Cooks Corner

Caribbean-style jerk burger heats up grilling season

Caribbean jerk burger: With lime-mango slaw.
Caribbean jerk burger: With lime-mango slaw. McCormick

Weber surveyed grill enthusiasts to ask what they’re looking for and found that:

▪ 50 percent are looking for a splash of color to accent their grills. Black is still classic (30 percent), stainless steel is waning (23 percent) followed by red/brick red (18 percent) and blue (14 percent).

▪ The desire for color is even greater among grillers under 35, with 61 percent saying they’d like their next grill to pop. Weber is marketing to those millennials with six vibrant colors added to its Q gas grill line ($219).

McCormick, known for its annual flavor profiling, says burgers this grilling season will be “all about the build.”

The company has a new line of international seasonings, including jerk and sriracha, and regional favorites, such as bourbon brown sugar, to distinctly flavor ground meats. But beyond the seasoning, burgers this year will be well dressed with unique toppings, the company predicts.

The recipe here transforms what could be a bland turkey burger with sweet heat from jerk seasoning and a Caribbean-inspired topping — a quick fix made by doctoring deli coleslaw with fresh mango and lime.

Kitchen gadgetry

After I wrote about roasting a chicken upright in a Bundt pan and asked readers for other creative ways to use kitchen tools, lots of great tips arrived:

▪ Jack Chew of Fort Lauderdale was intrigued when he saw Rachael Ray use an apple slicer/corer to prepare oven fries. “She simply cut off one end of a russet potato, stood it upright and pressed down to produce perfectly sliced fries.”

Chew continued: “One of my favorite recipes is Red Skin Potato Salad, and after seeing this tip I decided to try it on small red potatoes. No need to cut off the bottom as these potatoes are usually oval and lie flat. After rinsing I placed the first potato on the cutting board and pressed the slicer down over it. Since the pieces were still embedded in the slicer I simply moved to the next potato and then on down the line. I was able to prep two and a half pounds of potatoes in about three minutes. All of the slices come out an ideal size for boiling. The round cores had to be cut separately before boiling but that was the only knife work involved. This also works well with onions.”

▪ “Don’t put that Bundt pan away yet!” writes A.L. “Next time you’re cutting corn off the cob, stick the little end in the hole and watch the kernels and juice flow into the pan. And if you can dig an electric knife out of Granny’s stash, use it when you’re freezing or canning lots of ears.”

▪ “I use my electric waffle maker to make grilled sandwiches and paninis,” says Pam J. “It looks cool and works great. You don’t have to get out a pan and use a lot of butter to make grilled cheese this way, either. I just use a little butter-flavor Pam to keep bread from from sticking to the grids. Sometimes you have to push down a bit on the top if you’ve stuffed the two pieces of bread too full — make sure you have a potholder handy.”

Liz also uses the waffle maker for sandwiches. Her favorite? “Take thin-sliced Cuban bread and smear it with cream cheese and guava jelly. Add some deli turkey and pop it into the waffle iron on medium for a couple minutes. You get the best crusty Elena Ruiz ever this way!”

▪ “A great tip for peeling potatoes is to screw a waiter’s corkscrew into one end of a potato and use it as a handle while stroking with a vegetable peeler,” Chew also offered. “This makes for quicker and easier peeling since you can use the peeler in a straight line and go in both directions while the potato remains firmly in your grip.”

▪ “Use a pizza cutter to get nice teensy bits when you are chopping a lot of cilantro or parsley or basil for a recipe,” said Lee. Pile your herbs on a cutting board and roll back and forth in several directions.

Reader Requests

Q. Can you get the recipe for the Key lime pie at Red Fish Grill? I had it recently and it is really very special and I would love to be able to bake it. Thanks.

Barbara

A. The pie actually is made at Red Fish Grill’s sister restaurant, Christy’s in Coral Gables, so you can get it at either spot when you’re not in a baking mood. It’s a great twist on the classic, with almonds adding crunch and a subtle nuttiness to the graham cracker crust, and a firmer texture because the filling is baked. Red Fish Grill, in case you are unfamiliar, is housed in what was originally the beach pavilion at Matheson Hammock, and scenes were shot there for both Sydney Pollack’s Random Hearts with Harrison Ford and There’s Something About Mary with Cameron Diaz.

Q. My husband and I recently visited Key West, and noticed your restaurant recipe column in the Miami Herald. We had the best scallops at [restaurant redacted]. We’d love to re-create them at home if you can get the recipe. Thanks!

Elizabeth Hecht

A. Alas, the restaurant (which may or may not rhyme with “True Seven”) did not respond to my request. But I’ve had the scallops there and I think this recipe captures the flavor. It’s a little tweak on the classic scallops Provençal.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172.

Caribbean Jerk Burger with Mango Slaw

1 cup prepared coleslaw

1/2 cup julienned mango

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning

1 medium red bell pepper, quartered

1 bunch green onions

4 hamburger rolls

Mix coleslaw, mango and lime juice in small bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Mix ground turkey and seasoning until well blended. Shape into 4 patties. Grill over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes per side or until burgers are cooked through (internal temperature of 165 degrees). Grill bell pepper and green onions 2 to 3 minutes or until tender and lightly charred, turning occasionally. Coarsely chop green onions. Serve burgers on rolls topped with grilled bell pepper, green onions and mango slaw. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 367 calories, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 27 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 94 mg cholesterol, 547 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.

Source: McCormick.

Christy’s Key Lime Pie

Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup almonds, lightly toasted and finely chopped

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 stick butter, room temperature

Filling:

6 large egg yolks

1 1/4 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup Key lime juice

Grated zest of 1 Key lime, optional

Lightly sweetened whipped cream for garnish

Combine graham cracker crumbs, chopped almonds, sugar and butter in an electric mixer. Pat onto bottom and up sides of a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Freeze for about 15 minutes while preparing the filling.

Beat or whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow and nearly doubled in volume, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Whisk in the condensed milk and then the lime juice and zest until smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour the prepared filling into the crust. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 492 calories (49 percent from fat), 27 g fat (10 g saturated, 11 g monounsaturated), 178 mg cholesterol, 11 g protein, 54 g carbohydrates, 2.9 g fiber, 282 mg sodium.

Source: Christy’s.

Scallops Provençal

1 1/2 pounds bay or sea scallops, rinsed, drained and dried

1/3 cup flour

Salt and white pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 to 2 teaspoons Key lime juice

4 plum tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

If you’re using bay scallops, keep them whole, but cut any very large sea scallops in half. Toss the scallops with the flour and salt and pepper in a bag and shake well. Drop into a sieve and shake off any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and sauté the garlic and shallot until tender but not browned. Increase heat and add the butter, swirl to melt and distribute, then add scallops in a single layer. Cook until scallops are lightly browned and opaque, about 3 to 5 minutes, turning once. Remove from pan, sprinkle with the lime juice and keep warm. Add tomato, wine and parsley to hot pan. Cook just long enough to heat through, scraping up any browned bits. Serve scallops over rice or angel hair with sauce spooned on top. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 313 calories (39 percent from fat), 13.6 g fat (4.8 g saturated, 6.5 g monounsaturated), 56 mg cholesterol, 22.8 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 1.8 g fiber, 722 mg sodium.

Source: Linda Cicero for Cook’s Corner.

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