Spicy Bacon Burger

I hate touching raw meat.  Therefore, I rarely make my own burgers.  If I’m going to have one, I buy the pre-made frozen ones.  But on the night I made these I wanted something different for supper as I’d been eating pasta forever it felt like (thanks to the million serving size Greek pasta with the extra sugar).  And I’d recently received the Tex-Mex issue of the Rachel Ray magazine in the mail and I thought her burger of the month looked good.  Plus, my boyfriend was visiting and he’s a burger with bacon fan.  Plus he gets kind of tired when all I cook is chicken.

So I got in there with my hands and mixed the beef and formed the patties.  And it was gross and messy and I probably washed my hands a million times afterwards.  I grilled them up and put bacon on them.  And cheese sauce.  And nachos.

Nachos?  Yes, nachos.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about putting something crunchy on my burger, but it turned out great!  They softened slightly from the cheese sauce, but still had some crunch and gave the burger some good texture.

These burgers were good!  Nice and spicy thanks to the chipotles and jalapeno on top.  I’d never bought jalapenos in a jar before.

I was lazy and served these with sweet potato fries from the freezer.  If you’re feeling ambitious, you could slice up some sweet potatoes, slather them with olive oil and make your own.

Tex-Mex Bacon Cheeseburgers
(slightly adapted from the Rachael Ray Everyday magazine)
 
Burgers:
8 slices of bacon (4 whole, 4 finely chopped)
ground beef
3-4 tbsp grated onion
3 cloves garlic, grated
1-2 tbsp pureed canned chipotles (I couldn’t find chipotles in adobo sauce, but the ones I used were in some sort of sauce)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
pepper
 
Queso Sauce:
3 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat because that’s what I pulled out of the cupboard first)
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cheese
1 14 0z can diced tomatoes, drained (I used the Alymer Accents Spicy Pepper kind, but I think their Chilli kind would be a good choice too)
 
Rolls and Toppings:
4 whole wheat thin buns, toasted
nachos
chopped tomato, cilantro, and pickled jalapeno
 
Line a baking sheet with foil and position a baking rack on top.  Lay the whole pieces of bacon on top and bake at 375° until crisp (about 15 minutes)
 
Heat a grill pan over medium heat.  Combine burger ingredients and shape into four patties making them thinner in the middle.  Grill the burgers for 10 minutes per side for well done (recipe says 5 minutes per side for medium)
 
Make the cheese sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat and then whisking in the flour.  Cook for about a minute.  Be careful not to burn!  Whisk in the milk.  Stir in cheese and then the tomatoes once melted.
 
Assemble burgers by putting the burgers on the bun.  Top with queso sauce, 1 strip of bacon (broken in half and criss-crossed), nachos, remaining toppings as desired, and bun top.
 

Spicy Perogy Pizza

Fishbowl Friday at Boston Pizza is one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday evening.  Where else can you drink a cocktail from a fishbowl and it be perfectly acceptable?

Of course you need have some food to go along with that fishbowl.  I’d been eyeing the spicy perogy pizza on Boston Pizza’s menu for probably a year before I actually ordered it.  I wanted to try it, but I was always worried it would be gross and that would be a waste.  I thought the whole putting potatoes on a pizza thing was weird.  Trust me, it’s not.  After I tasted the pizza, I realized I was a fool to have ever doubted its deliciousness.  I mean, how could I have thought it wouldn’t be good?  It’s carb heaven!  What’s there not to like?  Cheese?  GOOD.  Sour cream?  GOOD.  Bacon?  GOOD.

So after ordering the spicy perogy pizza several Fishbowl Fridays in a row, I decided to check my good old friend the internet to see if I could find a way to enjoy my new favorite pizza at home.  There’s no Boston Pizza in my town and I needed a way to satisfy my pizza craving when I’m not in the big city.  The internet did not disappoint.  I found a recipe on CopyKat Recipes.  The method was a little weird, but the pizza tasted good.  Then, a few weeks later I found a perogy pizza recipe on one of my favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is, with a less weird method.  I combined the two recipes to create a pretty good substitute for when I’m craving me some Boston Pizza.

Spicy Perogy Pizza
(adapted from CopyKat Recipes and How Sweet It Is)
 
Your favorite pizza dough recipe (I like to use a whole wheat dough)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
5 tbsp sour cream + more for dolloping
8 pieces of bacon
Cheese, grated
3 green onions, sliced
 
Prepare your pizza dough as directed and press into pizza pan or stone.  Preheat oven to whatever temperature recommended in your pizza dough recipe (probs 375 – 400°).  While pizza dough is rising and oven preheating, boil potatoes until tender (about 30 minutes).  Drain potatoes.  Add cayenne, garlic and onion powders and mash together.  Pre-bake the pizza crust for 10-15 minutes.  Top with sour cream, then spread mashed potatoes on top.  Add cheese and bacon.  Bake for another 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with green onions.  Serve each piece with a spoonful of sour cream.
 

 Now, I just need to get me a fishbowl so I can put a cocktail in it.  Happy Friday!