A burger and fries is pretty much a global favorite in modern times with the expansion of the major American burger chains having been made to include virtually every country on the planet. While millions love the combination, it's probably fair to say that most people who regularly indulge in a burger and fries usually have them in exactly the same way, perhaps even from the same fast food outlet. I too love the concept of burger and fries but I can hold my hand on my heart and say that I have never once sampled them from a fast food restaurant. Instead, I not only make them at home, I love experimenting with wider possibilities to vary the idea and make it wherever possible both a tastier and a healthier meal option.
This idea for making the simple burger and fries a bigger and even bolder affair came about when a friend told me he now regularly buys two portions for himself as one is insufficient to satisfy him.
Ingredients (Makes 1 Large Serving)
- 2 medium sized baking potatoes
- 6 ounces ground (minced) beef or pork
- 1 small red onion
- Medium sized and strength green chili
- Black pepper
- 1 tablespoon all purpose (plain) flour for dusting burger and 1 teaspoon for cheese sauce
- 8 bite sized cauliflower florets
- ¼ cup self-rising (self-raising) flour
- Vegetable oil for frying
- ½ teaspoon (approximately) hot chili powder for seasoning wedges
- 2 slices processed cheese
- Small handful mixed sliced bell peppers
- Small handful mixed salad leaves
- 1 soft bread roll
- ¼ stick (1 ounce) butter (butter substitutes are not suitable)
- ½ cup (4 fluid ounces) milk
- 2 teaspoons shredded/grated cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
Scrub the potatoes clean but don't peel them before cutting them in half along their length. Cut each half in to three or four wedges and add to a large pot of cold water. Let them steep for five minutes before draining well. Put them in to a pot of fresh water, season lightly with salt and put the pot on to a high heat to reach a simmer for five minutes. Drain and allow to steam off for five to ten minutes.
Place the wedges in a single layer in a suitable dish and refrigerate for an hour. This will help them to further dry out.
Bring a deep pan of oil or your deep fryer up to a medium to high heat. Take the wedges from the fridge and fry for three to four minutes to essentially complete their cooking but not to the stage of where they are starting to color and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper, afford them around ten minutes to cool and return them to the fridge in the dried dish for another hour.
Put the ground pork or beef in to a bowl. Peel and half the red onion. Set half of it aside for later use and finely dice the other half. Seed and dice the green chili. Add both to the bowl with the meat and season with salt and pepper. Use your hands to squeeze and combine all the ingredients together. This is much more effective than using a spoon.
Scatter the tablespoon of all purpose flour on a plate. Lift the burger mix from the bowl and roll it between the palms of your hands in to a ball. Pat it in to a patty around three-quarters of an inch thick. Pat it on both sides in the flour, cover and leave it to rest for around fifteen minutes.
Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to the boil. Carefully lower the cauliflower florets in to the water and simmer for just two to three minutes before draining through a colander. Put them on a plate, cover and leave to cool for about ten minutes.
Add some vegetable oil to a small, non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium to high heat. Lay the burger patty in the pan and reduce the heat to fry fairly gently for about ten minutes each side,
As soon as the burger is in the pan, the self-rising flour should be added to a small bowl and seasoned with a little salt. Very slowly and gradually, pour in some cold water from a small jug while you whisk with a small balloon whisk or fork. You need to form a batter the consistency of thick cream which should be allowed to rest in the fridge while the burger completes cooking.
As soon as you have turned your burger, start your deep fat fryer/pan coming up to a fairly high heat. Put an ovenproof dish in to your oven and turn the oven on to its lowest setting.
The potato wedges should be taken from the fridge and deep fried this time until they are crisp and golden - around four to five minutes. Drain again briefly on fresh kitchen paper before lifting them to the oven warmed dish. Scatter them with some salt and the chili powder. Turn them around in the seasoning with a slotted spoon and return the dish to the oven to keep them warm.
When the burger is just about done, lay the two slices of processed cheese on top. Turn the heat off under the pan and lift it to a cool part of your stove to let the burger rest for a few minutes. Start your deep frying oil coming back up to a fairly high heat.
The cauliflower florets should be dipped one at a time in the chilled batter and carefully lowered in to the hot oil. They'll take two or three minutes to crisp up and should be turned carefully on a fairly frequent basis.
Finely slice the second half of the red onion. Heat some oil in a clean frying pan and fry the onion with the mixed pepper slices, seasoning with salt and pepper, for a couple of minutes over a fairly high heat, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.
Lift the deep fried cauliflower florets to a plate covered with kitchen paper to briefly drain.
Put the butter for the white sauce in to a small saucepan and gently melt. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and continue to stir for a minute or so to ensure the flour is cooked. The milk should be added in three or four stages, stirring each quantity in to the roux before adding more. Allow the sauce to simmer very gently for a couple of minutes or so until it starts to thicken.
Wash the salad leaves in a colander under running cold water and pat dry between sheets of kitchen paper. Cut open the bread roll and lay the salad on the bottom half to form a bed for the cheeseburger.
Lift the cheeseburger carefully on to the salad bed with a spatula. Top with the fried peppers and red onion.
Put the top of the roll on the cheeseburger and lift the assembly to your large serving plate or dish.
Add the cheese and parsley to the white sauce and carefully stir through, just until the cheese is melted.
Arrange the cauliflower fritters and the spicy wedges on the serving dish beside the spicy cheeseburger. Spoon the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and serve immediately.