Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chicken Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

So I've come to the conclusion that sometimes I go a little overboard. It all started with the idea to do turkey burgers. Sounds simple enough right? Well I was talking to my mom about it and she suggested I grind my own chicken breast because then the burgers would have even less fat than regular turkey burgers. Sounded good. Then my mind started wondering…. Hmm what might go good with a burger? Fries of course (DUH!). So I thought how about some sweet potato fries? Someone recently told me that sweet potatoes were healthier than white potatoes so I looked it up. The advantage to the sweet potatoes is that while they are sweeter than white potatoes and so definitely do contain more sugar, the sugar in the sweet potato is made of complex carbohydrates instead on the simple carbohydrates which are found in the white potatoes. It takes your body longer to break down the complex sugars in the sweet potato which walla! make them healthier :)

For some reason I couldn't leave well enough alone. If I'm making burgers I must make home made honey mustard. One of my recently discovered indulgences. Then If I'm making sweet potato fries they might need a dipping sauce too. I decided to google it and see what I came up with. I came across a cooking forum where someone had asked for recipes for a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries. I read through lots of recipes and kind of combined a few things I liked and came up with two separate recipes I wanted to try. I couldn't pick between the two so I decided they were both essential. I thought it was too funny because someone on the forum posted that putting sauce on a sweet potato fry made you an infidel or rather in-food-el. YEEEAH, couldn't help but giggle at that one. I'll tell you right now and I'll even shout it from the roof tops if I have too, I LOVE SAUCE! I LOVE GRAVY! So shoot me ;)

Ok well considering the extravagant list of things I decided to make I'm just going to warn you this is going to be a rather long post. It was a long day for me. I started cooking at 11am and only finished at about 5pm. Now I did take a few breaks in there to play with Griffin and to sit down for a bit (so my feet didn't die) but I probably spent at least 4 hours in the kitchen today. It was tiring but fun and the 9 people I shared my food with tonight would probably agree it was worth it!

First I cut chicken breast up into strips, then dumped it into the food processor in batches of 3-4 chunks at a time. I don't have a proper meat grinder and this does a pretty good job. I buzzed it for about 30 seconds until the meat looked like ground meat. There were a few times I had to get a spatula and push a piece down that had climbed up the side of the bowl. In total I used about 4 big chicken breasts. 

The ingredients that go in with the ground chicken

Then I mixed together the wet ingredients and spices that I wanted to add to the chicken. I just use a fork to whip them together. I like to do this because I think it is easier to incorporate with the meat if this is done first.

In a bowl combine
1 TBSP of yellow mustard
1 TBSP stone ground mustard
The juice from half a lemon
1 tsp Sriracha (Asian hot sauce)
2 egg whites
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sage

 Then I dumped the wet stuff/spices into the meat along with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, a few TBSP of fresh parsley and 4 garlic cloves minced.
Then mixed it all up. Now when this came together it was very wet. I debated adding bread crumbs because I wasn't sure it would stay together well but decided to do a test burger first. It cooked wonderfully and stayed together fine. Even though this chicken was low fat it was very juicy. So it is definitely not something you could form into burger shape ahead of time but it was exactly what I wanted so no bread crumbs needed.

I of course cooked the burgers on my George Foreman Grill and they were awesome. They browned up wonderfully and were so flavorful and tender... YUM YUM YUM!

For the burgers I did home made honey mustard which is much better than anything store bought I have ever tasted! I didn't measure anything so if you want to try this just eyeball it. Just add about equal parts of mustard and honey, 3-4 dashes of Worcestershire, 1-2 TBSP lemon juice and a sprinkle of pepper, celery salt, and garlic powder and a dollop of mayo. Just dump everything into a bowl, stir, and enjoy.

 For toppings I did tomato, pickle, onion and mushrooms. I sauteed the mushrooms at med high heat with no oil or spray for about 10 minutes. I added garlic powder and salt to them before cooking. They sure shrink don't they!

I used thin low calorie hamburger buns so that I could eat more fries ;)
Speaking of fries, I peeled and cut my sweet potato into fry sized peices. Theoretically they should all be the same size but it's near impossible. I just did the best I could.

Then I put them on the pan and drizzeled with a little bit (maybe a TBSP for the whole pan) of canola oil (olive oil would be healthier but I don't like the taste) and then sprinkled with salt and pepper and then used my hands to stir the fries around a bit and make sure everyone was equally coated and happy. Then I baked them at 400 degrees for about 45 min and then turned the oven to broil for about 10 minutes. The one thing I was not happy with was that they were more soft than crispy. Not sure how to fix that though it didn't hurt the taste one bit. I'll have to do some research. Does anyone have any ideas?

 The first dipping sauce I made was a chili lime sauce. I used about 3/4 cup low fat sour cream a few TBSP of freshly chopped cilantro, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 TBSP of honey, and the juice of half a lime.

The second sauce was a creamy garlic curry sauce. 3/4 cups low fat sour cream again and then 1 clove of garlic minced VERY small or grated. I have a tiny cheese grater that works wonderfully. and then about 1-2 TBSP of curry depending on how strong you want it to be. Also a couple TBSP of lemon juice. 

The second dipping sauce was my favorite but some of my other guests like the first one better. They were both good. Also a few of my guests went off the beaten path and used the dipping sauces on their sandwiches which I was told was very good as well. I wouldn't know because I had to have my honey mustard!

Next time I think I would have used low fat mayo instead or maybe half mayo, half sour cream because I thought the sour cream flavor was a bit strong and overpowered the spices I was trying to add.

If you managed to get through all of that, did it look good? Did I succeed in making you hungry? ;)

1 comment:

  1. This meal was fantastic! Worth every lovely mouthful. I would recommend this to everyone to try.


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