Last night for dinner, we made Hawaiian Burgers with Pineapple Ketchup, Homemade Fries, and Refrigerator Pickles on the side. As I was preparing and then eating it, I realized that my plate had all of the components that we strive for in our meals: local, homegrown, whole ingredients that were scratch-made.
A whole foods, handmade, know where it came from, farm-to-table meal, and I wanted to share it with you!
The only non-whole food on the plate was the sweet onion poppyseed roll that I bought in a 6-pack at the grocery store. And, it was totally worth it.
For the burgers, I used this recipe for Hawaiian Pork Burgers, but I doubled it and used 1 pound of ground pork and 1 pound of venison. The ground pork was local and from a nearby grocery store, and the venison was also local – harvested in the woods of Minnesota and processed in our kitchen.
We made the mixture into 6 healthy-sized burgers and saved a small portion of it to make some meatballs for another meal this week. We will likely eat 4 of the burgers, freeze 2 for later, and do some sort of vegetable stir fry and Asian noodles or rice with the meatballs.
Normally when we make these burgers, we top them with melted white cheese of some sort, pineapple rings and sweet BBQ sauce – just like the recipe says. Last night we used Muenster cheese, and most of the cheese I buy is made by Midwest-based Crystal Farms. This time in place of the pineapple rings and BBQ sauce though, I made what I’m calling Pineapple Ketchup.
To make the sauce, first I used the rest of the Pickled Pineapple that I made about a month ago. While it was delicious and amazing and we had it with a few other things, there was some left in the jar that was in the “needs to be used” category of the refrigerator – so I mixed it and all of its remaining vinegar with a can of diced tomatoes, some sugar, garlic powder, ground ginger and salt and pepper (all to taste, because when I cook without a recipe I just wing it.)
I filled my small saucepan a bit more than I intended, hit it with my Cuisinart immersion blender to blend it all together, and proceeded to spray it all over the stove and my pants. I swore a little bit, and then cooked the rest of it down into thick sauce. We put it on our burgers with some young romaine from our garden, and also used it as dipping sauce for our Air Fryer Fries. For this batch of fries, I used some of our garden potatoes and seasoned them with an all purpose Greek-style seasoning.
I also made the Food in Jars recipe for A Very Large Bowl of Pickles for a Potluck about a month ago from a bag of cucumbers I bought at the local farmers’ market, and another small batch since then with the last of our own garden cucumbers. Instead of mint and cilantro like the recipe says, I just used dill (which I also purchased at the farmers market.)
When dinner was over, I spent an hour doing the dishes and cleaning the stove from my immersion blender accident.
No one ever said eating healthy was easy.