Monday, July 7, 2008

Taste & Create Seasonal: Grilling Cheese-Filled Goodness

And here I didn't think the typical made-at-home burger could get any better! For this round of Taste & Create (a special seasonal grilling version), I was paired with the event's creator and lovely hostess Nicole of For the Love of Food. I'm a big fan of Taste & Create, and I was tickled to try a grilling swap - even though I don't actually own a grill (grill pans and broiling were both allowed!)

Ultimately, I chose her Cheese-Stuffed Burgers. Why? Because I'd never stuffed a burger before, and I was intrigued by the inclusion of jam in the mix. You heard me. Jam. In. The. Mix. Now, hers specifically calls for apricot, but I didn't have any and couldn't rationalize buying a whole jar for a half-teaspoon. So I used what I had - peach - and I probably used a full teaspoon. I wasn't measuring, but it seemed like a bigger blob. My other modification was to use ground bison instead of beef - both leaner and more humanely raised, more often than not. I was at Wegmans for my shopping, and while I don't normally get my meats there, I also wasn't in the mood for a special trip to my butcher. Lazy, a little, but I tried to swap out smartly. These burgers are so tasty! I had a little bit of cheese seepage (now that's a sentence I bet you didn't expect), but overall, the cheese stayed where it was supposed to. The burgers were moist and flavorful (and not the least bit jammy.) I skipped a bun, but Dave doctored a sub roll, and he liked it a lot.

We didn't have dinner until close to 9:30 last night. We'd had a late, large breakfast and shared a pretzel at the mall after our movie (Wall-E - go see it!), so we just weren't hungry earlier. While Dave talked to his parents on the phone, I mixed and filled the patties. I also prepared this little salad of roasted beets, fennel and orange. I wasn't in my right mind, it seems, because it was a salad entirely composed of things Dave doesn't like. See, we received beets in our CSA last week... and we tried beets last summer and decided we didn't like them. I was determined to give them another go and found this recipe in Fresh Every Day. It looked good to me... I just wasn't thinking. In the end, it all worked out, because something about all of those ingredients really clicked, and Dave liked it. We even had the extra for lunch today. Whew, saved!

This was a lovely summer grilling dinner. A delicious, easily-prepared burger, alongside a salad that surprised us in its goodness.

Cheese-Stuffed Burgers
c/o Nicole at For the Love of Food

1/4 Cup finely shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup fresh finely shredded Parmesan (originally calls for Gruyere)
1 lb. 90% lean Ground Beef (ground Sirloin)
*1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
*1/8 teaspoon Fructose (or Sugar)
*1/2 teaspoon Fructose-based Apricot preserves
1 1/2 teaspoons Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Pepper

*Soy Sauce, Fructose, and Apricot preserve can be substituted with 1 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

Preheat your grill to medium-high or preheat your broiler.

Combine the cheeses in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients until the spices are evenly distributed. Separate the mixture into 8 same-size balls of meat. Flatten each into a nice round thin patty.

Place 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture in the middle of 4 of the patties, leaving 1/2 an inch free from the edge. Top those 4 patties each with a cheese-less patty and press down the edges to seal in the cheese.

To Grill:
Grill over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side. It is recommended not to press the burgers while they are cooking or the cheese will ooze out.

To Broil:
Place the patties on a rack in the oven and broil the patties as close to the top as possible without touching the heat source directly. Broil for 4 minutes on each side.


Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges, Fennel, and Mint
c/o Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Fosters Market, by Sara Foster

Serves 6 to 8

6 medium beets (red, golden or any other variety, or a combination), trimmed of greens and washed well
Juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 navel oranges, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and sliced into thin slivers
1 small red onion, sliced into very thin rounds
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the beets on a baking sheet with sides or in a large, glass baking dish. If you're using a combination of red and golden beets, separate them to prevent the red from bleeding onto the golden. Pour the orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup and 1/4 cup of water over the beets and season with salt and pepper. Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and roast the beets until they're tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover and let the beets cool to room temperature. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Peel the beets and slice them into 1/4-inch rounds. Arrange the beets, oranges, fennel and onion on a platter or on individual plates, placing contrasting colors and textures next to one another.

Pour the reserved beet liquid over the vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and top with the crumbled goat cheese, chives and mint. This is best served just after it's dressed.

Variation: Any pungent cheese, such as Stilton or blue, is delicious in place of goat cheese.


Grace said...

peach jam in a burger. hmm. i would be skeptical, but i know all too well how random combinations end up tasting incredible. and it looks divine. nice work. :)

Sharona May said...

Your Cheese Filled Goodness Burgers sound very good! I also like the salad.:)

Sharona May

Lore said...

I'm such a fan of cordon bleu so I'd be all over these! The peach twist sounds really interesting.

Deborah said...

Oh, wow - these sound amazing! And I keep wanting to try beets again, and fennel - maybe I'd like them both this way!

Tim said...

That melting cheese looks amazing. How can I be hungry again so soon after dinner?

Best Lasagna Recipe said...

I don't like cheese in my food but I guess,I can try this recipe with some mozzarella cheese.