Saturday, August 19, 2006

Spicy Avocado Chili Burgers!



Tell me something? Does this ever happen to you?

You are paging through a cookbook, magazine or surfing through the blogs and you see a picture that literally jumps out at you. A picture of something so divine looking and scrumptious that you just want to lick the page or the monitor!
Oh! Many of your pages are stuck together and your monitor is starting to soak on the sides due to this strange phenomenon?
Phew! Am I glad, I do not suffer alone!

Well it happened to me again. I saw a picture of this recipe here and started drooling straight away. It was really bad this time. I just could not stop drooling. So, after my keyboard decided to swim away, I got up and decided the only cure would be to make this myself.

Even at the grocery store I just could not shop fast enough. As I put the ingredients in my cart I was just imagining how this burger would taste. I must have been in a daze as I did get one or two funny looks from people, when I was ohhing! and ahhhing! at each ingredient. I did make one or two minor changes to the original recipe but nothing drastic.

I liked the fact that this recipe used coriander leaves. This year I had a try at growing this herb myself and I had a nice harvest. I chopped the leaves up and froze them to be able to use this throughout the coming winter.

Coriander is a lovely herb and in India we all know the health benefits for centuries. We've been traditionally using this for its anti-inflammatory properties. However it has become very popular in the western part of the world over the years. In Europe it is referred to as an"anti-diabetic" plant while recently in the USA coriander has been researched for its cholesterol-lowering effects.

Selecting and Storing:
Fresh coriander, also known as cilantro, leaves should really look deep green, vibrant and fresh. Stay away from those that are yellow or brown. The leaves should be crisp and firm.
Fresh coriander should always be stored in the refrigerator. If you have bought a whole plant with the roots in a small pot then cover the leaves with a loosely fitting plastic bag. If you just have the stems and the leaves, without the roots, wrap the coriander leaves in a damp cloth or paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. Whole coriander last for about a week, while just the leaves have a life of approx. 3 days.

As I did, you can also freeze coriander leaves. I prefer this method myself as I can buy and store in larger amounts. You can freeze the leaves either whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Do not thaw before use since it will lose much of its crisp texture. Alternatively, you can place it in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews.

Music while cooking: Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers





Ingredients:

Burgers
500g minced beef (another option for those who do not eat beef is chicken or lamb)
1 large red onion - finely chopped
fresh coriander leaves - chopped
fresh basil - chopped (Pam's recipe did not include this but I had a bunch that needed to be used)
1 jalapeno pepper - finely chopped (alternatively you can use the ones from a jar)
1 egg - beaten
1 ripe avocado - cut into small cubes
salt and pepper
4 sesame seed burger buns

Spicy Chili Con Queso
1 medium sized can of tomatoes - chopped and thoroughly drained
1 can black beans - I used black bean in a chili sauce
1 large onion - finely chopped
150g Gruyere cheese - grated (Pam used Cheddar cheese)
1 teaspoon chili powder (Pam used chipotle chile powder)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
olive oil
salt and pepper





Method:

Chili Con Queso
Heat up the olive oil in a large pan. Saute the onions gently until soft making sure the do not brown. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, spices and the cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and has combined making a nice thick, smooth sauce.
Keep warm.

Burgers
In a large mixing bowl add the ground beef and knead gently. Add the onions, herbs and beaten egg to the mince and combine thoroughly. Now add in the avocado cubes and gently combine into the mince mixture. At this point if you are cooking for kids take enough of the mixture out for their patties, then add the jalapenos and mix again.

Make four patties. A great tip from me is, lightly oil your hands before you do this. The meat won't stick to your hands and your burgers will have a fine sheen to them when you fry or grill them.

Grill or fry the burgers making sure not to turn them to often. When they are just about done allow them to drain on a paper towel. Then put them in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes.

In the meantime toast the sesame buns. Now you can assemble the burgers.

On the bottom bun spoon some of the sauce, place a burger on top and spread some more of the con queso on top of the meat. Close the bun and serve immediately.



Verdict:
"Auuuuwww!" was Soeren's comments when he saw this on the dinner table. As Tom came down "OHHH!" was his comment. (Aren't men just so eloquent with words?) This was one wordless meal! We all just sat down at the table and binged away at these burgers. These were pretty big burgers and Soeren managed 3/4 of it, which really surprised me. After we all were done, we kind of threw ourselves back against the chairs and sighed!
"WOW!" was Tom's comment. "Ummmm!" said Soeren.

Like I said wordless. But then sometimes words just do not get to the point.

It was fantastic in every way. This burger is what I would list under satisfying and comforting. And filling. It covers your cravings for meat and spiciness through and through. The added freshness of the avocado was just brilliant. The taste of the lightly warm and fried avocado was tremendous. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Thank you Pam for sharing this recipe!


I am sending this over for Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted over at my blogger buddy Tony's this week.



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12 comments :

  1. Meeta, this sounds fabulous. I know what you mean about the drooling. I haven't tried freezing cilantro, and I love the idea of it, since mine often goes bad when I don't use it all.

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  2. Meeta.. this looks so delicious and I know Hubbs would love this. I've copied the recipe and will make soon!

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  3. Hey Meeta! Wrapping cilantro in paper towels hasn't worked for me. I tried freezing cilantro, too, but I've found that the flavor changes. As it does when you freeze ginger or green chillies. I make my cilantro last by standing it in a container of water and covering it loosely with a plastic bag and then refrigerating it. Every time I pull it out, I get rid of any leaves that have changed color and change the water, too. This way, I can make 2-3 bunches last for 3 weeks. I've had people say that this is a sure way of having spills or that I have too much space in my refrigerator. But the truth is that my refrigerator is usually packed and I have never had a single spill thus far because I use wide based containers. I store all my herbs this way. Mint lasts at least 4 weeks this way. And I have had methi leaves last for at least 3 weeks. With the price of herbs, this makes me feel so much better when they last this long and retain their flavor!

    I've never used avocado in burgers before! I usually make turkey burgers because we don't eat much beef. And this sounds delicious!!

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  4. LOL! I do the SAME thing when I see a recipe that is enticing and act the SAME way at the grocery store. LOL! I love your music addition at the end - very cool. As for the cilantro - LOVE IT! I tend to wash most of my herbs, spin out the water (i.e., in a salad spinner) and lay them out to air dry. Once they are dried completely, I roll them up in paper towels and store them in zip lock bags with all of the air out. My cilantro, parsely, and mint last up to 3 weeks (so this method works great when you buy large quantities). I'm going to try the freezing method and see if that works for me. I love this recipe, Meeta. I think G will like it too so will make soon and report back.

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  5. I can see why you'd want to make those burgers, Meeta! They sound delicious and your version is just too much! I'm drooling here!!!

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  6. Hi Meeta, your burgers look fantastic! Glad you all liked the recipe, the book I got it from is a must for all burger fans.

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  7. I will be dreaming about this, I'm sure! I love avocado on a burger, so this looks perfect to me.

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  8. oh your recipe is just fantastic!!! I also like the jalapeno giving it a kick! I got to try!

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  9. How about trying a delicious veggie burger?

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  10. Dear Veggie,

    Thank you for the tip. I love veggie burgers and often make them at home too. But as I do enjoy my beef - I make these often too.

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  11. You learn something new every day, and this burger I've got to try. Thanks very much for sharing.
    Pam

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta