That's right... two recipes this time around!
Actually, there's a third one as the chipotle mayo can be used for other foods (sandwiches, chicken on a baguette, etc.).
I saw that there were some who were literally sweating in their households and were hoping for a BBQ recipe so they didn't have to do any cooking indoors. At the same time, I only planned this trip to Nova Scotia a couple weeks ago after my father's health forced a change in our plans to go to Ireland in August. Rather than swap my turn in the OTCC with someone else ... why not include a typically Nova Scotian recipe!
Disclaimer: I'm allergic to fish, so while I prepared the halibut dish, I have no idea what it tasted like. I did put the salsa on the pork chops that I had instead, while my parents gobbled down the halibut. They're still alive 24 hours later, so I suppose that's a good thing ...
Here we go:
BBQ Chipotle Corn Burgers
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, puréed
2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
Sliced bell pepper
Splash of lemon juice
12 ounces or 750 grams or 1-1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (this makes 6 decent-sized patties, adjust accordingly based on how many you want)
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of ground cumin
Cheese (I used monterey jack cheese here)
Other items you may like such as onions, tomatoes or lettuce
Got everything now? Time to mix and cook!
First, prepare the chipotle mayonnaise.
Chop finely or purée the chipotle chile - I used about 6 or 7 chiles and it seemed moderately spicy but with not much lingering effects, so adjust based on your preferences or tolerance. If you have low tolerance for hot spices, I believe 2 or 3 would still be enough to add flavour but with only a little zing on the tongue.
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Put into the refrigerator. It can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Next... I like making this corn salsa as I think it's a nice complement to the chipotle mayo. The corn salsa is entirely optional but if you can, don't skip out on the chipotle mayo.
Some people like their salsa to be cool and uncooked, but the version I'm including here is where the corn and bell peppers are blackened then stored in the fridge to cool.
Cut the sliced bell peppers in a julienned way.
Blacken the corn and sliced bell peppers in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil, add in a bit of salt and pepper, keep it moving around so it doesn't burn but allow to become browned, about 5-6 minutes total.
Put into the fridge in a bowl.
Now that the mayo and salsa are in the fridge, cooling ... let's work on the burgers. You can add extra flavours or fillings into the burgers if you want, but here I've kept the burgers relatively simple because of all the extras I'm adding on top. Pene and her son decided to have a burger with onion mix added in, so you will see that in the picture below. (To make onion burgers on its own, just take the amount of ground beef I listed in the ingredients above, add in an envelope or pouch of Knorr's or Lipton's Onion Soup Mix, mix into patties)
Tip 1: Try not to over-handle the ground beef - it makes the burgers less juicy and tougher.
Tip 2: Make an indentation in the center of the patty to keep it flat while cooking. Otherwise, it'll look like an egg by the time it's cooked.
In a bowl, add in a splash of salt and sprinkle some ground cumin. Form into a ball, then shape into a few 3/4 inch thick patties.
The one with ground cumin is on the left, the onion soup mix one is on the right.
Preheat grill to medium-high, brush the grates and burger with canola oil.
Season the patty with ground cumin and grill about 4-6 minutes per side at medium heat. You know your BBQ, so if there's no risk of flare-ups, you could cook at a higher heat for less time (4 mins per side). Top with cheese if desired - I used monterey jack cheese.
In this picture, I've got onions, tomatoes, monterey jack cheese, fresh cilantro, chipotle mayonnaise, corn salsa, and avocado.
For my burger, as you see in the second picture below, I put on the chipotle mayo on the bottom bun, then four thin slices of avocado, a few sprigs of cilantro, the burger, two thick slices of monterey jack cheese, and topped off with corn salsa.
Nova Scotia Grilled Halibut with fresh Strawberry Salsa
I'm in Halifax for two weeks, so I've got to offer something that is savoury from this area, no?
1 pint (half litre) fresh strawberries, cut in chunks
2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh chopped cilantro
3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 ml) coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp (2 ml) freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 lime and 1/2 medium-size orange
6 x 8 oz (200-225 g) fresh halibut fillets (haddock is a suitable option if no halibut)
First, mix all of the salsa ingredients together in a bowl. Put into refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Next, in a frying pan, heat olive oil (about two tbsp) on high; sear halibut for 2 minutes on each side. Place halibut in a casserole dish and put into 350°F (175°C) oven for 5 minutes.
Top with chilled salsa and serve immediately.