck roast burgers with fresh Pico de Gallo and avocado. Served with Grilled chili lime corn on the cob.
For the Pico
I have to say I really just winged this one so these are all approximates
5 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped and mostly seeded
I like the ones on the vine, they just smelled great today
1 vidalia onion roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic smashed
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and ribs removed, sliced
1 handful of fresh cilantro, just tear off a big handful
Olive oil
chili powder

Throw everything into your food processor and pulse until it is blended and all chopped, I like my pico very chunky. Do this up ahead of time if you can so it can set and the flavors can blend. Then you can season to taste.

For the burgers 
16 ounces Chuck roast
12 ounces of Sirloin
kosher salt
Whole wheat rolls
Pepper jack cheese
1/2 an avocado sliced

Sprinkle the meat liberally with salt and cut into one inch pieces, run the pieces through your meat grinder with a medium size plate.  What's that? You don't have meat grinder? Right then, you can go ahead and use ground beef, or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous you can run the meat through your food processor until it is coarsely ground. All my Rochester area friends, you know those chopped steak burgers we all love so much at Don and Bobs, Tom Wahls, Shalers etc, well that is about what you get when you chop some steaks up in a food processor. Just don't grind it too much or for too long, heat is your enemy.

Form the beef into 6 ounce patties, you can go bigger or smaller but 6 ounces is about perfect for me (you need a scale, you really do).  Form the patties to be about the size of your buns or a little bigger, use your fingers to make a dent in the center of each patty. This will help it cook more evenly and prevent bloated burgers with juicy centers and dry edges.

You can grill the burgers or pan fry them, I actually like to pan fry fresh burgers like this, I like the crust you get from a good hot pan and I like being able to regulate the temperature more effectively. Heat up a griddle or large frying pan with a thin layer of oil (or butter if you are so inclined), get it nice and hot then put the burgers on dimple side up, reduce the heat to medium and let them cook for a few minutes. Then flip , you should see a nice brown crust on the burgers, let them cook another couple of minutes then add your pepper jack. It helps to cover the burgers for a few minutes once you have the cheese on, it melts much better.

Now since you made these burgers yourself from meat that you selected and cut yourself you can make them as rare as you like, I like mine pretty rare.

While the burgers are cooking prepare your rolls, you can toast them if you like, I typically don't unless the rolls are a day old or so. The recipe that inspired me to make this called for a thin layer of Greek yogurt on the bottom of the bun, that would have been an excellent choice. I went with my standard which is some mayo and fresh black pepper. The yogurt with the black pepper would have been better.Once the burgers are done to your liking put them on the bun, and finish dressing the burger, add your avocado slices and top with a big spoonful of your pico de gallo. While you are dressing the burger the juices from the meat will have melted your mayo or yogurt and turned it into a delicious sauce. Thank you Alton Brown

With the nice fresh pico, the creamy avocado and the delicious sauce on the bun you won't need another thing to make this burger great.

I served the burgers with grilled chili lime corn on the cob. This one is so easy and fast you will kick yourself for not trying it before.

As many ears of corn as you want or can fit on your grill
Fresh lime juice
chili powder
olive oil
kosher salt

Pre heat your grill
Take off the outermost layer of your corn husk then peel the rest almost all the way off leaving it attached at the bottom, you can give the husk a couple of twists and it should stay in place at the bottom like a nice handle. I like to tie mine with some kitchen string to keep it in place. Oh come on you don't have a kitchen string dispenser on your counter? How did you tie the tails of your coffee crusted pork tenderloins in place when you made them. Oh right I skipped that step since I didn't expect anyone to do it. If you are curious just ask.

Once you have the corn ready lay it out on a cookie sheet  and mix together the juice of one lime, a teaspoon or so of chili powder and a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and pinch of salt. Those amounts will coat 4-5 ears of corn nicely.
Pour the mixture over the corn and rub it in, you can see it soak in between the kernels. Put the corn on your hot grill and cook it for 6-8 minutes turning it often so it doesn't get too charred. It is really easy to overcook it, pull if off the fire as soon as you feel the kernels start to soften, it will cook a lot more after you remove it from the heat so if you keep it on the grill until it is soft then it will be overdone by the time you eat it.

It doesn't need need anything else, the slightly charred flavor from the grill along with the lime, chili and salt is a great combination.

A nice green salad would go well with the overall meal

I had a Labatt blue light lime with dinner and it was an excellent complement.

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