|And it actually looks like this.|
After buying a bunch of different spices at Whole Foods a few weeks ago (see my turmeric soup post) I wanted to use one of the spices in a burger, but which? Checking the aroma of each one, I decided that the most interesting one was going to be fenugreek. For Lisa, I decided to use the Chipotle Chili Powder.
Fenugreek is an interesting spice. Used primarily in Middle-Eastern and Indian cuisine, it's similar to but totally different than curry. The smell is very sweet, but the taste is more on the savory end of the spectrum. The color is a dark mustard yellow, and in my case, it was ground up into a very fine powder.
|Aromatic as hell.|
The idea that I had for hers was to make a spicy burger, top it with smoked cheddar and sauteed onions, then smother it in some of my leftover homemade chili. I put the beef into the processor, then added some chipotle chili powder, cayenne pepper powder, onion powder, and seasoned salt. After letting it all meld together in the food processor, I opened it up to inspect, and the results caught me by surprise. It smelled Exactly. Like. Chili. Cheese. Fritos. I'm not talking "similar to" or "reminds me of." I'm talking about having a bag of them right in front of you. She was going to LOVE it.
Being the middle of winter in Ohio, grilling outside was not part of the equation. I used a regular pan on the stove top and brought the meat up to temperature very, very slowly. I like my burgers on the rare side, so the last thing I wanted to do was get them to medium, or *gasp*, medium-well. They take longer, sure, but cooking them on the stove top lets have absolute control over how they cook, and as an added benefit, you can get a little bit of a crunchy exterior to the burger, which is both unexpected and incredibly yummy.
After getting the burgers to the right done-ness, I put them each onto a bun, topped mine with sauteed mushrooms, a tomato, then some buttermilk ranch dressing (side note: the buttermilk ranch from Aldi is one of the best i've ever had, and I would certainly call myself a Ranch Connoisseur) then Lisa's was topped with sauteed onions and a generous portion of chili.
Judging by how Lisa ate her burger with the quickness, I could only surmise that she was a fan. Mine was delicious- the fenugreek was a perfect compliment to the meat, and really made a regular burger feel exotic. I think that fenugreek will find it's way into my regular rotation- there are so many other things that I could see using this on, especially seafood.
What I learned from this was to experiment- I had never had fenugreek before and bought it based on smell. Go and explore spices, smell them, buy something that smells good, and use something you've never tried before! The only way to expand your horizons is to go where you've never gone.