Buffalo burgers with smoked gouda

Yeesh, it took me a week to post this dinner I made last weekend! I woulda done it earlier, I swear, but these photos are pretty bad. I was too busy enjoying a perfect day to bother with things like Sensitivity and Exposure. Bah, who needs good photos anyways? My words paint the picture for you.

Last weekend, we had a blast on Sauvie Island. It was an idyllic Perfect Saturday. After getting scratched up and sticky picking fat blackberries (and stuffing ourselves with them, still sun-warm), we headed down to the boat launch to cool our toes in the Mighty Columbia. Sadly, we had a cooler of beer, but no bottle opener! But necessity being the mother of invention, I was able to hoist the caps off using the rim on the bottom of a can of mosquito repellent. Because I’m a good German girl.

After we’d had some nice ones, we mosied over to Kruger Farm Market for some perfect apples, peaches, mini avocados, good dill Havarti, and some baby okra (which is pickling with some green tomatoes in a nice curry brine as we speak). We hurried home with our booty, but stopped on the way to pick up a cheap ($15) tabletop gas grill and some ground buffalo.

I mixed the mince with salt and pepper, a few squirts of Worcestershire, and some garlic powder (which is about twice as many ingredients as I usually add to ground meat). I mixed it and formed four small patties – since we only had soft wheat dinner rolls, I decided to make sliders instead of buying buns. I made a small foil pouch for some hickory chips, and another to hold some tender green beans, minced red chiles and baby pattypans from the garden (butter and chopped herbs, a squirt of lemon and seal the pouch).

After tossing the (perforated) bag of wood chips onto the burner and letting it get good and smoky, we tossed on the veg and burgers and got some corn going on the stove. That chipotle butter that you keep seeing in Gourmet is good shit – just a little adobo from a can of chipotles and melted butter does the trick. Also, I have now converted from a “Coal Only, the Fuck You Using Gas to Grill” girl to “Bitch, If You Make Some Smoke You Can’t Tell the Difference So Get Off Your High Horse, Already” type of person.

I was shaking with anticipation and, coupled with terrible lighting in our TV room, mustered only this poorly-focused and dimly-lit photo of the most delicious burger.

Pulled the burgers at medium-rare, and top with slices of smoked gouda. Toast the rolls on the top of the grill lid. I topped my burger with a light shmear of spicy brown mustard, a little Jufran banana ketchup and some mayo, slices of avocado, minced onion, sliced tomato and baby arugula. Scott skipped the avocado and onion. A perfect accompaniment to a bourbon and Coke and a movie. Although Gone Baby Gone was only aight, in my opinion. I think he shoulda let Morgan Freeman keep the kid.