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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 Sweet Potato 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 completely natural. I decided to use a jar of baby’s puréed first apples as one of the ingredients. What’s more natural than that!  Okay, so here’s how I start.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr 45 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick 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 avocados, sliced
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 baby apple 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
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided

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. Refrigerate until needed.

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 sweet potato mixture to be similar to the consistency of ground meat.

Note: Just like if you were making crab cakes, place the sweet potato mixture into the frig, for 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 sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil together. Add the patties to the pan two at a time. Cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 4 to 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.

Note: Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and cover tightly with foil to keep warm while you finish cooking the remaining patties. You can also refrigerate the uncooked patties. Place them on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap until you’re ready to cook them.

To Serve: Spread 1 tablespoon of the Basil Pesto Mayonnaise on one side or both sides of the hinged flatbread. Add a Sweet Potato Burger, a few baby arugula leaves, and top with slices of avocado. Finish by wrapping the Sweet Potatoes Burgers in parchment paper.

 

 

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Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders

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Is it just me, or doesn’t everybody love a great meatball? I brought these Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders to a party recently and they disappeared just like that! Serving them on Hawaiian rolls, need I say more? Simmered low and slow, my tomato sauce is delicious. The star of the show is my mozzarella stuffed meatballs.

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fresh basil

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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: 6-quart Dutch oven, 2 rimmed baking sheets, food processor, large mixing bowl, 2-ounce cookie dough scoop, 12-inch sauté pan

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 unsalted chicken broth
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
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-moisture) whole milk 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 12-ct packages of mini Hawaiian buns

Directions:
Set the stove to medium, add olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes. Next, add diced onion and minced garlic, stirring frequently, cook for 3 to 5 minutes until 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 sautè pan on medium heat. Add finely diced onion, minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, sautè until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing 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 mozzarella cheese into 24 1/2-inch cubes. Using a 2-ounce cookie-dough scoop (2-ounce portion), 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.

Simmer the meatballs, in the sauce, for another hour. Turn the heat to off and add in some freshly 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

 

Monday Night Football Burgers On Prezel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Next, to having pizza or wings, burgers are really another great choice to have when you’re watching the Monday night game.

I came across these amazing pretzel buns, at the grocery store. They’ll make the perfect vessels for my burgers. These are my Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Rolls With Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

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Today I’m using ground beef for my burgers. You could substitute, ground pork, chicken, or turkey for this recipe, any choice you make will be delicious.

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Monday Night Football Burgers On Prezel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef (80% lean to 20% fat ratio)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
8 to 10 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of barbecue sauce (favorite brand)
2 tablespoons of grilled steak seasoning blend
2 tablespoons of dried parsley
10 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
1  cup of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced thick
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups of mixed greens

Ingredients For Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Start by adding to a large mixing bowl, ground beef, garlic powder, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, grilled steak seasoning blend, and dried parsley.

Using a fork, mix all the ingredients together without over mixing. You just want everything to be combined evenly through the meat. Gently pat the mixture down into the bowl, using your hands to score the meat into 4 sections. This helps to ensure the burgers are relatively the same size. Take one of the sections, making a nice patty with your hands. Using your thumb push down in the center forming a dimple. This will ensure they will cook evenly.

In a preheated cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt and swirl 2 tablespoons of butter all over the bottom of the pan. The objective is to form a nice crust on the outside of both sides of the burgers.

Set all 4 patties into the cast-iron skillet. After about 6 minutes, (these burgers are pretty thick) flip them and add 2 more tablespoons of butter in the center of the pan to help form the crust on the other side of the burger patties. Remember you only flip the burgers one time. Cook the burgers on the other side for another 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the cooked burgers to a sheet pan and cover with foil to stay warm.

Start by covering a sheet pan with foil. Before using the same skillet, take a paper towel and wipe out some of the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. On medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter swirl the butter all over the skillet. Once the butter has melted add the pretzel buns to the skillet. Allow them to absorb the butter and toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted buns to the covered sheet pan. Repeat the process for the remaining two buns.

While the burgers are cooking, rub 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil all over the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Spread the sweet potatoes wedges onto the baking sheet pan sprinkling them with the seasoning blend, toss to evenly coat all the wedges.  Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning them halfway (15 minutes)through the cooking process until caramelized on the outside and fork-tender. Remove the pan of potatoes from the oven, transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl. While hot, sprinkle the sweet potatoes with Kosher salt.

Set the oven to the broil position:
Evenly divide the shredded Monterey cheese between the four burgers. Place under the broiler to melt the cheese. Keep a close eye on them, 1 to 2 minutes.

I sliced up some of my favorite toppings, mixed greens, sliced heirloom tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onions. It’s time to build the burgers. Nice toasty buns, delicious perfectly cooked burgers, then the toppings. Finally the roasted sweet potatoes. These are my Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

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