Friday, July 4, 2008


Finally beginning to cooperate, the summertime skies opened up after this morning's thunderstorms and were begging me to fire up Chewie. I did not have any difficulty complying. The day before the Fourth, let's make something 'Merkin: Hamburgers!

I picked up a new variety of new pototoes yesterday at the Mukilteo Farmer's Market, Skagit Golds. They are a small waxy spud, "superior to the Yukon Gold," the grower urged me. I made a foil pouch for them and filled it with some butter, garlic, rosemary from the garden and some shakes of salt and pepper. I won't refute that they came of the coals very firm, buttery texture, delicate skin. A darm perfect little tater.

We also grilled up some corn, I just removed the gossamer and pulled the shucks back up over the cobs and grilled them that way. They flavor up well and are easy to deal with.

Which brings us to burgers. Again, a simple prep here. The butcher left the raw hamburer sliced in natural rounds from the processor used, so I merely firmed them up and fixed their shape a little bit. They seem to keep a little more air in them without further handling and yeild a very tender finished product. A little salt pepper and worchestershire dribbled on top finishes that up.

Now, my current favorite burger has been static for the last several months, so I'm even able to use a photo here I took several months back. The veggies and beer differed last night, but the star of the photo is identical. To assemble this little gem, first, before you cover your coals with grills throw a poblano or pasilla (around here in WA the grocers label the same pepper totally interchangably, I don't know which I'm really eating!) right on the coals and let it blister and turn black and charred. Keep rotating it until it's that way all over. Let it cool. Then run it under some water and the charred skin will rinse right of. Now you can sort of fillet it and use the slices to adorn your burger. Bell peppers also hold up well to the same treatment, you can even do lots at a time during peak season to freeze them for later.

Add the burger to a toasted bun with a little light mayo on the base (oil-based watertight barrier to prevent a waterlogged bun) and place the cooked burger on top with some provolone cheese. To that add grilled onion and poblano. Top it with some Banana Sauce. Yep, that's right. I picked up some Jufran brand Banana Sauce at my local Asian market awhile back on a whim. It was $.59. It totally freaked me out at first; it's made with a lot of vinegar so it tastes quite a bit like catsup, but with bananas instead of tomotoes. They even dye it a little so it's red too. But it works! The banana plays with the pepper and onion surprisingly well and the whole burger is remarkabley delicio!

Have a safe and wonderful Independence Day everyone!

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