Saturday, August 30, 2008

Buffalo burgers with smoked gouda

Yeesh, it took me a week to post this dinner I made last weekend! I woulda done it earlier, I swear, but these photos are pretty bad. I was too busy enjoying a perfect day to bother with things like Sensitivity and Exposure. Bah, who needs good photos anyways? My words paint the picture for you.

Last weekend, we had a blast on Sauvie Island. It was an idyllic Perfect Saturday. After getting scratched up and sticky picking fat blackberries (and stuffing ourselves with them, still sun-warm), we headed down to the boat launch to cool our toes in the Mighty Columbia. Sadly, we had a cooler of beer, but no bottle opener! But necessity being the mother of invention, I was able to hoist the caps off using the rim on the bottom of a can of mosquito repellent. Because I'm a good German girl.

After we'd had some nice ones, we mosied over to Kruger Farm Market for some perfect apples, peaches, mini avocados, good dill Havarti, and some baby okra (which is pickling with some green tomatoes in a nice curry brine as we speak). We hurried home with our booty, but stopped on the way to pick up a cheap ($15) tabletop gas grill and some ground buffalo.

I mixed the mince with salt and pepper, a few squirts of Worcestershire, and some garlic powder (which is about twice as many ingredients as I usually add to ground meat). I mixed it and formed four small patties - since we only had soft wheat dinner rolls, I decided to make sliders instead of buying buns. I made a small foil pouch for some hickory chips, and another to hold some tender green beans, minced red chiles and baby pattypans from the garden (butter and chopped herbs, a squirt of lemon and seal the pouch).

After tossing the (perforated) bag of wood chips onto the burner and letting it get good and smoky, we tossed on the veg and burgers and got some corn going on the stove. That chipotle butter that you keep seeing in Gourmet is good shit - just a little adobo from a can of chipotles and melted butter does the trick. Also, I have now converted from a "Coal Only, the Fuck You Using Gas to Grill" girl to "Bitch, If You Make Some Smoke You Can't Tell the Difference So Get Off Your High Horse, Already" type of person.

I was shaking with anticipation and, coupled with terrible lighting in our TV room, mustered only this poorly-focused and dimly-lit photo of the most delicious burger.

Pulled the burgers at medium-rare, and top with slices of smoked gouda. Toast the rolls on the top of the grill lid. I topped my burger with a light shmear of spicy brown mustard, a little Jufran banana ketchup and some mayo, slices of avocado, minced onion, sliced tomato and baby arugula. Scott skipped the avocado and onion. A perfect accompaniment to a bourbon and Coke and a movie. Although Gone Baby Gone was only aight, in my opinion. I think he shoulda let Morgan Freeman keep the kid.


Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Another great adventure!...Love the burgers and as usual your "voodoolily" style comes through. As for the photos don't be so hard on yourself...I think they've come out great! The burger looks fantastic.

cookiecrumb said...

Curry pickled okra. Hoo!

April was in CA now MA said...

Wood chips on a gas grill.. I'm now MORE than convinced we have got to buy a gas grill. As much as I like the taste of grilling on the charcoal I get pissy waiting.

Sounds like y'all had an excellent and relaxing time!

Syd said...

When a burger looks THAT good, fuck a bunch of staging and lighting. I don't think I'd have taken the time to even grab my camera before diving in.


glamah16 said...

Yumm. I need to get me some of that banana ketchup. I like Buffalo. CS didnt like some he had that Ted Turner chain. But seasoned up right(like you did) its great.

Manggy said...

Ahrrrr... I need that burger NOW! The pic and the description just blow me away.

Jufran banana ketchup? I'm making you an honorary Filipino for this post ;)

Mike of Mike's Table said...

...and now I want a big, juicy, smoky burger. Sounds like you had a great time!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

What a perfect sounding day Heather! Love the buffalo burgers!!!

Leigh said...

Burgers, Burgers, Burgers...can't go wrong!

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

I'm so glad you got those brewskys open. I would have cried. I am not a fan of smoked cheese. At all. In fact, I hate it. But I'm down with buffalo. And numerous condiments on, around, beside, by, down, during, along, at, in, into or near my burger.

And I couldn't wait for Gone Baby Gone to be over. It would have been against dude's character to let Morgan keep the kid.

Lo said...

Photos schmotos. You had a great time, and the sentiment comes through loud and clear! Kudos from another good German girl who believes that where there's a will, there's a way.

Love the buffalo burgers... am tasting that smoked gouda already.

Brittany said...

I am completely intrigued by the banana ketchup!

Norm Schoen said...

For my money, nothing says "Carcinogens" like hardwood charcoal.
Nice burger-

MrOrph said...

Bison sliders! We need to move next to you guys so we can just peek over the fence and invite ourselves over.

I have both a charcoal grill/smoker 1/4 in thick rig and a Weber gas grill. One is for grilling and the other is for barbecue. You really can't get too much smoke into meat until after 20minutes but where you getgoot flavor is from the fat dripping onto the flame and those minor flare-ups that char. That is where the grill flavor comes from on a gas grill. Over charcoal, it is the same concept except the coals offer a stronger flavor than just a flame. For more soapbox BBQ snobbery, check out my evening show. Remember to tip your servers. I'm out.

Laura Paterson said...

Hey - at least you didn't have to use your teeth to open the beer ;)

Burger sounds vay good - wood chip on gas is a great tip.

Norm Schoen said...

Yum, all you need now are some homemade potato chips fried in duck fat ; )

peter said...

You've got to try the smoked gouda our friends in VT make.

Btw, I can't believe you went on vacation. Shouldn't you be somewhere near the gulf coast, looking concerned and capable for the TV cameras?

Anonymous said...

i agree about letting morgan freeman go! that mutha was definitely overcompensating for her white trash roots!!

oh and i love love love me some buffalo burgers. i used to eat them all the time when i lived in colorado. it's not too easy to get that meat here in NYC. i'm sure i could find it if i looked a bit harder.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Ground buffalo meat is so makes the best burgers that just drip down your arm juicy.

Heather said...

Aw dang I have all these comments to catch up on!

Petah - I'm just cringing remembering how bad things get without sunlight. :(

Cookiecrumb - Oh, it's coming.

April - The quickness of gas is definitely a plus.

Syd - Anymore, I take a pic of everything I cook so if I eat canned chili and tater tots I still have a backlog of posts. :P

Court - Fuck that chain - you should pick up some of the meat and make it yourself! And eat it more rare (it's lean).

Mark - Yay! I'm so happy to be an honorary Filipino. Now maybe I can understand the words to the song Itanong
Mo Sa Mga Bata

Mike - I almost made burgers again tonight, actually. :)

Judy - It was a pretty nice day. :)

Leigh - Especially with a nice cold beer!

Nikki - I as extremely proud to have MacGuyvered that shit open.

Lo - I can barely remember the days before I photographed all my food, but maybe I should let it go more often. :)

Brittany - You should get some. It's really good on mac n chee, too. :P

Norm - I know! and we still have so much after the roast. But I wanted grill action fast.

Donald - You are seriously dedicated to the art of outdoor cooking!

Kittie - I'd be lying if I said the thought hadn't crossed my mind. :P

Norm again - as soon as I figure out how to fry on the grill, I'm on it.

Jube - I didn't go on vacation! The island is a 20 minute drive from the city. If you're talking about my being a flake this weekend, well that's just my being lazy. Send me some of that cheese and I'll make it worth your while.

Amy - It really is easy to get out here (in the wild west), but I bet you could get some mail order.

Valli - Damn skippy! I love to let the juice drip all over some potato chips. :P

Thistlemoon said...

Looks like complete heaven, Heather!
Buffalo burgers rule, dude!