Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Black Bean Burgers, Grilled Pineapple Salsa, Homemade Ketchup, and Bacon-Flavored Potato Chips

....a.k.a., the All-American Meal: anti-Chef-style.

I tagged this as vegetarian, but no one get up in arms over the bacon-flavored chips. I'm not forcing you to make them! The chips came about as an epiphany after the oldest spawn complained about me making veggie burgers. Because her step-mom is a vegetarian, my poor deprived teenage daughter looks to me to satisfy those cravings (for, while I do make a lot of vegetarian items, I am most definitely not a vegetarian. I just like vegetables!).

I suggested topping the burgers with bacon, which the offspring was agreeable to. Then the inspiration started flowing, and I decided bacon chips were the way to go. For the meat-abstainers out there, these homemade potato chips work just fine without the bacon fat. Just use an additional tablespoon of oil and some fresh herbs.

I apologize for the photo....we were one hungry family last night, so I was lucky to even get this picture taken. For the burger buns, I really like the multi-grain sandwich thins. You can see a bit of the fire-roasted tomato ketchup on the bottom bun, followed by the burger topped with grilled pineapple salsa and the top half of the bread. The potato chips have bacon bits on them, and I also served them with a little of my garlic aioli. Had I been thinking with my blog rather than with my stomach, each item would've had a higher chance of individual photo shoots!

Hey, a girl's gotta eat.

Black Bean Burgers

2 15oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 med red onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 - 2 c panko (I used 1 2/3 c, but it will vary depending on how wet your ingredients are)
1 tsp each salt/pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c red pepper, finely chopped
1 4oz can chopped green chilis
4 green onions, chopped
1 tbs fresh cilantro, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp pepper sauce (more if you like it hot!)

In a large bowl, mash beans. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined. Shape into 5 1/2" patties and allow to rest about half an hour at room temperature.

Heat grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Place patties in pan, cover, and cook 5 minutes on each side. Serve on toasted whole wheat buns. Makes 6-8 burgers.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Cooking spray
1 15oz cans sliced pineapple rings
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced in half
1 med ripe avocado, sliced
1/3 c red onion, finely chopped
1 tbs cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh lime zest
lime juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tbs)
salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)

Heat grill pan over med-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Grill pineapple rings, jalapeno, and avocado about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly.

Chop pineapple and avocado; remove seeds from jalapeno and finely chop. Combine grilled fruits with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate half an hour before serving. Make about 2 cups of salsa.

Fire-Roasted Tomato Ketchup

1/2 tbs light olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 tbs pineapple juice
1/2 tsp salt

Place oil and garlic in a cold small saucepan. Turn stop-top on medium and heat about 2 minutes (including warm up time). Add remaining ingredients, bring to simmer, and reduce heat to med-low. Allow to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, and mashing the chunks of tomato. When mixture is the desired consistency (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat. If a smooth ketchup is desired, blend until pureed. Makes about 3/4 cup ketchup.

Bacon-flavored Potato Chips

2 strips thick cut bacon (or 4 regular strips), diced
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tbs celery greens, finely chopped
3 med potatoes, sliced into 1/8" thick rounds
1 tbs light olive oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.

Fry bacon in pan over medium heat 3-5 minutes, until starting to brown. Add onion and celery greens; saute about 2 more minutes. In a medium bowl, combine the contents of the pan (including bacon grease) with the olive oil. Toss mixture with potatoes and place in a large ziplock bag to marinate for 15 minutes.

Reserving the bacon bits, arrange potato slices in a single layer (very important!) on baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Flip potato slices over and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until potatos are golden brown. Remove from oven, immediately toss with bacon bits and salt, and serve. Makes about 4 servings.

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