Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bacon-Jalapeno Burger Balls with Dill Relish AND Sweet Potato Fries


I made this meal for dinner on the third night of my second Whole30 and the 30th night of boyfriend's first Whole30! (I'm so very proud of him for finishing and losing a gazillion pounds, and I'm extremely thankful that he eats weird, healthy stuff with me. He's just the best <3 ) I found the burger ball recipe on Facebook - which can also be a great resource for Whole30/Paleo recipes and motivation- on the Nom Nom Paleo page, which she found on The Clothes Make the Girl's website. The sweet potato fries are a recipe from the From Pasta to Paleo blog. The fries have become one of my favorite things to make- spicy and sweet, filling and just absolutely delicious. This was the first time I'd tried the burger balls, but let me tell you, they are going into regular rotation after last night...and this morning, when I ate the leftovers for breakfast! They were so good- moist, satisfying, and a perfect meal alongside the relish and sweet potato fries.  
 




The Pampered Chef Microplane® Adjustable Coarse Grater worked perfectly for grating the onions so that they just melted into the hamburger. So much better than big onion chunks like I get when I chop them by hand. The green Color Coated Utility Knife gets daily use in my kitchen, too! It's super sharp and easy to handle.






I hate using my hands to mix up hamburger, and the Mix 'N Chop (or in this picture, the pink Mini Mix 'N Chop) was just the right tool to keep my hands clean and incorporate all the seasonings into the meat. 




The Medium Scoop made the perfect sized meatballs, and once again, helped keep my hands from being coated with raw meat! This scoop is also my secret weapon for measuring out a uniform batch of cupcakes.  




This little baby right here is my new favorite Pampered Chef item- The Kitchen Spritzer takes olive oil (and I use natural cold pressed extra virgin olive oil) and turns it into spray form, minus all the preservatives and chemicals that come from using the spray can oil you buy in the store!  My sweet potato fries are in the background on the Medium Sheet Pan which cooked them perfectly! 




Blurry iPhone results picture! This really doesn't do it justice. Also, side note: I can't wait til I live in my own home where I can eat food on my pretty dishes.
 
 
Bacon-Jalapeño Burger Balls w/ Dill Relish
Serves 2-4 | Prep 10 min | Chill 20 min | Cook 25 min | Paleo/Whole30 compliant
 
Ingredients:
Balls:
4 strips sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon
1 tablespoon grated onion (about 1/4 medium onion, or two medium sized green onions)
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1 pound ground beef - as lean as you can find.
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
 
Relish:1/4 cup minced dill pickle
1/4 cup minced raw tomato
1/4 cup minced raw onion
 
NOTE: Why cream of tartar and baking soda? Traditional ground meat recipes are usually tenderized with breadcrumbs. Use a cream of tartar/baking soda combo to keep the meat light and juicy, with a nice, crisp exterior. I don't understand the science of it, but it works.

Directions:1. Preheat the oven to 425F and cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Cut the bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch wide pieces. Place the chopped bacon in a large, cold skillet, turn the heat to medium-high, and fry the bacon until it’s crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Pour most of the grease out of the skillet, leaving enough to coat the pan, and place it back on the heat.
2. Add the onion and jalapeño to the pan and sauté until the jalapeño is soft, 2-3 minutes. Set the pan aside until the veg are cool to the touch.
3. In a large bowl, place the ground beef, salt, pepper, paprika, bacon, and the vegetables from the skillet. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the water with cream of tartar and baking soda. Pour into the bowl with the meat and mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate at least 10 minutes and up to overnight. Meanwhile…
5. Make the relish. Mix all the minced ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
6. Remove the meat dough from the fridge. Scoop out a round of meat and then gently flatten it a little bit so it’s almost like a mini burger patty (that will make it easy to top with relish later). Line up the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Slide the meatballs into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
8. Serve immediately, topped with a little relish.
 
Sweet Potato Fries
Paleo/ Whole30 Compliant / Serves 2-4
 
Ingredients:
3 sweet potatoes, cut in half and then lengthwise into thick fries
2 tbsp olive oil, a drizzle
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne (add more or less depending on desired heat level)
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Combine sweet potatoes, spices, herbs and olive oil in a bowl. Place on rimmed baking sheet – do not overlap fries, use two sheets if necessary.
3, Cook in heated oven for about 25-30 minutes – carefully flipping each fry halfway through cooking time.
4. Once out of the oven, season with salt and a sprinkle of fresh herbs – if you used them.

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