On the grill

The Fig Burger

A burger so nice that last week, we had it twice. In a row. Seriously.

Fancy burgers have been a thing around here for a while (Exhibit A. And Exhibit B.) but this one is my new summer favorite.

The Fig Burger

Do you like figs? And caramelized onions? And wine? And burgers that you have to transfer inside to finish cooking because your grill was shooting flames from the gas line?

3 out of 4 ain’t bad. (And somewhere about an hour from here, my dad is shaking his head and muttering how this would never happen with charcoal.)

Our little fig tree pushed it’s first real crop this year. Add those to the figs we hopped the fence to pick from my friend Harmony’s not-so-little fig tree while she was out of town, and you get things like this.

Fresh figs with honey

And this.

Fresh figs, honey, and brie

But you’re here for this one, so let’s cut to the chase.

The Fig Burger

While you’re heating the grill (and hopefully yours doesn’t turn into the weapon that ours did), you caramelize some onions. And then you add figs, the wine or booze of your choice, a splash of balsamic vinegar and then you let it simmer away until the liquid is gone.

What you have left is a slightly sweetened concoction bursting with flavors that are kind of magical.

And by kind of, I mean completely. Pair that with a juicy burger and some goat cheese, and you have our new favorite burger. And I suspect, one of your new favorites.

Burgers with Figs, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese

Figs, caramelized onions, and red wine (or Madeira) are cooked down into a flavorful, glazed topping perfect for summer and fig season.

Ingredients

  • For the fig topping:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 4-5 oz fresh figs, quartered
  • 1/4 cup wine*
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the burgers
  • 4 burger patties, made & grilled to your liking
  • 4 buns
  • Honey goat cheese, crumbled
  • *Use whatever you have open; we've used a Malbec Rose and Madeira. The Madeira (my favorite) will make for a sweeter topping coated in a thicker glaze than a non-fortified wine.

Instructions

  1. Cut the onion from pole-to-pole (root to stem end) and then cut each half into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the onions.
  3. Cover and stir ever 4-5 minutes, for 15 minutes.
  4. The onions will be a nice amber color at this point - add the figs, wine, balsamic, and salt, stirring to mix.
  5. Cover (if your lid doesn't have a way to steam to escape, leave slightly ajar), reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until there is no standing liquid remaining.
  6. Top your burgers with a generous scoop of the fig-onion mixture and crumbled goat cheese (honey flavor is my favorite).

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Margarita-glazed Fish Tacos

I get the best dinner ideas when I don’t have the ability to write them down. Like sitting at dinner with a fork in my hand. Or pushing The Little through HEB in one of those soul-killing plastic car-cart monstrosities.

Or playing Candy Crush :oops:

Then 2 nights later, I’m looking at a random collection of ingredients trying to remember what I was supposed to do with them.

That’s why I found myself heavy a pound of white fish and a single orange last week. Since they’re usually for margaritas, I never just buy one orange. It had to be one of those “all I need is X and Y because I have everything else” ideas.

I never did figure it out.

Instead, I whipped up a quick margarita-esque marinade, let the fish sit a bit, and then reduced the marinade down to a boozy, citrusy glaze while the fish cooked and I finished the rest of dinner.

Drizzled over the fish tacos before serving, the glaze really adds a bright punch of flavor to the tacos.

So let this be a lesson: When in Doubt, Margarita.

Margarita-Glazed Fish Tacos

Smokey, grilled fish tacos get a summery, flavorful punch from a margarita glaze.

Ingredients

  • For the fish:
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (1 small orange)
  • 1 lbs white fish (cod, tilapia, etc)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 small tortillas
  • For the pico de gallo
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Add the tequila, lime juice, zest, orange juice, and fish to a large zip-top bag and let sit for no longer than 30 minutes (less if your fish is delicate; tilapia and cod tend to hold up well).
  2. Heat your grill to medium-high.
  3. Stir together the ingredients for the pico de gallo and set aside.
  4. Grill the fish 4-5 minutes each side, until the center is just opaque.
  5. While the fish is grilling, pour the marinade into a large sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil, reducing to ~1/4 cup.
  6. Season the fish with salt and pepper and flake into large chunks.
  7. Serve the fish on tortillas topped with pico de gallo and a drizzle of the tequila reduction.

Notes

Yields: 6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Looks like summer. Feels like summer. Tastes like summer. That pretty much sums up this burger. And our weekend.

After weeks of cursing at begging and pleading with the basil plants to do something, they did.

And that something was EXPLODE.

Fresh basil

Not in the literal sense, obviously. Although a backyard full of sweet, purple, and elephant basil-scented confetti would smell a whole lot better than chlorine and the new mulch that kind of smells like a hamster cage when it rains.

So I made pesto. (2 1/2 cups of pesto!) And then I slathered it on burgers with tomatoes from the garden that I had slow-roasted and a thick slice of fresh mozzarella cheese. And I served that along size grilled zucchini & red onions – zucchini that I remembered to pick before it reached baseball bat size. (I’m 3 for 3!)

And that is truly the most satisfying thing about gardening. To be able to look down at your dinner plate and say: I grew that, I grew that, I made that, and I almost didn’t burn those.

Burgers with Roasted Tomatoes, Pesto, and Mozzarella

Pesto, roasted tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella: summer's best trio of flavors in burger form.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 burger buns
  • Pesto, purchased or homemade
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • 3 slices of fresh mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. Season ground beef with salt, pepper, and a few dashes of worcestershire sauce and form into 3 patties.
  3. Grill 7-8 minutes (or to desired doneness), flipping halfway through.
  4. Turn off the grill, place a slice of cheese on each burger, and close the grill for a minute to melt the cheese.
  5. Place burger buns on the grill for ~1 minute, just until toasted.
  6. Spread pesto on the buns and top with a patty, a handful of roasted tomatoes.

Notes

Yields: 3 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 20 minutes

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Sliders with Beer-Glazed Caramelized Onions and Brie

NOW is it warm enough to grill where you live? I have my fingers crossed for you, but surely The Endless Winter of 2012-13 has got to be over for everyone now.

Hopefully. Because celebrating National Burger Month with snow on the ground? It just ain’t right.

We love our fancy burgers around here and have a few more to add to the menu this month. First up? Sliders topped with beer-glazed caramelized onions and brie.

Sliders with Beer-Glazed Caramelized Onions and Brie

By definition, miniature anythings are fancy. Add brie? TOTALLY Food & Wine-worthy. But the real stars here are the caramelized onions. Right at the end of cooking, they’re simmered in beer until a nice, syrupy glaze forms. It’s not just an excuse to open a beer, but it is an excuse if you need one.

For the beer, go with an amber or brown ale. If you’re not a beer drinker, you can skip the glaze… but maybe you try it anyway!

Sliders with Beer-Glazed Caramelized Onions and Brie

Grilled beef sliders go fancy with craft brew-glazed caramelized onions, fruit preserves, and brie. (Amber or brown ale recommended.)

Ingredients

  • For the onions:
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup beer (I used an amber ale)
  • For the sliders
  • 6 slider buns
  • Apricot preserves
  • 6 grilled slider patties (~2 1/2 oz precooked)
  • Brie, sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Cut the onion pole-to-pole and then slice into 1/4-inch half-rounds.
  3. Add all at once to the pan, reduce heat to medium, and let cook, stirring occasionally.
  4. If the onions get too dry before completely browning, add a couple Tbsp water and reduce heat even more.
  5. When the onions have browned to your liking, add the beer and let simmer until the beer reduces to a nice, syrupy glaze for the onions.
  6. To build the sliders, spread preserves onto the buns and top with a burger patty, slices of brie (cut to fit the slider), and a spoon of the onions.
  7. Serve warm.

Notes

Yields: 6 sliders

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 40 minutes

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