Episode 24: Lighter Summer
Cheddar Jalapeno Chicken Burgers, Black Bean Burgers, & Zucchini Carpaccio Salad
Summer is still in full swing for the Dinner Sisters and we’re taking full advantage of all the delicious recipes to celebrate the season. We have two types of burgers: chicken jalapeno and black bean, and a fresh zucchini salad. All three recipes will help you celebrate summer the best way we know how- through mouth-watering food!
Chicken burgers get an upgrade with cheddar cheese and jalapenos. If you’re looking for something different for the next grill-out, this might be your ticket.
If little (or other) mouths don’t care for spice, you could leave out the jalapenos. We loved them, however; and would vote for keeping them in.
Keep your meat thermometer handy- chicken burgers can get dry quickly since you need to cook them through. Make sure the thermometer reads 160 degrees and then pull off the grill. The patty will keep cooking off the heat and rise to 165 degrees, the safe temperature for ground meat. You’ll get a moist burger, not a hockey puck.
The Pioneer Woman is at it again with a pantry-friendly black bean burger. It’s a pantry-friendly vegetarian burger that will satisfy vegetarian and non-vegetarian eaters.
Make sure to use a generous hand with the hot sauce. The sauce is most of the flavor.
Bean burger mix can be tricky to work with. Try shaping the burgers on a piece of cling wrap, slapping the patty on the grill, and then removing the cling wrap.
Fresh, crunchy, and completely seasonal, this recipe highlights all things summer. Lovely on its own but also nice paired with a burger or sandwich.
Don’t skip salting the zucchini or squash. This step keeps it delightfully crunchy and not watery.
Splurge on a nice piece of parmesan, if you can swing it. So few ingredients means the parmesan will really pop.
From the Smorgasbord…
Freezing Summer Veggies and Fruits
For berries: First freeze separately on a sheet pan (that half sheet pan we keep talking about is useful here). Then pour the invididually frozen berries into a freezer bag. Use frozen for baking or in smoothies, etc.
For zucchini: If you are a baker, shredded zucchini freezes beautifully. This is especially nice if you accidentally grew some baseball bat sized squash. Shred the zucchini, portion into 1 or 2 cups and throw into freezer bags. Label and you’re set. For baking, thaw completely then add to the batter.
For peppers: Dice or cut peppers into rings. Freeze in bags in one cup portions.
For tomatoes: If you have a bunch of ugly delicious tomatoes, blanch them in water then peel. Jessica Gavin has great written directions and a video how-to on her site. Then buzz in a food processor and portion into 1 or 2 cups. Seal the freezer bags well and then lie flat on a sheet pan. Freeze then stack the puree up in your freezer. Use in place of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes.
For herbs: Chop your herbs and pile into the wells of a ice cube tray. Fill the wells with olive oil then freeze. One or two “herb cubes” works well in a sauce to get a burst of freshness in the winter.