Well, I am back in the U.S.A.! After a grueling 27 hour journey from Salvador, Brazil to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I came home happy and ready to cook! My first night back I decided to go all out American and make some burgers. Ground meat isn’t an option and I was looking for something a bit “meatier” than a veggie burger. After searching my Pinterest boards, I decided to make BBQ salmon burgers, from halfbakedharvest.com. (See link below) These burgers were not difficult at all to make and they were one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. The combination of the pineapple, the fresh salmon, and the tangy BBQ sauce was unreal. I could eat one of these burgers everyday, and I am not even a big fan of salmon.
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
pinch of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound fresh, raw salmon (skin removed)
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 slices swiss cheese
pickeled jalopenos (optional)
4 king hawaiian hamburger buns or whole wheat buns, toasted
1 avocado, sliced or mashed (optional)
Coconut Caramelized Pineapple
2 tablespoon coconut oil
4 large pineapple rings (preferably from a fresh pineapple)
2 tablespoon toasted coconut (optional)
In a small bowl combine the BBQ sauce, pineapple juice, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Set aside for later.
Add salmon to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it’s somewhat ground. You can also chop the salmon very finely with a sharp knife.
Remove and add salmon to a bowl with the panko bread crumbs, parmesan and 2 tablespoons of the hawaiian BBQ sauce from step 1 (save the rest for serving) and mix with a spoon until just combined. Form into 4 equally sized burgers. Heat a skillet (or grill) over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook burgers on each side until golden, about 3-4 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking add the swiss cheese and the jalapeños, if using.
In a separate skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and place the pineapple slices in the pan. Cook for about 3-4 mins, flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
To assemble place a piece of lettuce on the bottom of a bun, then the burger, mashed or sliced avocado and a ring of pineapple. Drizzle each burger with the remaining Hawaiian BBQ sauce.
For starters, it says to use a BBQ sauce of your choice. I chose Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet Vidalia Onion sauce and added all the necessary ingredients to give it a little kick. I then moved on to the burgers themselves. I cut the salmon into small cubes, added the ingredients, and formed the salmon mixture into patties. When (notice I say when and not if) I make these burgers again, I think I will add an egg to the mixture to act as a bonding agent, because the patties were really difficult to keep together, even before I put them into the skillet. I used olive oil instead of coconut oil to cook the patties, simply because I am not a huge fan of coconut and I didn’t have it in the house. That being said, instead of cooking the pineapple in coconut oil, I grilled it, completely eliminating the last step. With a bit of struggle the burgers came out mostly in one piece.
The patties (after some effort)
I finally assembled the scrumptious burgers, staying true to the recipe, except I omitted the jalapeños because I am a huge baby and I can’t stand spicy food. The burgers were AMAZING. After craving American food (or honestly just something other than rice and beans) for five weeks these burgers were like heaven. I was on cloud 9 and so was the rest of the family. My mom declared that it was the best thing I have ever made (a common proclamation made every time I try something new). Even my incredibly picky sister declared them a hit, finishing her whole plate without a single complaint.
The pineapple. Om nom nom.
Since the burgers were so packed with flavor, I decided on some pretty simple side dishes to compliment them. I made a batch of baked sweet potato fries and I steamed some asparagus. I am obsessed with sweet potatoes fries and they are so easy and relatively healthy. All I did was slice 2 large sweet potatoes into wedges, making sure they were pretty even so they would bake evenly. I then tossed the wedges in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and added salt, pepper, and pumpkin pie seasoning to taste. I baked them for 25 minutes and they came out crispy and delicious. For the asparagus (which is in my top five list of favorite vegetables) I just threw a pound of asparagus in the steamer for 14 minutes, to assure crispness.
Major apologies for lack of photos and photo quality. My camera broke when I was in Brazil! I will be fixing this soon!
The meal was honestly delicious and was just the healthy, hearty meal that I had been craving for weeks. I honestly would highly recommend this to anyone. Easy, flavorful, and quite honestly pretty impressive.