A Southwestern Labor Day

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In July, when I was still in Sydney and I made a July 4th feast for my friends, I stumbled upon a bunch of burger recipes that sounded delicious, but I was only able to use one. I knew that one of the first things I wanted to do after arriving home was to make use of some of the other recipes I'd saved.

For Labor Day, I went with versions of two Bobby Flay recipes from the Food Network's website: his "Wild Mushroom Cheddar Burger" and his "Mesa Grill's Southwestern Potato Salad."

For the burgers, I went with ground turkey and baby portobello mushrooms instead of a mix. I didn't want to buy shallots, so I just sauteed the mushrooms with garlic and white onion, and I substituted the fresh thyme with dried rosemary. The mushrooms were so delicious that I think I might cook some mushrooms again the same way if I ever made a beef dish. 

Roughly, my version of Bobby Flay's Wild Mushroom Cheddar Burger was:

1 package of ground turkey, split into 4 (for 4 patties)
Fresh ground black pepper
Cheddar cheese
A handful of baby portobello mushrooms (chopped or sliced)
Half an onion (I used white), diced (could be thinly sliced as well)
One clove of garlic, finely chopped
Dried rosemary (fresh herbs would probably be better)
Olive oil
4 hamburger buns
Chipotle ketchup (made by mixing 1/3rd portion ketchup with 2/3rd portion chipotle sauce and several dashes of adobo seasoning

I first heated up roughly 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, then added the garlic and onion to it before adding the mushrooms. I let it cook for about 5 minutes while preparing the patties. Remove these from the pan once they are soft and brown.

I separated the ground turkey into 4, molding them into patties with a slight depression in the middle of each. I seasoned both sides of the patties with freshly ground black pepper.

I let each patty cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side (my patties were extra thick), adding slices of cheddar cheese to the second side about a minute or two before they were done, covering them with a pot lid to contain the heat and expedite the melting process.

I removed the patties and slid them onto the hamburger buns, topping the patties with the mushroom mixture and some sliced avocado. Because turkey meat tends to have a lighter flavor, I smothered my turkey burger with the chipotle ketchup, which added a smoky sweet flavor (not unlike barbecue sauce). Bobby Flay asks that you add pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, but I couldn't find this. I figure pureed peppers would give more of a kick than chipotle sauce alone.

Not so pretty, with our little burger buns ... those giant Australian ones are just the right size!

The potato salad involved a few more ingredients, but was relatively easy to make. I substituted a few things, but pretty much stuck to Bobby Flay's recipe, cutting the recipe in half for 4 servings instead of 8.

8 potatoes (about 2 pounds), boiled, drained and cubed
3/4 cups of mayonnaise
1/8th cup of dijon mustard (or 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon of chipotle pepper puree (I used chipotle sauce, and I added more, since I didn't think the flavor was strong enough)
1 tablespoon of lime juice (I used lemon juice)
1 medium-sized tomato, diced
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves
2-3 scallions, chopped (white parts included)
1/4th teaspoon of cayenne (I used chili powder and chili pepper flakes since I didn't have cayenne)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced (I used white onion)
Freshly ground black pepper (and salt to taste)

I boiled the potatoes and set them aside to cool.

Local potatoes
I gathered all the other ingredients in a bowl (or measuring cup) and mixed them together. 

Once done, I cubed the potatoes and poured the dressing over it before tossing it.

If you don't think you'll be able to finish the potato salad in two days, I would recommend skipping the tomato, as the tomato will start to wilt and seem not fresh. If you're going to use white onion, cut back on it because the flavor will becoming overwhelming otherwise.

This tasted great ...I really loved the crunch of the onion and the dimension that the cilantro, dijon mustard and scallions gave it. The tang of the lemon juice was great as well ... lime juice would unquestionably tasted better than lime, and I probably would add more than a tablespoon next time, to give it that extra flavor. Great salad, and great color!

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  1. Looks amazing. If there's one thing that Bobby Flay does well, it's all thing Southwestern.

  2. Looks amazing. If there's one thing that Bobby Flay does well, it's all thing Southwestern.



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