Charcoal Grilling and Camera Bugs

Your going to need a flashlight to see my picture of the onion slices. I just can not seem to let well enough alone. I have tried other camera settings without rereading the directions and all of my pictures are hit and miss. I think it has been one of those weeks for me.

I am talking to one of my little sisters about this new recipe for a hamburger, which is pictured at the right, and I am telling her about the chipotle ketchup that you make along with the recipe and she stops me dead in the middle of my story. No, no, it is chee-poht-lay, not chip-i-tole. Can you believe this? She clearly knew what I meant but since the family feels I am the food expert, I must also know how to pronouce everything clearly. Normally, this would have been an issue, but since this is summer time, I am always in a hurry and the whole correcting thing was NOT the first episode this week. Earlier, my sister-in-law, who knows everything about wine, had to correct me on the proper title to the producer of a late harvest Riesling that we both enjoy. We just so happen to be amongst a group of people and she had to stop the whole conversation to publically correct me. . .uhmm, how nice, grumble, snort. Later this week, my own husband corrected me on a pronounciation of a cooking word that I must have purposely blanked out of my head because now I can't remember what the conversation was but just the fact that he had to correct me had me feeling really frustrated. Okay, I love to cook BUT I do not walk around with a dictionary on how to properly pronouce every culinary word that I come across. I admit it. . .I am more interested in the food cooking aspect. Hmmm, I guess I still feel a little frustrated over this.

The camera, my Canon Rebel Xt, is not downloading pictures right. I have been waiting as long as an hour and a half to get pictures onto the computer. This is a huge reason for not blogging; that and I had no water for a couple of days. (I have never been so happy to turn a faucet on and see water gushing out before.) The camera issue just got fixed by hubby. I guess the Canon had over 1 gig of pictures on it and the computer was having to go through all the pictures before selecting only the new ones to load into the computer. The downloading was taking forever and the camera was shutting off automatically before the computer and the camera could get into sync. I should be able to blog with everyone again, only I think I may have become forgotten again, sniff.

No more playing with settings until I read more about what I am doing. The pictures are terrible but the burger is so delicious that I am willing to share embaressing pictures in hopes that some will actually try these burgers =D.

The burgers: Cheddar Burgers with Balsamic Onions and Chiptole (which I now know how to pronounce) Ketchup

The recipe source: Bon Appetit July 2008
I know the burgers can be created on a gas grill just as easy but I am trying to learn how to charcoal grill and these burgers are the perfect project for a smaller learning experience. The whole recipe is fast and the flavors are delicious! Do not be afraid to make the burgers large and thick. Also: Leave the lid Shut and do NOT peek!, until the time is up for grilling on the first side. NO squishy, squishy with the spatula. You want the hamburger juices to stay in the meat. Flip, and grill for another 3 to 5 minutes and you will have the ultimate hamburger flavor and experience of a lifetime. The Balsamic onions are so good! Thick with great grill markings, a little balsamic vinegar, and seasonings. The sharp cheddar cheese is perfect and does not overpower the flavor but the chiptole ketchup has to be slathered on the bun or you will lose the flavor addition. I know the ketchup will taste like there is an abundance of kick when you taste test BUT believe me, when added to this humongous burger, the flavor will be lost if the ketchup is not dripping over the sides of the bun!

1 pound red onions, or use Vidalia Sweet Onions like I did, cut crosswise into 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick rounds (thicker slices do not fall between the grill rack as easily)
Olive Oil
3/4 t. coarse kosher salt
1/2 t. coarsely ground black pepper
2 T. Balasamic Vinegar
1 c. Ketchup
1 1/2 t. chopped chiptole chiles from canned chiptoles in adobo plus 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce from can
2 t. (or more) balsamic vinegar
2 1/4 poudns ground beef (15% to 20% fat)
Coarse kosher salt
6 Thick slices sharp cheddar cheese
6 large English Muffins or Hamburger Buns, split, cut sides grilled
6 Tomato slices (optional)
2 c. fresh spinach leaves, I used my home grown lettuce leaves

For onions:Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat): Arrange onion rounds on baking sheet. Brush with oil; sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt and pepper. Transfer onion rounds (still intact) to grill rack; close cover. Cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Reduce heat or move onions to cooler part of grill. Close cover; cook until onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Toss with vinegar. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill.

For chipotle ketchup: Mix ketchup, chiles, adobo sauce, and 2 teaspoons vinegar in small bowl. Season with salt and more vinegar, if desired. do a h e a d Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

For burgers: Shape beef into six 1/2-inch thick patties. Sprinkle patties on both sides with coarse salt and pepper. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place burgers on grill. Close cover; cook burgers until bottoms start to darken and juices rise to surface, about 3 minutes. Turn burgers; cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare. Top with onions and cheese. Close cover; cook until cheese melts. Place muffin bottoms on plates; spread with ketchup. Top with burgers, tomatoes, if desired, spinach, and muffin tops. Serve, passing remaining ketchup separately.


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