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Monday, November 15, 2010

Fall Peppers

You can never get too much of a good thing.  This week, we were reminded of how good it feels to be complimented on our cooking.
On Saturday, we went to the Kitchener Farmer’s Market to buy half a bushel of red peppers and on Sunday, we roasted  them.  Monday, we prepared 300 mini lemony chicken burgers and 2 litres of roasted red pepper sauce.   Tuesday at 6, the doors of New Hamburg Home Hardware opened, and over  the next 2 ½ hours, we were told 300 times how delicious our chicken burgers were!
Thanks to Larry and Christine Taylor of the New Hamburg Home Hardware Store, and to Andrew Rome of Onward Manufacturing Company for inviting us back to showcase our recipes and our cookbook , Gathering Around the Grill, at this annual Ladies’ Night event. 

Roasted Red Peppers
The fall is the best time of year to prepare a large quantity of roasted red peppers to store in your freezer for sauces, soups, or just to have on hand to add to pasta or braised dishes. 

Wash peppers and place on the grill whole. Grill over MEDIUM heat until skin is charred all over. Once cooked, place peppers in a paper bag to steam skin loose. When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and remove skins and discard the stems and seeds.

Lemony Chicken Burgers with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This recipe is for 8 traditional burgers, but you can also make mini “sliders” and serve them on mini pitas for an appetizer as we did for our event.

  2              pounds ground chicken
  1              pound frozen spinach, drained and chopped
  6              green onions, chopped
  2              eggs, lightly beaten
  6              tablespoons parmesan cheese
  4              teaspoons lemon zest
  2              cloves garlic -- minced
  1              teaspoon paprika
    salt & pepper,  to taste
  8               crusty buns                                    
In a large mixing bowl, lightly mix ground chicken, spinach, green onion, egg, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, paprika, salt & pepper. Form into 8 patties and chill for 30 minutes.

To grill burgers: Preheat barbecue on HIGH, and oil the grids generously to prevent sticking. Place the patties on the grill, and reduce heat to MEDIUM. Place patties on the barbecue, and sear 3 minutes per side, taking care not to press down the patties.
 Reduce heat to LOW and continue cooking for another 3 minutes per side until juicy but cooked through.
Lightly toast the buns during the last 2 minutes of cooking time.

Serve on toasted sesame seed buns, topped with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

                   Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a flavourful and versatile condiment and can be used as a veggie dip, sandwich spread,  or as sauce for fish, chicken or beef.  It is also delicious with eggs or macaroni and cheese. 

  2    large roasted red peppers
  8    green onions, chopped
  2    cloves garlic, minced
  4    tablespoons olive oil
  4    teaspoons Dijon mustard
  2    teaspoons honey
  1 ½ teaspoons fresh basil -- chopped
  salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste

Sauté green onions and garlic very gently in olive oil. Add to food processor with remaining ingredients and process until well blended.

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