Saturday, August 19, 2006
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
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
salt and pepper
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.
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.
"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.
burger, chili, beef, bean, chili con queso, avocado, food, recipe, basil, herb, coriander, weekend herb blogging