Thursday , 30 March 2017

Cheese Studded Southwestern Burger with Sweet and Spicy Slaw

So I’ve got two midterms next week, one is finance and one in operations management, so basically my week has been consumed by stuff I don’t want to do (i.e. studying).

But need to eat + lack of money = me cooking.

So if you notice a common theme is the last couple of recipes, it’s because I need quick/easy meals that I can get out in 30 minutes so I have more time to study.

How awesome would it be to have a clone that you could send to do stuff that you don’t want to?  Wasn’t there a movie like that, Multiplicity?  Either way, I need one.  Trust me, I’d much rather be working on this site than studying (probably should have gone the MS route vs MBA so I didn’t have to take so many accounting, finance, economics, etc classes).

Friends call and text – come get dinner/go to trivia/grab a beer with me and I can’t because I’m studying.  And what is up with the universe that the week that I can’t do anything is the week I get the most invites for fun outings?  *frustrating* Does this happen to anyone else?  It’s like when you forget your cell and suddenly you get home and you’ve missed 10 texts and 3 calls.  But if you have your cell on you, nothing but chirping crickets while tumbleweeds roll through town.

Last night was beef night (since we’ve already had a fish and vegetarian meal this week) and I decided to use some of the leftover ingredients in my fridge.  For the side, I was trying to finish off the bag of shredded coleslaw mix from the Fish Po’Boys but I did give it a different twist so it wasn’t like we were eating the same slaw multiple meals in a row.  I also needed it with the quickness so it’s perfect for that.

Cheese Studded Southwestern Burgers with a Sweet and Spicy Slaw

Servers: 4 – Time: 25 minutes

For the Slaw

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (can add more if you want it a little sweeter)
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder (could also use ancho powder, guajillo powder, etc I just love the smokiness and slight kick of chipotle)
  • ½ tsp of spice (I used Ms. Dash’s Salt Free Fiesta Lime Blend, but you could use fajita seasoning, taco seasoning, etc.  You could also use a bit of cumim, oregano, onions & garlic powder)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 11 oz of slaw (I weighed what I had left of the 14th oz bag I bought, use what you have)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used the white one I had left from the CSA)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and veins cut out, finely diced (Leftover from the cookout)
  • ¼ cup minced green onions (I found some hiding in the fridge)
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • Corn/Black Beans – optional.  If I had thought about it/had some on hand, I might have thrown some in since I’m always trying to throw in a little extra veggie.

Combine everything from the lime juice through the salt and pepper.  Whisk together so ingredients are well incorporated.  Taste and adjust seasonings (more salt? More honey?).

Throw in slaw mix (cabbage, pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, green onion).  Toss well making sure all of the slaw is coated.  Set aside in fridge to allow flavors to penetrate the slaw while you make the burgers.

For the Burgers:

  • 1 lb ground beef (at least 93% lean – don’t worry about them being too “dry”, the chiles and cheese will take care of that)
  • 8 oz diced green chiles, drained (I used the kind that comes in the cans but you could always make your own)
  • 3 oz of you favorite cheese – cold, cut into small 1/8  – ¼ inch cubes.  Note: Try to pick a cheese that isn’t super “melty”.  Here I ended up using some leftover smoked hot pepper cheese (bought at Findlay Market) so while the cheese warmed and got a little gooey, it wasn’t excessive.  You could use a low melting point cheese but you might have more of a mess in your pan and not all of the cheese will stay in the burger.  I also prefer small cubes vs shredded because I feel like the shredded cheese can get lost.
  • 1 small leek, cleaned and sliced thinly (I would have used an onion but I was out of onions, and still had a leek from the CSA)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (can add more if you want)
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons of spice (sensing a theme here?  Mix it up a bit but somewhat echo what you put in the slaw.  I ended up using cumin, two different kinds of southwest seasoning I have that I buy from Colonel De in Findlay Market, and a bit of fajita seasoning)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of grapeseed oil, divided
  • 4 buns (I used the 100 calorie whole wheat sandwich thins)
  • Lettuce leaves, to top the burger
  • ¼ cup of salsa – each burger will get tablespoon of salsa (use your favorite) although you could use more salsa if you wanted.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet.  Lightly sauté the leek and garlic.  Remove from heat and put leek and garlic in large bowl.

Put the cubed cheese and green chiles into bowl with leek and garlic.

Add the seasonings, salt, pepper, and beef into same bowl.  Combine well and form into 4 approximately equal patties.

**Note: If you wanted you could make them “stuffed” instead by making 8 small patties and putting chunks in the middle.  If you decide to do it that way you do want to choose a melty cheese.  I did it this way because my cheese had a high melting point and I’m a bit lazy and didn’t want to go through all the work of stuffing it.  Also if you don’t want the cheese to get as melty make sure it starts out cold, if you do want it to be super melty start with cheese at room temperature.  Check out this article by Fine Cooking if you want to know more about where a cheese falls in the melt spectrum.**

Heat remaining teaspoon of oil in the same skillet as you used for the leek and garlic (yay we only used one pan, two bowls, and one cutting board to make this meal!).  Cook in skillet over medium to medium high heat for 3 – 4 minutes, covered (yes I said covered, we want to keep moisture in) Remove cover and spray top of burger with oil spray if you’re worried about sticking, then flip and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes, once again covered, or until done to your liking.

Serve burger on bun, topped with lettuce and salsa.  Serve slaw on side.

  Image of Cheese Studded Southwestern Burger with Sweet and Spicy Slaw

So tasty, so good.  I was pleasantly surprised by how this burger and slaw turned out.  I loved how the little chunks of cheese, green chiles, leek, and garlic all combined to keep the patty super moist.  I actually prefer to eat my burgers on the medium rare to medium side so they were a bit overcooked to me (darnit) but it still stayed super juicy and didn’t seem dry at all.  My husband commented that he should have put the slaw on top of the burger so that’s another option.

Try it and tell me if you make any changes/what you think.

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