There's nothing I love more than cooking out with friends, and what better excuse than Labor Day weekend? Also, we have yet to have a proper housewarming party, so the long weekend seemed like the perfect time to break in the grill and have our friends over for an afternoon of food and fun. The star of the BBQ was my knock-off of Central Market's Cowboy burgers, which I affectionately call Cowgirl Burgers. I love serving these with Chile Ketchup, inspired by a chipotle ketchup recipe I saw in Cooking Light this spring.
4 slices bacon
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
4 hamburger buns
Fire up the grill. Preheat a skillet on medium high heat. Slice bacon into bite-sized pieces. Cook bacon in skillet until almost crisp. Combine in a large mixing bowl with beef, cheese, parsley and seasoning and mix thoroughly. Shape into 4 patties. Cook burgers on grill until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve on hamburger buns with chile ketchup (recipe to follow).
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Serve on burgers or with fries.
We also treated our friends to homemade chocolate chip cookies. In high school, I went through a phase where I would bake several times a week, so I had time to search out the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. My favorite is from William's Sonoma.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an electronic mixer, cream butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the sugars and continue beating until the mixture is no longer gritty. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until blended, occasionally stopping the mixer and scraping sides.
Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed until just blended. Add chocolate chips and walnuts.
Line a baking sheet with foil and drop on 1-inch size balls of dough. Bake until the cookies are golden brown around the edges, about 12 minutes. Cool briefly then put cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
Some of the BBQ ladies.