Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Grilling Adventures...

So our memorial day grilling session was relatively simple this year- just a few burgers and dogs. The great thing about burgers and dogs is that the fun part is what you put on the bun with them- the meat portion is the easy part...
Burger with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, and tobasco-spiked mayo
Take a burger, grill it right, put it on a good kaiser roll, and then get creative. I started with a slice of pepper-jack cheese, and added a few sliced of avocado, raw white onion, tomato, and lettuce. For dressing, I spiked some mayonnaise with a healthy dose of tobasco. Between the fattiness of the meat, all the fats in the avocado and the cheese, and the rich mayo, that burst of heat from the tobasco and the jalapeno in the pepper jack had just the right kick to balance well with all the rich stuff going on. Avocado just works on burgers in general- it's something my wife actually introduced me to. When the avocado is very ripe, it almost turns into a condiment rather than a topping. Combining it with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a little heat means you have all the components of a spicy guacamole on your burger (guacamole is great on burgers too incidentally).

A similar treatment can be done with hot dogs- especially if you like Chicago style dogs loaded with tons of toppings.

Chicago-inspired hot dog- pepper jack cheese, tomato, onion, avocado, and brown mustard.
Chicago style hot dogs are something you usually don't see in my area. I like the idea of taking a humble hot dog, and piling on an almost absurd amount of toppings- it takes the hit dog from being something simple, to something complex. Using similar toppings as I did with the hamburger, you can assemble a pretty good Chicago style dog. A little pepper jack on the bottom, chunks of raw onion, chunks of tomato, avocado slices, and a little spicy brown mustard. It's not easy to eat- be prepared to get messy. Everything works in concert just like it did on the burger (except here I traded the tobasco mayonnaise for mustard). A basic hot dog, is usually not all that filling- but when you pile on a salad of vegetables, it becomes a meal all on its own.

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