Thursday, June 3, 2010

Santa Fe Burger

On this fine Memorial Day, my eyes creaked open without any intention of widening more than a slit. There was no way that I would be getting out of my cloud of a bed anytime soon. I grabbed my trusty computer and hunkered in for some morning time cooking investigation. My roomies and I decided to break in our back yard for the summer and be typical Memorial Dayians by barbequing some food.

I found myself on the Food Network web site, checkin’ out some of Bobby Flay’s burgers. His page has short video clips of themed burgers from all around the country. I went with the Santa Fe Burger. The white cheddar béchamel had me at hello. And the burger is quite easy. Bobby suggested that you really salt the outside of your burger so that creates a nice crust to hold the juices of the burger in. This technique really worked for me. Also, one large pastilla pepper goes on the grill. The béchamel is always a bit daunting for some reason. I’m always afraid that my timing will be off.  Melt down 1 tbl. of butter and then add 1 tbl. of flour to make the roux. This is when the song by that French girl, La Roux, won’t get out of my head. I think she helps me in my béchamel process. Thank you, La Roux. When the roux is thick enough (I always pay extra attention in cooking videos at this moment to be sure that I know how thick it’s supposed to be), in goes a cup and a half of milk, stir it until it thickens. Don’t worry! You will know!! Voila! A béchamel ready for you to add any type of flavor you desire. Can I just put béchamel on everything?? This béchamel calls for 2 cups of white cheddar, and it just melts right in there.

When the pastilla’s skin starts to turn black, I always just throw it in a paper bag to steam the skin off for about 10 minutes, then skinned, seeded and chopped. Now for the fun part, the burger building. Burger on bun, smothered in the white cheddar béchamel, topped with roasted pastilla, and sprinkled with corn tortilla chips to add a little extra crunch to the mix. The pastilla is just a tiny bit spicy, which is immediately mellowed down by the saucy cheese mixture. The highlight of this burger is of course the lovely béchamel. The thick sauce covers every crevice of the juicy patty sending pangs of euphoria throughout my body with every bite, lingering so that my taste buds now continue to reminisce, and complimented by the chiles and crunch chips to display the essence of Santa Fe. Even my vegetarian roommate got to indulge. She fried up some tempeh tofu, built a burger the same way, and then gave me a hug with a tear in her eye when she finished eating. Happy Memorial Day!

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