Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Day 5 - Guacamole Stuffed Burger

Pinterest Day 5
The Pinterest recipe I looked at today is Stuffed Bacon Guacamole Burger by Meatified

Thankfully, the burger wasn't as pink as it looks

The Reasons:
Had some grass-fed beef, had some avocados, saw the picture. That simple.

The Ingredients:
What I can use:

What I can't use:
lime juice (no more saved in the freezer from the winter)
fresh cilantro (none in the garden yet)
green onions
pork sausage links

The Challenges:
1. Flavor - no bacon, no onions, and no sausage for this one. 

What I did:
I just went simple on this one and made guacamole stuffed burgers, period. I liked the idea, even without most of the ingredients.

I heated an iron skillet to medium, made burgers out of 1 pound grass-fed ground beef, a couple tablespoons of finely grated yellow squash, two chiltepines (crushed), salt, and some wild tarragon (musky flavor, not anise).

I made some easy guacamole, just mashed avocado, salt, and lemon juice. I was originally thinking of using parsley, but left the meal too late so it was dark and I didn't feel like going outside on a warm rattlesnake night to go pick it from the garden.

Then I flattened out a patty on a plastic cutting board, flattened a bit of guacamole on top, added another layer of the patty, and pressed the edges together.

Then just fried them in the iron skillet for about 2-3 minutes a side.

I kept the patties on the small side, and pressed them quite thin, so they wouldn't be too thick by the end. This skillet is actually one of my small ones, so the patties are smaller than they look.

Why did I make these choices:
The yellow squash - I have been adding this fairly frequently to my ground beef burgers and meatballs lately.  It adds a bit of moisture, and it also seems to work not too badly as a binder/bulking agent. Kind of a combination of egg and bread crumbs, as far as its purpose in the burger goes. 

The result:
First, taste-wise, these were great. Not spectacular, which is not unexpected with the limited use of spices in the burger and the lack of cilantro in the guac, but I'd definitely make these again with more spices, see how they do.  They were juicy, and the guacamole was a great flavor.

I need to work on the shape of these, though.  Too much guacamole is definitely something to look out for. It made the first burger way to lumpy - like a giant meat ravioli - and the middle was a bit pinker than I like by the time the outside was already cooked.

Another challenge is that the burgers tended to open up by the time they were fully cooked, with a seam around the middle where you could just see the guacamole leaking out.  It still held together, so that wasn't an issue, but it didn't look as nice. I'm thinking maybe pressing down with a fork or something, when sealing the edges, might be of use.

How would I change this:
1. More flavor in the burger meat itself. The original recipe called for sausage, so perhaps a sage flavor would be good. I usually have sage but my garden sage got struck by some fungus and I haven't grown any more, yet.

2. Cilantro or another herb in the guacamole.

3. Maybe fresh chiles of some kind, or maybe making a guacamole plus salsa stuffed burger, or for a party, alternate salsa stuffed and guacamole stuffed.

4. I think it might be really interesting to maybe put the guacamole in the freezer, maybe on wax paper in the shape it needs to be on the burger, and then see if that would work.  If it could be possible to cook the burger well enough to be safe, but leave the guacamole thawed but still cold inside the burger, that would be really something neat.  I remember wishing as I ate it that the guacamole was cool.

5. An accompaniment - I was so busy I only made the burgers. I'm not sure fries would go well with this, though.  It was really rich tasting, so I'd go with something lighter, like rice (or cauliflower rice).

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