If I were to pick one summer comfort food, it would burgers. I could eat a good burger practically every day, but I try to limit it to once a week during the hot summer months. I tend to go for a simple beef burger with cheese and bacon or a grilled chicken breast with pineapple, cheese and bacon. Do you see a trend here? I like me some bacon on my burgers. Which is why I dedicated a whole post to how I cook them for my sandwiches.
This particular day was a scorcher and I didn’t want to turn on the oven at all, so I did the same procedure as with the baked lattice bacon except I pan-fried it. I will always prefer my bacon baked over fried, just because it cooks more evenly, but the method still worked great.
The key to avoiding a tough burger is to handle the meat as little as possible. Mix the ingredients together just until incorporated and pat the burgers into form rather than squeezing.
I’ve always been a little nervous about making ground chicken burgers because you need to be extra careful in making sure they’re cooked through and I’ve heard they often turn out dry. But, this recipe sounded too good to pass up. The meat mixture is packed with cheddar and parmesan and I think that must help a lot with moisture because these were not even close to dry. They were juicy, cheesy and packed with flavour. Add the classic components of a BLT and a yummy Basil Mayonnaise and you have yourself one mean burger.
I prefer burgers without bread crumbs, crackers or oats because I find them less meatloaf-y. They are quite sticky to deal with but as long as you grease your grill ahead of time and make sure there’s a good char on them before you turn, you should have no problem flipping them.
BLT Chicken Burgers
I tend to make my burgers a little smaller and make six burgers out of one pound of meat, instead of four, which is why you will see differing amounts in the assembly. Choose as many as is appropriate for the amount of burgers you have made.
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix ingredients together lightly and form into 4-6 thin patties. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to grill.
To Grill: Clean and lightly grease grill grates; preheat to medium. Grill burgers, flipping once, until browned and cooked through (8-10 minutes).
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- 4-6 burger buns, toasted if desired
- 4-6 squares lattice bacon (or 8-12 slices), cooked
- 4-6 romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 large tomato, sliced
Spread buns with basil mayonnaise. Top with bacon, lettuce, chicken burgers and tomato. Serve immediately.
Adapted from My Recipes.
I seriously have so much fun making this recipe. I’m not sure what makes it more fun then regular pizza dough. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re making individual portions that can be adapted to each person’s liking. Or, that it’s baked on a grill, which is the closest thing to a pizza oven that I’ll ever get. Or maybe, it’s just the fact that you can decide so last-minute to make pizza, even if you didn’t thaw the dough first.
For even quicker prep: make a couple batches of dough when you have time. Grill on one side, allow to cool and then wrap in plastic wrap. When ready to use: pull out of the freezer, place desired toppings onto the grilled side and grill until dough is cooked through and toppings are melted. This is also a great alternative for those who may only be wanting 1 or 2 individual pizzas at a time.
We topped ours with Tropical BBQ Chicken Pizza toppings. I think it’s a match made in heaven. I’m planning on trying ham and pineapple next and I’m sure over the summer all our favourite toppings will have a go on the grill. Because, what doesn’t taste better with a little smoky flavour?
This dough can handle a lot of toppings. I’m so used to making my thin crust pizza dough that I’m always a little stingy with the toppings. But the truth is, the crust is so good that even if your toppings are skimpy, your pizza will still be delicious. Even my thin crust loving husband is a big fan of this dough.
And, one of my absolute favourite features: if you’re craving pizza on a scorcher of a day you don’t even have to turn the oven on!
A Couple Tips on Working with Dough:
For those who may be new at working with yeast doughs here are a couple tips to help you have success.
- Wetter is better. When making dough it’s always better for the dough to be a tad bit too sticky then to be too dry. You can always add lots of flour when you’re rolling it out but fixing a dry dough is a lot more difficult. Plus, the less flour the more rise you’ll get. You know the dough is done when it’s sticky to the touch but nothing clings to your finger when you pull it away.
- Keep it warm. When I make yeast based doughs I like to let it rise in a slightly warm oven. This way I’m guaranteed no drafts and the temperature won’t fluctuate. I always get a better and quicker rise this way. To do this: preheat your oven to the lowest setting while you make the dough. Once the dough is ready place it in the warm oven, turn off the heat and close the door.
- Knead it well. You want to knead the dough for approximately 6-8 minutes. This helps to develop the gluten which will in turn help the dough have better structure. You’ll know the dough is ready if it looks smooth and no longer scraggly.
I really have to pull back the restraints when I’m eating this. As if pizza wasn’t addictive enough, now I have an extra delicious crust to contend with. And, now you can too. :)
What toppings would you put on grilled pizza?
Last-Minute BBQ Pizza Dough
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 package (1/4 oz) quick rise yeast
- 2-3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and oil. Knead until smooth; adding additional flour if necessary to achieve a smooth, pliable and slightly sticky dough. Place in a lightly greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
- Prepare grill: Coat rack with oil and preheat to medium heat.
- Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a 6-7 inch circle. Transfer to the grill and cook, covered, for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove from grill. Top the grilled side with desired toppings. Put back on grill and cook, covered, for 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.
Adapted from Taste of Home.
Does anybody else feel like Christmas should be at the end of January?We get so excited about the snow leading up to Christmas and then as soon as Christmas is over we seem to be ready for winter to be over too. But, winter has just started!
I genuinely like winter. It gives you the excuse to do lot’s of baking, have a pyjama day without feeling guilty and enjoy the coziness of coming in from the cold and sipping on some hot chocolate. The problem for me is that most of the “magic” disappears along with Christmas. If we celebrated it at the end of January that would give us one whole extra month to be in the Christmas spirit and have something besides Spring to look forward to.
I’m not saying we should change tradition, but I guess maybe it’s just time to find the magic of winter without Christmas. I think my friend Aimée’s idea of a winter picnic would be the perfect way to do that. Now if only my jacket would do up over my pregnant belly. :)
Our family has a pizza night every weekend. For the longest time would just make Hawaiian because it’s my hubby’s favourite. But, since we were having it every week I was really wanting to branch out and find some other favourites. Surprisingly enough it seems difficult to find a pizza that we all love. But this time I hit the nail on the head.
I took our favourite thin crust pizza dough, topped it with barbecue sauce, chicken, cheese, red peppers, green onions and pineapple. It was perfect and we all ate way too much of it. I think my two year old had three or four pieces. Although, when the pizza crust is so thin you can down a lot more slices. :) I love that this doesn’t have the traditional tomato pizza sauce because sometimes you just need to change things up.
This one will definitely be going into our pizza night rotation and I’ll be sure to share any other favourites that we hit along the way.
One Year Ago: Cappuccino Nanaimo Bars
Tropical Barbecue Chicken Pizza
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided
- 1 ball thin crust pizza dough
- 3 cups shredded cheese
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 (227g/8oz) can pineapple tidbits
- Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a small amount of oil and then add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Add 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce and toss to coat.
- Roll and stretch pizza dough to cover a 12×15 inch jelly roll pan. Spread remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce over all. Top with chicken, cheese, pepper, onions, and pineapple.
- Bake at 500ºC for 10-12 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is cooked through.
*Make sure to use your favourite barbecue sauce. The better it tastes the better the pizza will taste!
* You can use whatever pizza dough you like just make sure to follow the instructions for the baking of that dough.
Our family is in the midst of kitchen renovations. We started tearing out the kitchen cupboards last weekend and are currently in the process of laying the flooring so we can get all the cupboards and appliances in over this coming weekend.
Right now, I’m doing food prep on the dining room table, dishes in the bathroom sink and haven’t done any laundry in almost a week (laundry hookups are in the kitchen). I’m more then ecstatic to get my new kitchen but I really don’t mind living in limbo. It makes it feel much more like home because we LOVE renovating!
This Barbecue Bean Salad is so easy to make and perfect to go along with whatever you have on the grill for supper. It can be made ahead but I highly advise tossing the tortilla chips in at the last minute or they’ll get soggy.
Thankfully my fridge and stove are so small that we can drag them in and out of the kitchen as needed, so I cooked up the dressing and then started the oven to slow-cook some beef dip to serve up beside. Such a perfect dinner at the (near) end of a hard working day.
P.S. To satisfy your curiosity (because I know I would be) I’ll be posting before and after pictures once the kitchen is complete.
Barbecue Bean Salad
adapted from Taste of Home
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Lower heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes to meld flavours. Allow to cool slightly before using.
- 2 cans beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small can corn (about 1/2 cup), drained
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
- Stir together all ingredients except chips. Add dressing and toss to coat. Stir in chips just before serving.
Makes: 7 servings
* I used one can of kidney beans and one can chickpeas.