Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Szechuan Burgers

Yesterday morning there were complaints from the little angels (ahem.....) that there was no food in the house. So I spent a couple hours at the store yesterday, procuring the necessary items to restock the pantry and freezer. It was, dare I say it, kind of fun. I have been so busy lately that things like shopping, cooking, and cleaning really went out the window. Now I am back from my trip, I guess I am kind of "nesting." Not that I enjoy cleaning (not at all!!!), I just enjoy having a clean house. I have seriously considered getting someone in here once a week, but I'm one of those people who'd clean first, because I'd be embarrased to have the cleaning lady see my dirt. And I guess that kind of defeats the purpose.

So now I have cooked (from scratch!) 2 dinners in a row since I've gotten back- I'm on a roll now!. Monday night is was chicken stew. I made these Szechuan Burgers last night for dinner, I got the recipe from the January issue of Southern Living. I served them with baked sweet potato wedges; they were really good and there was a unanimous agreement that I should make these again! I had to make a few changes, as there were a few ingredients I couldn't find in the grocery store.

I could not find the McCormick Szechwan Seasoning, even though I stood in the spice aisle for 10 minutes (literally) looking. I finally got a jar of Szechuan sauce in the Asian aisle and used that. Also, I could not find the Cucumber Ranch Dressing, so I just added about 1/4 cup of finely chopped cucumber to regular Ranch Dressing. Finally, I could not find black sesame seeds, so I just used the regular ones and toasted them in a dry nonstick frying pan for a few minutes (Hint- I found the sesame seeds in both the spice aisle and the Asian aisle, and the ones in the Asisan aisle were much less expensive.) Oh, and the chicken mixture was pretty gooey, so I added some panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) to help hold it together. And I cooked them in a fryingpan with Pam instead of on the grill.

Have I mentioned before that I can't seem to follow a recipe to save my life? Now you see why! Even when I try to follow one, it just seems impossible for me.

Prep: 20 min., Chill: 30 min., Grill: 10 min.

1/3 cup KRAFT Cucumber Ranch Dressing
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons FLORIDA'S NATURAL Brand Premium Orange Juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups loosely packed shredded coleslaw mix
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 tablespoon MCCORMICK Gourmet Collection Black Sesame Seeds
Vegetable cooking spray for grilling
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken breast
1/4 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons MCCORMICK Gourmet Collection Szechwan Seasoning
6 sesame seed hamburger buns

Whisk together first 3 ingredients and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Stir in coleslaw mix, green onions, and sesame seeds. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Coat a cold cooking grate with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 300° to 350° (medium).

Combine ground chicken, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 3/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl until blended. Shape mixture into 6 (3/4-inch-thick) patties.

Grill patties, covered with grill lid, over 300° to 350° (medium) heat 5 minutes on each side or until done. Grill hamburger buns, cut sides down, 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Place 1 burger on top of each bottom bun; top evenly with coleslaw mixture and tops of buns.

Makes 6 servings

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