Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Doctoring the Burger Part Two - Taking It One Step Further

I really have to admire Sir Pickypants, or should I say Sir Skinnypants? He wasn't too happy with his weight last summer, so once we came back from vacation he really began sticking to a workout program. He's lost quite a bit of weight and looks awesome.

I asked him last night what he wanted for dinner. He gave me the stock answer he always gives me when I ask him what he wants, turkey burgers (although spaghetti and meatballs comes a close second). Then he made one more request. He asked for no buns. Buns have too many calories. He had a point. It's not as if I couldn't stand to lose a few pounds myself.

I decided to go with my standard Chipotle Turkey Burger recipe with guacamole and my Roasted Tomato "Ketchup". I make this often and I have blogged about it here. It's my favorite way to make a bland meat like ground turkey taste better. (One would think after we took a few days to finish off that turkey breast that he wouldn't want to see any more turkey.)

I was fine with not using any buns (I need to watch my calories too after all), but I do like to give my burger some kind of "base". I also wanted to add a bit more in the way of vegetables to the meal. I was stumped for an idea. Sometimes I use portobello mushrooms, but that's just so Rachael Ray!

While heading over to the garlic display of Whole Foods, I saw these.

These were green heirloom tomatoes (I know tomatoes are a fruit. Work with me here!) I had an idea. How about I make fried green tomatoes? I've never made them before and they would sit nicely beneath my spicy burgers.

Browsing the store I came up with more inspiration. I found the perfect substance to cook them in (since bacon fat is out of the question).

So much for watching calories!

High calorie or not, this was a great meal. I want my burgers with fried green tomatoes on the side for the rest of my life.

I had never tried fried green tomatoes before. I went online for ideas for a recipe and discovered that there are way too many different ways of making them. In the end, I decided to just bread them like I would a chicken cutlet (using cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs) and frying them in lots of that great fat.

They were crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. We both loved them.

I have lots of use for the leftovers. I am making potatoes with that duck fat sometime soon. I am also going to use the leftover guacamole as a dip for my veggies while I snack at work.

As for the excess fire-roasted tomato ketchup, I think I'll tell you later what I plan to do with it.

My First Fried Green Tomatoes


3 large green heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cornmeal
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup (give or take) duck fat

Set up your breading station with flour in one dish, egg in another, and cornmeal mixed with salt and pepper in the last one.

Dip tomato slices in the flour, then the egg, then the cornmeal, as if you were making chicken cutlets.

Heat the fat in a cast iron pan. You want it to be hot enough that a little flour sprinkled in the pan gives off a sizzle.

Lay tomato slices in hot fat. Cook on one side until nice and brown. Repeat with the other side. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.


Proud Italian Cook said...

Wow, That looks and sounds so good, who needs bread, I'm going to check out your roasted ketchup right now!

noble pig said...

Oh you had me at the duck fat. It's a good thing you went sans buns!

The Duo Dishes said...

Rendered duck fat and fried green tomatoes! So impressive! That's beyond a regular 'ol burger.

The Blonde Duck said...

That's a really cool idea! I'm ashamed to say I'm from Texas and I've never had fried green tomatoes.

Sue said...

I don't understand the term "leftover guacamole", but it all sounds amazing. Did the duck fat just take the frying to a whole new level? That's smart to deep-six the buns (once in awhile), especially with all that other good stuff.

The word verification was "ducke"!

we are never full said...

oh you are B-A-D! did sir picky pants know you mixed duck fat w/ tomatoes? don't tell him...

Emily said...

Ohh yes. I made my first fried green tomatoes last summer and they were soooo good! I love them.

I didn't use duck fat, though. That sounds scrumptious.

melissa said...

Fried green tomatoes are definitely great. And way to improvise!

I'll tell ya, I often prefer a burger without the bun. I love burgers for the blend of quality meat and some good melted cheese. Bun, for me, is not required.

Donna-FFW said...

This sounds amazing and it looks delicious. I wantone now.. seriously they are calling my name.. Beats a reggular burger anyday!I have to go check out your ketchup.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

PIC - Thanks. I'm thinking I like tomatoes more than bread right now.

Cathy - Duck fat rules!

DD - Thanks. When you work with turkey, you have to figure out way to go beyond ordinary with your burgers.

Duckie - That's okay. No need to be ashamed. Sometimes you just don't get exposed to things because the people you eat with do't bother making/eating them.

Sue - I made a LOT of gaucamole. Even I have my limits to how much I can eat in one meal.

Yes, frying in duck fat is a whole new level.

WANF - Did he know what I fried the tomatoes in? Of course not!! But duck fat is way easier to hide than bacon fat (the more traditional fat for FGT)

Melissa- I often like a good bun because of the flavor/texture contrast, but it's true that there are other ways of obtaining that.

Emily - Nice to know I have someone by my side on the FGT journey.

Donna - Glad to see another one who likes my ketchup idea.

Jeff said...

So flipping jealous over because it is impossible to find duck fat anywhere. Toss it with potatoes and you will be in heaven.

Fried green tomatoes are a thing of pure beauty too but still jealous over duck fat.

Stacey Snacks said...

I love that duck fat!
Fry everything you can in it!
Potatoes are the best in that goodness!

The Blonde Duck said...

You'll find out how Rouge defends himself Monday! :)

Sara said...

I've never had fried green tomatoes before, but after seeing this, I definitely need to try them! I love that you used duck fat.

Lo said...

OMG. Fried green tomatoes in duck fat? You are my hero. :)

That burger doesn't sound half bad either... but duck fat??!! My thighs are screaming :)