Baked Burritos

Sweet potato and pork belly baked in guacamole salsa. I ordered sweet potatoes in a curbside grocery pickup but they weren’t suitable for the hot mess treatment.

I cubed and boiled them until they were just tender, fried some more of that pork belly until crispy, and wrapped them with a sprinkle of queso fresco.

They barely fit into this small casserole dish but it worked well enough. They were doused with a guacamole salsa. The dish wasn’t deep enough to cover them with the sauce but I basted the tops with some of the grease from the pork belly and they didn’t dry out like I feared. Quite tasty, in fact. The dish as a whole was a hit with Mrs J.

Grilling Menu: Stuffed Jalapeno-Cheddar Burgers and Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

Stuffed Burger Uncut Snap

I make these all the time because they really are easy and a great way to have a cheeseburger without losing half the cheese to the grill. And the sweet potato cajun fries are the perfect sweet, spicy combo.  Grill some peaches, pears or plums and dinner is done. Enjoy.

On the board tonight:

  1. Jalapeno-Cheddar Stuffed Burgers
  2. Kaiser Rolls
  3. Cajun Sweet Potato Fries
  4. Grilled Sweet Corn  (pull husks back, clean off silk, wash, pull husks up & grill-yum!)
  5. Plums

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And… Another Fine Mess

We’ve enjoyed these stuffed sweet potatoes so much that we look around for different things to stuff them with.  Thanksgiving leftovers work pretty well.  This one has turkey, dressing, cranberries, and gravy.

A Hot Mess

We watched a Diners & Dives video that had this as a best seller for the restaurant they were visiting.  They named their version “The Hot Mess” – it’s a loaded sweet potato.  My version uses a pat of butter, shredded cheeses, smoked pork, a creamy sauce of sour cream mixed with chipotle chili powder, and bacon.

It’s really delicious.  Bake the potato, then slit the top and peel the skin back, fluff the insides, and then layer in whatever you think would work well for your own taste.  In the episode we watched they made theirs with smoked brisket.  They also used jumbo sweet potatoes that I can’t find locally, although today the greengrocer lady gave me a wink and slipped me two that were destined for their restaurant customers.  They were not as large as those on that show but they are respectable.  We will use them before they grow roots, maybe next week with different stuffings.  Hot ham, maybe?

Dinner Menu: Stuffed Burgers and Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

Stuffed Burger Uncut Snap

Thought it was time for some end-of-summer burgers. I make these all the time because they really are easy and a great way to have a cheese burger without losing half the cheese to the grill. And the sweet potato cajun fries are the perfect sweet, spicy combo.  Grill some plums or peaches and dinner is done. Enjoy.

On the board tonight:

  1. Jalapeno-Cheddar Stuffed Burgers
  2. Kaiser Rolls
  3. Cajun Sweet Potato Fries
  4. Raw Vegetable Tray
  5. Plums

Jalapeno-Cheddar Stuffed Burgers

Stuffed Burger Final

Ingredients for each burger:

  • 4 oz ground beef
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed garlic (opt)
  • 1 oz sharp cheddar, sliced thin
  • 2 or more slices of pickled jalapenos

Mix salt, pepper and garlic into the ground beef. Form two, 2-oz patties. Place jalapenos on one burger, cheese on the other.

Prep2

Place the two sides together and seal the edges completely. Gently flatten the burger, but be careful because you don’t want the cheese busting out of the center.

Prep1a

The key to grilling or frying these is low and slow. Medium heat seals them and allows the cheese to melt without drying the burger out. I flipped at the 5 minute mark, but depending on the heat, 3-4 minutes may be enough to flip. They’re thin, so the beef cooks quickly, but you want to make sure the cheese melts. I would say minimum 4 minutes per side.

If cheese starts to leak out, flip and flip again as needed. DON’T press down on these burgers while you grill, you’ll have a cheesy mess.

Now the warning. Did I say WARNING? Yes I did. You’ll need to rest these burgers to let the cheese cool a bit. Otherwise you could be biting into a scalding cheese center. You’ve been WARNED.

That’s the basics, now let your imagination run wild. Maybe I should have titled this, How To Stuff A Wild Burger.

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
  • 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp cumin (opt)

large bowl or baking dish and baking sheet

Cut potatoes into quarters lengthwise, then cut each quarter into 2 or 3 lengthwise slices. In bowl, toss with remaining ingredients and place in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes, turn and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown outside and tender inside.

Plums

If you grilled the burgers you can also grill the plums. Slice in half, remove the pits and grill over low heat

Shopping List:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar or jalapeno jack
  • sliced jalapenos (I use pickled)
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 4 large Kaiser rolls
  • Favorite raw vegetables
  • Vegetable dip
  • 4 to 8 plums

Also: cumin, Cajun spice, sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil, crushed garlic

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Thunder Snow and Sweet Potato Soup

We are once again under a severe winter snow warning.  Blizzard conditions in some areas.  It started out as rain then turned to snow.  Along with the snow there was lots of thunder.  They call it thunder snow – seems to happen during  fall and spring snows.

Roads are bound to be an icy mess tomorrow.  I’ll probably be working from home.  Already made a batch of  soup and am planning on a couple more batches of different varieties tomorrow  to serve as lunches through the weekend.

This is one I’ve been wanting to try for a while.  It’s a blended sweet potato soup.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Creamy Sweet Potato Tomato Soup

  • 2 large tomatoes or 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 pieces each
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed, cut into quarters
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 2 cups vegetable broth – I prefer low sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

In blender, add all ingredients, except water.  Blend until smooth, add water as needed.  Add mixture to saucepan, along with water, salt and pepper.  Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Serve with a crusty bread.  Serves 4