Wednesday, July 6, 2011

License to Grill

Super Secret Service Sauce Burgers with Triple Threat Roasted Balsamic Potato Salad
Summer is finally here and it's time to relish in the long hours of light and balmy summer air with what else? Grilling. Nothing says summer better than firing up the grill for an evening of burgers, beer, and friendship. For several days prior towards our grilling-get-together, I mused over the possibilities and decided I had to develop my own "secret sauce" for our burgers. Lucky for you, I decided not to keep it a secret. Instead, I want to share this delicious jalapeño-spiked dressing with the masses. And what better side for a tasty burger than a decidedly non-mayonnaise based potato salad? It was a hit. This seasoned burger was easy to make and with caramelized onions . . . a complete masterpiece of grilling. Seriously. It's worth the effort. This recipe seems very involved, but it's really quite easy. Much of if can be done ahead of time and stored until you are ready to grill.

- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 8 hamburger buns
- sliced tomato
- lettuce
- sliced cheddar cheese
- garlic salt
- onion powder
- Worcestershire sauce
- salt and ground pepper
- 1/2 c. mayonnaise
- 1/4 c. ketchup
- 2-3 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
- 1/4 c. diced pickled jalapeño peppers
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced into 1" chunks
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes diced into 1" chunks
- 3 red potatoes, diced into 1" chunks
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 3 medium sized sweet yellow onions
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 c. chopped Italian parsley
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 large shallots, peeled and sliced thin crosswise
- juice from one lemon

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, Sriracha sauce, and jalapenño peppers. Season with 1 tsp. garlic salt and 1 tsp. of onion powder. Taste. Seriously . . . taste it for seasoning. Do you like it? Most likely it needs to be seasoned with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add a little of each. Taste again. If it is seasoned to your liking, go for it. If not. Try spicing it up with an extra squirt of Sriracha sauce and some extra salt and pepper. When the sauce it seasoned to your liking, cover in plastic wrap and store in fridge until you are ready for use. Can be made ahead of time, at least a day or two in advance if necessary.

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil and spray down with cooking spray to prevent potatoes from sticking. Arrange potatoes and sliced shallots on the baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with 2-3 Tbsp. of good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Toss lightly with your hands to make sure that the oil is evenly distributed on the potatoes. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes have soften and are beginning to turn brown on the edges. If you taste one, it should be tender and sweet with a slight crispness in the skin.

Set potatoes aside for a few minute to cool and then place in a large serving bowl. Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the potato mixture and drizzle with 1-2 additional Tbsp. of olive oil to make sure than potato salad is moist. Toss with Italian parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. If you make this ahead, you can store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, covered in plastic wrap. If made shortly before serving, leave out, covered in plastic to be served at room temperature. So yummy!

I have always believed the best way to make a slam-dunk burger is to season the meat prior to grilling. To make this flavorful beefy-beast, place ground beef in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add 1-2 tsp. of garlic salt to the mix and 3-4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce. Work seasoning into ground beef with bare hands. When ingredients are thoroughly combined form 8 palm-sized 1/4 lb. patties with hands and arrange on a waxed-paper lined cookie sheet in a single lager for grilling. Press a small indentation into the center of each burger before grilling. This ensures that the burgers will remain flat and won't puff up when you cook them.

Grill burgers for 4-5 minutes per side over a hot grill for medium rare. Top with cheese and cover to melt for 1 minutes. Remove from grill and tent with foil for several minutes before serving. Slater burgers buns with Super Secret Service Spicy Sauce then sprinkle bottom with caramelized onions. Top with a burger patty, tomato slice, lettuce, and bun top. Serve with potato salad. It's seriously so good. I promise. The sauce definitely has bite to it. If you like spicy stuff, you won't be disappointed.


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