Monday, December 6, 2010

Back in Action

I'm doing my happy dance because the kitchen is back in action!  I will post a pic when the finishing touches of the renovation are complete!  After being without a range for what felt like eternity, I was excited to break in the new one one with a totally tasty dish:  Asian Chicken Burgers with Plum BBQ Sauce.  This meal was born out of an appetizer recipe I found in Cuisine at Home years ago.  I first made it as an app and thought its deliciousness warranted a promotion to main course status.  Okay, so the prep is moderately unpleasant - unless you, for whatever reason, like the idea of dicing up boneless, skinless chicken thighs and grinding them up in a food processor.  I am asking for your trust that this is not a futile exercise; I am confident you will be super happy you did it.  The burger itself is surprisingly (chicken!) savory, flavorful and satisfying.  The sauteed pineapples and red peppers make a subtly sweet topper.  The sauce adds a scrumptious and tangy accent that leaves you with just the slightest bit of spice.  To convert this back to an app, just make the burgers smaller, skewer them with a piece of the pineapple and red pepper, and drizzle the sauce on top.

Asian Chicken Burgers with Plum BBQ Sauce

1/3 cup plum jam (if you can't find this, you can use plum sauce from the International aisle at the grocery store and scale back the rice vinegar just a pinch)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp store bought BBQ sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1" chunks
1/2 cup chopped vidalia onion
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg white
Red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
Fresh or canned diced pineapple
2 Tbsp thinly sliced scallions, optional

Simmer first five ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until thick, 7-8 minutes; keep warm.  Pulse chicken, onions, panko, seasonings and egg white together in a food processor until thoroughly combined.  Shape mixture into patties.  Heat a bit of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, and brown patties until cooked through and transfer to a plate.  (I overcook them every time because I have a phobia about undercooking ground poultry...the fab news is that they're still delicious in this state!)  Saute bell pepper and pineapple until slightly caramelized.  Pile them around the burger, and then spoon the sauce over the top.

So while we're talking barbecue sauces, I'll share my hands-down favorite sauce, courtesy of Bobby Flay.  It has vinegar in the title, so naturally I freaked when I happened upon it.  The great part is that it requires no cooking!  You just zap everything together in a blender or (mini, if you've got it) food processor, and it's ready to go.  This sauce offers one of those scenarios where it takes serious control to avoid licking the plate.  Provided we're without company, I usually just do it anyway.  Anyway, this was one of the meals we prepared while sans stove.  Ryan grilled a spice rubbed flank steak while I assembled the sauce and served up some prepared tortellini salad from Whole Foods.  Aside: that salad is fiercely addictive with strips of zesty salami nestling among cheese-filled pasta, vinegar dressed olives, roasted red peppers and grated Parm.  Yum.  End aside. 

Sherry Vinegar Sauce

2 roasted red peppers, chopped OR 6 piquillo peppers, chopped
1/2 cup aged sherry vinegar
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish, drained
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp molasses
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

I'm just now realizing that this it not such a Christmasy post for December.  Let this not convey a lack of total giddyiness about the upcoming holiday!


Joanna said...

Deeeeee-licous sounding recipe. I can get on board with that and will let you know when we try it! I will now tie your post in with something Christmas-y. I have a friend whose (at the time) 3-yr-old daughter named her Elf on the Shelf "Bobby Flay." If my friend tries to shorten it to "Bobby," it is not accepted. Full name, please. See you soon!

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