Friday, May 1, 2009

Food: Hamburgers with Chipotle Ketchup and Fresh Guacamole, Oven Sweet Potato Fries

Since the weather was so beautiful this past weekend, we thought it was fine time to get out the BBQ and grill up some hamburgers. I decided to fancy things up a bit by topping the burgers with fresh, garlicy guacamole and chipotle-spiced ketchup and serve oven-baked sweet potato fries on the side. The italian sesame seed hamburger buns shown below are awesome - they're supplied from a bakery in Windsor, Canada and some of the grocery stores in the Detroit-area (specifically Busch's) carry them in their bakery section.

Weber has a grilling guide that has become my best friend when it comes to cooking things on the grill. I suggest you to visit Weber's website, print out the guide and keep it in one of your cookbooks. We've found when we follow the instructions, everything comes out cooked just how we like it with no worries that we have to put something back on the grill/run the risk of overcooking/drying out the meat.
Here are my "basic" instructions:
Hamburgers - Preheat your grill to medium heat. In a medium-sized bowl, mix 1 finely diced shallot, 2-3 Tb of worchestershire sauce and ~1.5 lbs of lean ground beef with your hands. Hand pack into paties ~3/4" thick. Cook paties on Direct-Medium for 8-10 minutes (Weber guide tip).
Guacamole - This is my basic proportioning for guacamole, which does the trick every time. In a bowl, combine 2 ripe avacados (halved, pit removed, pulp scooped out into bowl), juice from 1 lime and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves. Combine/mash ingredients to desired consistency/texture. Add salt to taste.
Chipotle Ketchup - My favorite way to make this is to use canned chipotles in adobo. In a small bowl, mix ketchup, a few Tb of adobo, and a portion of a diced chipotle to taste. If I'm just making a small amount, sometimes I don't want to waste an entire can just for ketchup. In this case, I follow a quick and easy version, mixing chipotle hot sauce (Bufalo or Tabasco both work well) into ketchup, adding in increments until I reach the desired level of heat and smokiness.
Sweet Potato Oven Fries - Preheat oven to 450. Peel sweet potatoes and slice into matchsticks. Toss potatoes with a few Tb of olive oil, salt and pepper and spread them on to baking sheet(s) so that they compose one layer (they'll brown up and get crispy (not soggy) if you keep them from overlapping). Bake "fries" until browned, 45 minutes-to-one hour (you may have to cook longer if you you're using two oven racks).

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