Monday, June 20, 2011


Olé?  Olé, she said?  What in the world does Spain have to do with picnics?  Well.  Allow me to enlighten you.  Thanks to my new fling with a certain Rachel (of the RAY variety) I happened upon a lovely little burger recipe.  This little burger recipe came with its own side (or fixin') recipe - and you know I love a twofer.  It is with some sadness (though a whole lotta happy, too, I have to admit.  I mean, I'm ready to switch gears away from the good old burger...) that I bring you the very last installment of:

In this episode, as already alluded to, the all-American favorite gets some flair from the land of matadores, flamenco, and Don Quijote with the

Thank you Rachel.  Here's where I found it.  The recipe includes directions for the "fixin's" - AKA the Chorizo Hash Browns, so here's that picture:

Yeah, it's a little too done in parts, but you get the idea.

The recipe.

Spanish Burgers with Manchego and Chorizo Hash Browns
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 pound chorizo, chopped
1 onion
2 pounds ground sirloin
4 to 5 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, 1/2 of a 26-ounce bag
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
2 cloves garlic, grated
Salt and pepper
8 thin slices manchego cheese
8 piquillo peppers, drained or 3 roasted red peppers
1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1/4 seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced on an angle
1 large vine-ripe tomato, sliced
4 crusty rolls, split and toasted

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat then add chorizo.
While chorizo is rendering and browning, peel onion. Place meat in a mixing bowl. Grate a few tablespoons of onion directly over the meat. Quarter the remainder of the onion and thinly slice.
Add potatoes and onions to the chorizo. Season the hash browns with salt and pepper and fresh thyme. Once the potatoes are lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes, flip them and press them down with a spatula to crisp them, continue to cook 7 to 8 minutes more.
To the sirloin, add parsley, smoked paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix the burgers to combine and form 4 large patties. Create an indentation in each burger using the heal of your hand.
Heat the remaining extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burgers to the skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium rare burgers and up to 6 to 7 minutes on each side for well done. Melt manchego cheese, 2 thin slices on each burger, the last 2 minutes they are in the pan. Tent the skillet with loose foil to trap enough heat to melt the cheese.
Place pequillo peppers in food processor and add hot sauce, salt and pepper. Process the peppers into a smooth paste.
To assemble, place burgers on bun bottoms and top with sliced red onion, cucumber and tomato. Slather the bun tops with pepper paste and set into place. Serve crispy hash browns with chorizo along side.

Does that recipe look a little long and daunting?  Huh.  

Burger - Yum.  I was surprised.  Not only that I almost instantly found Manchego cheese at my local grocery store (no, not Walmart, I knew not to look there...) but that I didn't want to slather this bad boy up with mayo and ketchup - as I usually do with my meat/bread combos.
Chorizo hash browns - Good.  Not fantastic.  Although both my parents loved them.  I was weary of the chorizo until I discovered that almost all chorizo in the US is encased in artificial casings - so no intestines!  Yea!

Challenges?  Changes?  Suggestions?
None, really.  The most challenging part was just inverting the hash browns without flinging them all over.  And, of course, not burning them by forgetting them entirely.  If you want to play it safe and the recipe looks too involved for you, just do the burgers and skip the Chorizo Browns.  I've gotta say, that crazy red sauce on the bun?  So delicious.

Overall Assessment:
Well, in the interest of complete honesty, I have to admit that this wasn't my favorite burger in the whole world.  BUT, I was really glad I tried it, if for no other reason than the pepper sauce that I really enjoyed.

Now, at a Cookout, you usually have some kind of salad... so I decided to find a SPanish inspired salad to go along with the Spanish burgers.  

I, of course, didn't bookmark this recipe.  I spent an eternity just now trying to find it, and it has vanished like a phantom into the night - leaving no trace.  It's odd, because I found it by typing "Spanish Style Salad" into google and clicking on one of the first options.  Apparently I just dreamed the whole thing up... Anyway, um, all I remember about this salad is that it had roasted red pepper, green olives, roasted almonds, and chicken in it.  Among other things.  Sorry.  Served over lettuce, it really could be a meal in itself.  In my "Spanish Salad" research I also discovered that they don't really like creamy dressings, and that they often serve their salads in a long, shallow platter and put ice cubes in it to keep the lettuce chilled.  I thought it was interesting, anyway...  If I ever find the recipe I'll pass it on, because it was good.

And now, dessert.  A repeat, but one that is well worth it.
Creamy Dreamy Lime Pie
lime curd
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tblsp butter, cold and cut into pieces
3 egg yolks
5 Tblsp lime juice
about 2 tsp lime zest

5 full graham crackers
about 1 cup of animal crackers
1/4 cup of pecans chopped really fine
about 2 Tblsp coconut
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 Tblsp coconut milk (from a can)
Homemade Whipped Cream
1 small carton of heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar - maybe a little more to taste
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 Tblsp lime zest
2 Tblsp lime juice
lime curd
1/2 of the homemade whipped cream 
Make the lime curd:  In a saucepan, whisk the yolk and sugar until well combined.  Add the butter and lime juice.  Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Do not allow it to boil.  Stir in the zest.  Chill.
Preheat oven to 350.
Now make the crust:  Put the crackers in a large ziplock bag and beat with a meat mallet until they are fine crumbs.  Add the pecans and beat a little more.  Pour into bowl and add coconut, coconut milk and butter.  Mix well.  Press tightly into a pie pan.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Chill in the fridge until firm.
Make the whipped cream:  Pour the cream into a bowl and beat with a mixer.  Keep beating until it starts to get thick.  When it begins thickening, SLOWLY add the sugar, just a little at a time, while continuously beating.  Keep adding until you have no more sugar and beat until the cream is nice and thick and fluffy.
Cream the cream cheese.  When it is smooth, add the coconut milk and beat well.  Add the lime zest, juice and curd.  Mix well.  Fold in a little less than 1/2 the whipped cream you made.
Place in the fridge and chill for about 2 hours.  
Add the rest of the whipped cream to the top, garnish with limes and serve!

Looks complex, but if I didn't mess it up, I'm pretty sure you can do it, too!

So, to sum up our foray into:
We've sampled the following:
The BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger
The Aloha Burger
The Garlic Burger with Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado
And finally, seen above, The Spanish Burger with Manchego.

So.  The question you've all been dying to ask.  (Just humor me, ok?)  Which was your favorite???

And the winner is:
The Aloha Burger.

This was a difficult choice, really.  We tried a lot of very tasty burgers, and there was not one that I DIDN'T like.  The runner up would probably be The Garlic Burger.  Now I am wondering what that one would taste like with the Red Pepper Sauce from the Spanish Burger... Hm.... 

Alright.  Enough burgers.  I mean, they're great and all but 4 weeks is enough already.  Sheesh.

Next week, something EASY and picnicky.  Like a sandwich.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!


Emily Thompson said...

So summery! I love it! Thought you might want to come share on my Tasty Tuesday Link party next week!

Mindie Hilton said...

I am just reminding everyone about tonights link party that runs Friday evening through Mondays!
I also have an ongoing give away link party now too.
Hope to see you soon.
come strut your stuff

Spunky Junky said...

So I featured all your are going to make me have to wear my fat pants again after trying all these out ;) hahaha.

I am featuring you today...


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