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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Sweet Potato Burgers

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It’s become so much easier to get Steve to have a meat-free night once a week. I’ve been really expanding my recipes to exclude meat and even gluten. This dish hits on both those marks. My Sweet Potato Burgers are so flavorful and satisfying, the fact is, you won’t miss the meat. Topped with avocado slices, wrapped in a whole grain gluten-free flatbread or just using bib lettuce as your vessel, makes no difference. My Sweet Potato Burgers are delicious.

 

I wanted to use a flatbread as a vessel for these burgers. I wasn’t able to find this particular hinged-brand in a gluten-free variety but they do offer gluten-free flatbreads. I’d previously bought a package of these hinged flatbreads to try because they’re great for burgers and sandwiches.

I used one of the hinged flat-breads as a pattern to follow, making the regular whole grain flatbreads into a hinged-style flatbread. I used a piece of parchment paper to trace the outline of the hinged-flatbread. I laid it over the gluten-free flatbread, and cut it out using a paring knife. Now I have a slice of gluten-free hinged bread. In time they may offer this type of bread in a gluten-free variety. You could use a leaf of Bibb (Boston) lettuce as a vessel too!

 

These are some of the ingredients I’m using to make these delicious burgers. First, I think the best way to incorporate sweetness, and to keep these burgers moist, not dry,  is to add a little apple sauce. When I go to the market, I’m looking for something as natural as possible. That’s why I choose baby’s pureed apples as an ingredient. What’s more natural than that!  Ok, so here’s how I start.

 

 

 

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, parchment paper, paring knife, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
Pesto Mayo Sauce
1/2 cup of good mayo
2 heaping tablespoons of fresh basil pesto

Avocado Slices
2 sliced avocados
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients For Sweet Potato Burgers:
6 gluten-free whole grain flatbreads (trace and cut into hinged flatbreads)
3 med-size sweet potatoes
2 15-ounce cans of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup of organic apple baby purée
1/4 cup of flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup of baby Arugula
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of gluten-free flour
2 cups of gluten-free bread crumbs (this amount may vary slightly)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

Basil Pesto Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup of good mayonnaise
2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto (store-bought fresh basil pesto)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set the sweet cleaned and dried sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Prick the potatoes with a fork to release steam, and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the sweet potatoes are baking prepare the gluten-free hinged flatbreads using the store-bought hinged flatbread as a pattern to follow. Prepare a total of six.

For the basil mayonnaise, take a 1/2 a cup of good mayonnaise and add 2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto, stir to combine.

Note: Take advantage of fresh store-bought basil pesto in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes together with the Cannellini beans. It’s fine if the beans are not fully mashed into the potatoes. This gives the burgers great texture.

Add a beaten egg, apple purée, chili powder, ground coriander, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, gluten-free flour, gluten-free bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix together until fully combined. You want the mixture to be slightly firm. The fact there is no meat being used, the breadcrumb amount may vary slightly. It’s important that the consistency is similar to a ground meat mixture.

Note: Just like if you were making crab cakes, place the sweet potato mixture into the frig, for about 30 minutes, to firm up before making the patties. Divide the sweet potato mixture into six equal portions and form into patties

In a large skillet, on med heat, heat the butter and olive oil together. Add the patties to the skillet in batches. I cook 2 at a time. Cook until brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Repeat the process until all 6 patties are cooked. If needed, add a little more olive oil and butter.

Note: To keep the cooked patties warm, place them into a preheated 200-225 degree oven until the other patties have been cooked off. You can also refrigerate the other patties. Place them on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap until you’re ready to cook them off.

Serve the burgers on the flat bread with a basil pesto mayo, arugula, and slices of avocado.

 

 

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Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders

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Is it just me, or does everybody love a great meatball? Well, I guess I can answer that question. I brought these Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders to a party recently and they disappeared just like that! Serving them on Hawaiian rolls, well need I say more…Simmered low and slow, this tomato sauce is a recipe I’m really proud of. The star, my mozzarella stuffed meatballs.

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Next, dice up the low-moisture Mozzarella cheese into 24 1/2-inch cubes. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hand. Place the cube of mozzarella into the center of the meat mixture wrapping the meat around the cheese as seen in the above pictures.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On two rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, place 12 meatballs on each sheet pan. Spray the meatballs with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. The meatballs will be a golden brown. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier, quicker, and not as messy.

While the sauce simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. After the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven, transfer them into the simmering sauce.

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Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for another hour. Turn the heat to off and add in some fresh torn basil leaves, gently stir through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

Slice the little sweet Hawaiian buns in half filling each one with a Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball. Bring these delicious sliders to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one!

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Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 24 meatballs (golf size)
Equipment: Dutch oven, 2 rimmed baking sheets, food processor, large mixing bowl, 2-ounce cookie-dough scoop, 12-inch sautépan

Ingredients For Sauce:
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 12-ounce jar of roasted Piquillo peppers, purèed (substitute roasted red peppers)
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves

Ingredients For Meatballs:
2 1/2-pounds of ground pork (substitute ground beef, chicken, or turkey)
1/4 diced finely chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
24 1/4-inch diced low sodium Mozzarella cheese
1/2 a cup of heavy cream
1/2 a cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, (1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 1/4 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
2 packages of mini Hawaiian buns

Directions:
Let’s start with my tomato sauce that the meatballs are going to bathe in. Set the stove to medium heat. Add olive oil to a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven. Next, add the crushed red pepper flakes. To that diced onion and minced garlic. Sautè for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

The next ingredient is tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste around and let it bloom in the hot oil. Add the unsalted chicken broth. Bring the broth up to a bubble and let the broth reduce by half. Pour in two cans of crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and brown sugar, stir to combine.

Next, add purèed Piquillo peppers. These peppers give a nice sweetness and a bright red color to the sauce. Still, on medium heat let this sauce come up to a bubble, reduce the heat to low and let simmer.

Continue to simmer the sauce on low heat for 2 hours before adding in the meatballs. While the sauce is simmering, start on the stuffed meatballs.

First, add olive oil to a sautèpan on medium heat. Add finely diced onion, minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, sautè until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add heavy cream, parsley, dried oregano, Kosher salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, cooled onion and garlic mixture, beaten eggs, and Panko breadcrumbs. Once this is all mixed together, add the ground pork. Using a fork, mix both the ground pork and the flavorings together to combine. Do not overmix. This meatball mixture yields 24 golf ball size meatballs.

Next, dice the low-moisture Mozzarella cheese into 24 1/2-inch cubes. Using a 2-ounce cookie-dough scoop (portion scoop), scoop the meat mixture into your hand. Place the cube of mozzarella into the center of the meat mixture wrapping the meat around the cheese as seen in the above pictures.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On two rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, place 12 meatballs on each sheet pan. Spray the meatballs with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. The meatballs will be a golden brown. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier, quicker, and not as messy.

At the same time, the sauce is simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. After the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven, transfer them into the simmering sauce.

Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for another hour. Turn the heat to off and add in some fresh torn basil leaves and gently stir through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

Slice the little sweet Hawaiian buns in half filling each with one with a Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball. Bring these delicious sliders to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one.

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Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

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The perfect meal when your ready to watch the Monday night game. I came across these amazing pretzel buns at the grocery store today. I knew right then it was everything burger tonight.

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Next for the meat.

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Here I have 2 pounds of ground pork. I’m using ground pork because it’s less expensive then the ground beef, and when I’m done with all the flavorings I’m going to be adding, you won’t even know it wasn’t beef. First in a large bowl I add the pork. Next, 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 8-10 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce (your favorite brand), 2 tablespoons of grilled steak seasoning blend, and 2 tablespoons of dried parsley. Mix all the ingredients together without over mixing. You just want everything to be combined through the meat. Then I gently pat in down into the bowl scoring the meat into 4 sections. This gives me a way to make sure they are relatively the same size. Then I patty them up and push down in the center with my thumb to ensure they will cook evenly.

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I melted 2 tablespoons in a very hot cast iron skillet before placing the burgers in.The butter adds so much flavor to the burgers, you just wouldn’t believe it.  The pan is set on med high, so I can get a nice crust on the outside of the burgers. After about 6 minutes, (these burgers are pretty thick) I flip them and add another small pat of butter in the center of the pan to get onto the other side of the burgers. Remember you only flip the burgers one time. I cook the burgers for another 5-6 minutes on the other side. Then I take them out of the pan placing them on a baking sheet covered with foil to rest. Now in the same pan, I wipe out some of the burnt bits they may be there. I want to toast the buns in the same skillet. I add 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan, and once its melted I place the buns in.

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Now while I was cooking the burgers, I had the oven set on 450 degrees for my sweet potato wedges. I just peeled and cut 3 sweet potatoes into wedges earlier. I rubbed 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil all over the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet. In a bowl I mixed 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. I dumped the sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet and sprinkled them with the seasoning blend.  They roasted in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning them half way through, about 15 minutes in. When they were done, they caramelized on the outside and fork tender. After they came out of the oven I sprinkled them again with a dusting of Kosher salt.

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I sliced up some of my favorite toppings, with some mixed greens. I sprinkled some shredded cheese on each burger, place them under the broiler for just a minute or two until the cheese was nice and melted. It’s time to build the burgers. Nice toasty bun, a delicious burger, then the toppings. Finally this amazing pretzel bun. YUM!

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