Friday, May 13, 2011

Guacamole Bacon Burgers

I'm a huge fan of routine, from the utterly mundane (my weekly schedule for laundry and cleaning) to the purely delightful and indulgent, like the weekly ritual of grilling out on Sunday night that I've reinstituted now that weather is warm again. I love pretty much anything cooked on a (charcoal) grill and burgers are another great palette for culinary creativity. This recipe certainly isn't my first foray into putting together creative burger toppings, but it may be my favorite (this burger comes in a close second). This burger brings together the creamy freshness of guacamole with savory, salty bacon and melty cheese in an exquisite union of Mexican flavors and traditional American grilling. To accompany these decadent burgers, whip up a batch of spicy black beans in lieu of the traditional baked beans to carry the wonderful Mexican flavors throughout the meal.

Guacamole Bacon Burgers
serves 2

For the guacamole:
1 medium ripe Hass avocado
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped white onion

2 whole wheat hamburger buns
8-12 ounces ground sirloin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ground chipotle pepper (optional)
3 ounces bacon, cooked (2-4 strips, depending on the thickness of your bacon)
2 ounce sliced quesadilla or other good melting cheese
Lettuce, greens, or alfalfa sprouts (optional)
Sliced tomato (optional)

1. First, make the guacamole. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Mash the avocado into a paste using a fork or potato masher, add the remaining ingredients, and stir well to combine. Put 1/4 cup guacamole on each of the top halves of the hamburger buns, reserving any remaining guacamole for another use.

2. Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan, gas grill, or charcoal grill. Divide the ground sirloin into two patties and season each side with salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper (if using). Cook to desired level of doneness using desired method of cooking (I prefer a medium-rare burger, cooked over charcoal). When burgers are just shy of done, place cooked bacon and cheese on top of the burger and cook until the cheese is melted, just a couple of minutes. Place one burger on each of the bottom halves of the buns and add lettuce and tomato, if desired, top with upper halves of buns, and serve.

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