Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Saucy Orange Habanero Burgers

What a ride this Saucy Mama trip has been! Just a little over 2 weeks ago, a package of sauces, marinades, and one very tasty mustard arrived at my door. It was up to me to come up with a recipe worthy of competing in the 2015 Saucy Mama Contest. This contest will be someone's ticket, a Golden Ticket, to the 2015 World Food Championships taking place in Kissimmee, Florida. Can you imagine what a fun and scary ride that will be?!

Those of you who know me know that I have a thing for a touch of orange in my food. From breads, to pies, to sweet rolls, there isn't much I haven't sprinkled with some orange zest. It's no wonder that the bottle of sauce that stood out from rest for me was Saucy Mama's Orange Habanero Wing Sauce. It just sounded like it was going to be awesome. Boy howdy, with its slightly sweet, slightly hot, and slightly orange deliciousness -- it is awesome! I just couldn't resist building an entire meal with this stuff....

As you can see, I made some good, saucy choices....

The criteria for creating the perfect Saucy Mama recipe are that the recipe must be easy to replicate, family friendly, great for parties, and, above all, delicious. It came to me that the one food that encompasses all of these things might just be the hamburger. Think about it.....hamburgers come in all shapes and sizes, some fancy, some sloppy, and all delicious. Yup. I was going to make a hamburger.

My first creation: Orange Habanero Candied Bacon

My final recipe turned out to be a compilation of three easy, and very flavorful parts...a sweet, candied bacon, a spicy, orange-y ketchup, and fresh, crispy onion strings, all piled on top of a basic, juicy burger. May I present Saucy Orange Habanero Burgers!

The Orange Habanero Ketchup is the bomb! I've even used it as pizza sauce!

Saucy Orange Habanero Burgers

Orange Habanero Candied Bacon

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
1/3 cup Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
12 slices thick-cut bacon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray a cooling rack with cooking spray and place in sheet pan.

Mix the brown sugar with the orange peel and place in a shallow bowl. Brush the both sides of each side of bacon with the wing sauce. Place the bacon in the bowl with the brown sugar and toss to coat. Make sure the bacon is evenly coated. Place the bacon in a single layer on top of the rack. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bacon is slightly dark. Watch carefully after 20 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn. Carefully remove the bacon from the rack and allow it to cool on a sheet of parchment. The bacon will crisp as it cools.

Orange Habanero Ketchup

1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel

Combine all of the ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture just comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Orange Habanero Onion Strings

1 large, sweet onion
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups canola oil for frying

Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice the onion into very thin rings. Place the onion rings in a medium bowl. Stir together the buttermilk and the wing sauce. Pour over the onions, covering completely. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, whisk together the flour, orange peel, salt, and cayenne pepper. Place the oil in a heavy saucepan. Heat to 375 degrees F. Using tongs, scoop up a portion of the onion rings. Dredge them in the flour mixture, shaking off the extra flour. Place the onions in the hot oil. Use the tongs to push the onions around, breaking up any clumps. Fry for a minute or two, or until golden. Remove to a paper lined plate to drain and repeat, in batches, with the remaining onions. Cover to keep warm.


1 1/2 pounds ground chuck, 80/20 blend
Freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
4 slices provolone cheese
4 good quality hamburger buns, split (click here if you want to make your own)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
assorted lettuce leaves

Carefully form the ground chuck into 4 patties, making an indentation on the top of each burger. Season each patty with pepper and salt. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or grill pan until it begins to shimmer. Add the burger patties and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip the burger and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Top each burger patty with a slice of the cheese, cover and continue to fry until the cheese is melted. Spread the butter over the cut side of each bun. Grill the buns until they are golden brown.

To assemble the burgers, place lettuce leaves on the cut side of each bottom bun. Top with a burger patty. Spread a tablespoon or two of the ketchup on top of each burger. Add bacon slices and a handful of onion strings, then top with the remaining bun halves, toasted side down.

Wish me competitors are a talented bunch!

Want to win your very own 3-pack of Saucy Mama condiments? Simply visit my last post, Orange Habanero Candied Bacon, and enter via the RaffleCopter widget. Have fun and keep it Saucy!