Yesterday was all about my past 4th Of July favorites, but this week is all about some new ones.
Well, at least today is.
To be honest, choosing my 4th of July menu is going to be so hard. There are too many recipes that I want to try out. Nothing old, always something new!
I am still in shock that tomorrow is the first of July. I am both excited and sad at the same time. Excited because I have fun stuff going on this month. Things like the barn hopefully starting to look more like my new home, a trip to Seattle and um…. eating as much mouth-watering, delicious, summery foods that I possibly can. Because that is what I do in the summer. I am addicted to all the fresh produce. I just cannot get enough! Sad because I don’t want summer to end!
I will also be taking over this month as full-time care giver to the now adolescent chicks (yeah my mom actually used that word when describing the chicks newest stage). Actually, I will have to assume my new duties not only for the entire month of July, but for half of August as well! My dad is normally my best bud… and dishwasher, but he’s out of here for a while, so the chicks are up to me … and my not so nearly as helpful brother.
I’m also going to be trying my hardest to design the barn to everything I could ever want it to be. It’s gonna be a busy month, but you know what I realized during my little Florida vacation last week?
I hate not having anything to do. I thought it would be amazing, but I was just plain antsy. The truth is I really like what I do and I like running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Sure little breaks are a HUGE must, and I need to try to do them more, but for the most part I really just like being busy and seeing things get done.
My dad has always said the more you have to do, the more you get done and it is so true.
Anyway, now that we know how my July is going to go, let’s talk about these burgers.
These are for all the vegetarians who still want to have fun and throw a delicious summer BBQ. Now – they are sort of healthy, but then I just had to add the cheese sauce. Oh the cheese sauce. This cheese sauce is worth the splurge. It’s kind of my new favorite burger topping. As are these crispy, baked to perfection, homemade curly fries. Holy crap. You guys. So flippin good. The curly fries alone are reason enough to buy yourself a vegetable spiralizer.
These fries were deemed “best ever” by some seriously tough critics, so you have to trust me on this one.
For some reason I really liked the idea of these burgers being heavy on the black beans… and blue cheese. Oops. No, no, no – the healthy stuff totally cancels out any of the bad stuff. It does. Really!
Plus, my dad and I have decided we prefer bean burgers to beef. I am not saying we can’t love a really good beef burger, but for the most part, we’ve realized we really like the bean burgers. They are so good every time. My mom the bean hater never knew there were beans in these burgers… until I told her… after she had exclaimed how awesome they were.
Again, the buffalo cheese sauce? Yeah, that is really what these burgers are all about. Even if cheese sauce is usually not your thing – try this one! I bet you will think differently. These burger are just a whole new kind of ball game. BBQ them up for the Fourth and you and your guests will see what I am talking about.
Buffalo-Blue Curly Cheese Fry and Crispy Black Bean Burgers.
Yields: 6 BURGERS
- Fries (Or 1 bag frozen Curly Cut or Shoe String Fries)
- 3 pounds unpeeled russet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt (or more to your liking)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups black beans, mashed
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3-1/2 cup buffalo sauce (I used 1/2 cup)*
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt + peper
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 of your favorite burger buns, toasted
- sliced avocado, crumbled blue cheese, chopped green onions, butter lettuce
- Buffalo Cheese Sauce
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3 ounces cream cheese (reduced fat is fine)
- 8 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3-1/2 cup Franks red hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a bowl combine the quinoa, mashed black beans, egg, buffalo sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix well to moisten the ingredients and then mix in the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well again and form into 5-6 equal burger balls (I made 6). Stuff the blue cheese into the center of each ball and form the mixture around the blue cheese to make round patties. Cover and place in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Using a vegetable spiralizer, spiralize the potatoes into curly cut fries. Then cut the fries into smaller sections. You may also just slice the fires into very thin matchsticks if you do not have a spiralizer. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with oil, seasoned salt and pepper. Toss with your hands or two spatulas to evenly coat. Spread onto two baking sheets in one layer. Roast for 10-15 minutes, then toss and roast for 15-20 minutes more. This may take longer depending on how thick your potatoes are spiralized or cut. Mine were very thin (which was SO GOOD), so they cooked quick. You want the potatoes to be deeply golden and crispy on the outside!
About 15 minutes before the the fries are done, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Grab the burgers and cook until golden and crisp, about five minutes per side. My burgers were not crumbly at all and very easy to flip. Keep warm.
To make the buffalo cheese sauce heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the flour. Whisk together to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture gets a bit golden in color. Add milk, stir and turn down heat to low. Continue stirring until milk thickens. Add in the cheddar cheese and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in hot sauce and seasoned salt and pepper. Taste and add more hot sauce if desired.
To assemble the burgers place some lettuce on each toasted burger bun bottom and then add the burger. Add a few avocado slices and then a handful of fries. Spoon the cheese sauce over the fries and sprinkle with blue cheese + green onions. Top with the burger bun. Start eating!
*To make your own buffalo sauce melt 1 stick (8 tablespoons) (you may use half olive oil or reduce the butter to 4 tablespoons) of unsalted butter. Add 1/2 cup of Franks red hot sauce, 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix well.
*Adapted from my [Crispy Quinoa Burgers | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/epic-crispy-quinoa-burgers-topped-sweet-potato-fries-beer-caramelized-onions-gruyere/] and my [Black Bean Mojo Burgers | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/cuban-black-bean-rice-mojo-burgers-slaw-garlic-tostones/].
Made even better if enjoy al fresco. Or at least I think so, but I love eating eating outside in the summertime!