I always look forward to the super bowl, not because I'm much of a football person (I regularly get teams from across the entire sports spectrum confused. 'Did the A's make the super bowl this year?') but because I reallllly like to use it as an excuse to break out the grill. I know it's still super cold in early February, but huddling around a hot and toasty grill in the cold weather makes grilling that much more pleasant. Definitely preferable to standing around a large open fire when it's already 90 degrees outside. So, I've got a few grilling ideas to help shape your super bowl party planning.
S'mores are always a solid choice, (I have yet to meet anyone who has said no to fresh s'mores), and I have some gourmet s'mores recipes here (strawberry balsamic ones!) If you want to be extra fancy, you could make some of these grilled oysters, and for a broader appeal there's some grilled jalapeño poppers here. All tasty and excellent grill choices.
But today I am here to share my newest burger obsession with you, and that is this wondrous Thai-inspired pork belly burger. There's ground pork for the patty and pan-fried pork belly as a topping, sandwiched between a deliciously rich and fluffy Cobblestone Bread white kaiser roll. For the patty, I sautéed kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass in some olive oil over low heat to infuse the oil with their flavors. I then used that oil in the ground pork along with Thai basil, fresh ginger, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest and juice, and chili garlic sauce. I also sautéed some baby bok choy in soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil for a little green burger topping.
The result was one of the most flavorful burgers I've ever tasted, so packed with that wonderful refreshing Thai tang, cut through by the crunchy richness of the pan-fried pork belly, and then cut through again by the contrasting texture of the gourmet fluffy kaiser roll. I've never had anything like it before, and enjoyed it so much that I'm kiiiind of contemplating having the leftovers for breakfast today. Usually I'm not a heavy breakfast person, but damn it those burgers were amazing. So if you're looking for a super bowl recipe that combines great taste, presentation, and allows you to stand around a wonderfully hot and cozy grill, I've most certainly got you covered.
Compensation for this post was provided by Cobblestone Bread Co. via AOL Media. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Cobblestone Bread Co. or AOL.
Thai Style Pork Burger Patty
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 kaffir lime leaves, cut into strips
1 tablespoon diced lemongrass
2 1/2 lbs ground pork
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon minced thai basil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or more for a spicier burger)
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
5 Cobblestone Bread white kaiser rolls
Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspooon soy sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
3 heads baby bok choy, broken up into individual leaves
Pan Fried Pork Belly
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 lb pork belly, cut into roughly 5 inch by 3 inch by 1/2 inch thick rectangles
Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over low heat. Add the kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass and sauté for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit another 15 minutes before straining lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves out of oil. Keep the oil, discard the leaves and lemongrass.
In a large bowl, mix together all of the remaining ingredients except the kaiser rolls. Once combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. While it is marinating, you can prepare the boy choy and pork belly.
For the bok choy, heat the sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the baby bok choy and cook until the greens are wilted and the large stems are lightly golden on the places where they're touching the pan, about 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove and cool the boy choy in a strainer.
For the pork belly, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan and add the pork belly slices. Fry until lightly browned and crispy on both sides, about 10-15 minutes total.
When the burgers are done marinating, form them into 5 large patties. Heat the grill to medium-high and cook the burgers until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
To assemble the burgers, spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each of the bottom kaiser buns. Place a few leaves of the bok choy on the bottom kaiser bun, place the pork burger on top, then the pork belly on top of the burger, and crown with the top of the kaiser roll. Serve immediately.