Monday, October 22, 2012

Tropics in the Fall

I'm back!  It feels so good!

Now it's time to get back in the kitchen and create!  This week will be spent on all the wonderful food and treats for the Dia De Los Muertos Halloween Party but I thought I'd jump on here real quick and jot something down and share a recipe just to get back in the swing of things.

Typically, when I make a meal, everything has the same ethnic or cultural background.  When I saw the idea for a Hungry Hawaiian Burger I knew it was time for a Tropical BBQ, complete with Hawaiian Pasta Salad!  As I glance up outside and see the fall colors and the misty sky, and I feel the coldness on my bare toes, I think it's time, once again, for a Tropical BBQ!

Hungry Hawaiian Burgers
2 lbs ground beef (80/20)
6 large mushrooms, sliced
1 pineapple, cored and sliced
1 recipe (below) homemade teriyaki sauce
6 slices Havarti cheese
6 Kings Hawaiian hamburger buns
Romaine lettuce
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter

Season the ground beef with salt and pepper.  The homemade teriyaki sauce and grilled pineapple are the flavors here so don't over do the seasonings.  Shape the ground beef into thick patties and set aside at room temperature.  Saute the mushrooms in butter, adding a pinch of salt and pepper while cooking.  Don't overcook them, cook them just until soft.  Remove from heat and set aside.  We'll be grilling the beef patties and pineapple slices until nice grill marks appear and burgers are at the proper temperature as soon as the teriyaki sauce is done!

Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Juice of 2 fresh orange wedges
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp water
Dash of ground ginger

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a small saucepan.  Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously until it starts to reach a boil.  Remove from heat and stir again.  Set aside while you grill the burgers and pineapple slices (I lightly grill the buns too, they look pretty and they stand up to all the dripping just a little bit better).

Assemble the burgers:  Open bun, place burger on the bottom half of the bun, add a slice of the Havarti cheese, a few mushroom slices on that and then a grilled pineapple slice.  Spoon some sweet aromatic teriyaki sauce over that beautiful stack, add some Romaine lettuce and the top of the bun and enjoy!

My mouth is watering!  Time to make the grocery list and include these ingredients.  Oh, by the way, when I was in Hawaii at the Dole Plantation I learned to pick a fresh pineapple - the only way to know if it's perfect on the inside is to look at the eyes on the outside - they must all be the same size.  Don't worry about color and definitely not the smell (too ripe if you can smell it), just go by the size of the eyes.  And also, always rinse the pineapple in cold water before serving or grilling and it won't "burn" your mouth!