BBQ Havarti Burgers with Sweet Potato Curly Fries.
I’m making big plans.
We might get blasted with snow this weekend and while I’m currently deciding if I want to relive Ben picking the pink power ranger over Felicity, fall in love with Sam Seaborn again or do something really drastic like make a Huey Lewis and the News playlist while we’re housebound, I have one super serious question that I must have the answer to ASAP.
What are you thinking of making for the super bowl? Or for a playoff game this weekend? I’m quite concerned since it’s an excellent excuse to braise short ribs and find yourself elbow-deep in some sort of horrifyingly delicious cheese dip. And while I might not be watching a game for any other purpose than socializing, I’ll probably get the itch to have some sort of spread on hand during the inevitable binge session of Scott Foley forever known to me as Noel.
Can we talk about how ORANGE this entire situation is?
It’s no secret that photography is my least favorite part of this process, but there are two things I find super difficult to photograph and that I just loathe taking pictures of: triangle slices (how/where/when to get the best angle?!) and orange foods (probably scarred for life from the yellow orange lighting back in the 2009 days of my blog). It’s not that I don’t love eating orange foods but they just always look… super orange.
Eddie was in it to win it though. He doesn’t mind the orange and I’m almost positive he took down a whole baking sheet of fries.
And I guess that I can get over it for these fries, because they are heaven on earth. I pretended they were stuck in a snow globe of BBQ spice and seasoned the ever-living heck out of them.
So, I think the secret to really crispy, delicious sweet potato fries, whether they be curly or regular, is the double fry. With one fry, they were slightly soggy and not crisp all around. But the MINUTE they hit the second fry, they were golden and crunchy on the outside but still so soft and sweet on the inside. I was DYING.
And I just used canola oil to fry, but I’ve made some smaller batches in coconut oil. It is SO good. It’s just hard for me to fathom wasting that liquid gold for a huge batch of frying. You know?
When I get on a burger kick, I get on a burger kick. There isn’t much else that solves a burger craving for me – I need a burger piled high with tons of toppings. In my early days, I only wanted cheese. For most of my childhood I ordered a “plain cheeseburger,” half scared that they would forget the cheese and I’d have a plain dry burger, but that wasn’t as bad if lettuce and tomato ended up between the buns. Oh heck no. I was NOT doing that.
Then I came to my senses. I wanted more flavor, more texture, more toppings to make it delicious. Now I prefer piles a spring greens, still like to leave off the tomato (too weird on a burger, no thanks) and tons of other toppings, like caramelized onions, mushrooms, mustard (always, where my mustard freaks at!), and fries. It’s practically required to stick a fry or five on top of your burger, just like it’s required to stick potato chips inside your sandwich. It adds SO much.
I swear. To the moon and the stars and the sky.
My current favorite topping on my burger is a three-way tie between bacon jam, truffled aioli and shoestring onions. Freaking adore those crunchy onion frizzles! They kill me. And sometimes when the burger is topped with all that stuff, I actually prefer it wrapped in LETTUCE.
I know. What is wrong with me.
Not all the time, but occasionally the crispy, fresh iceberg wrap is ideal when you have 67 toppings on an already-thick patty.
I’ve made the crispy onion straws at home before but I really wanted sweet potato fries on the side… and knew they’d end up on my burger. Especially since I decided to spiralize them into curly fries. I tried a few different settings on my spiralizer and actually loved them all! I had a tough time deciding but I think the thinner, angel-hair-like, shoestring fries win. Not only are they perfect for dipping (chipotle ketchup all the way) but topping? They rival the onion straws.
On to the burger, before you lose your patience. (Too late, I know).
I put some BBQ sauce in the beef mixture. I topped the thing with entirely too much Havarti cheese, really an obnoxious amount. It’s just so fantastic and ridiculously melty. Spring greens went on too. More BBQ sauce once served, a pile of bread and butter pickles (they are becoming a thing here, I’m totally blown away) and the sweet potato curls. All on a sesame bun that I brushed with butter because I didn’t think I had enough calories in my life. WAH.
But no really, just brush your buns with butter and throw them in the oven for five minutes. Life changing.
Sold yet? Give me an extra plate of pickles!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces havarti cheese, sliced
- 4 to 6 brioche or sesame seed buns, depending on your size preference
- spring greens for serving
- 3 sweet potatoes, spiralized
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place the beef in a bowl and seasoning with the salt and pepper. Add the BBQ sauce and gently mix with your hands to incorporate, forming 4 to 6 patties, whichever size you wish and whatever size fits your bun. Heat a large skillet (or your grill, your preference) over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Cook the patties until browned on both sides and your desired doneness is reached. I do about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-well, but it will depend on how think your burgers are. A minute or two before they are done, cover the tops with the sliced harvarti and cover the skillet to let the cheese melt.
- To serve the burgers, add a dollop of BBQ sauce on the bottom of the bun, then cover with spring greens. Add the patty on top, more BBQ sauce and a heaping pile of sweet potato fries!
- Spiralize the sweet potatoes and place the spirals in a large bowl. Cover with water completely and let soak for 45 minutes. Once finish soaking, place the potato spirals on a large towel, covered with another towel, and pat firmly to remove as much water as you can.
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-low heat. Fit the pot with a candy thermometer. You want the oil to be around 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with paper towels. Stir together the sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder and pepper.
- Working in batches, add some of the potato spirals to the oil (don’t overcrowd!) and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the very so slightly seem to be crisping or changing texture. Remove the spirals with a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs and place on the paper towel to drain the excess oil. Repeat with remaining spirals. Once those are all finished, you do the second fry. Work in batches again – this time the spirals will only need 1 to 2 minutes in the oil – they will turn golden, you will see. Remove and place on a paper towel again. While still hot, cover the spirals in the seasoning mixture.
when I dip you dip I dip.