I’m really not sure how long I have been sitting here, staring at my own blog post. And I know even less about how long I stared at the pictures before saving and uploading them. And months ago when I found these originally? Even if I knew how long I watched them, mesmerized and drooling, I would never admit it.
I mean, really…. how good does that look? Fresh mozzarella, delicious avocado and tomato slices, a creamy sauce
that appears to be maybe mayonnaise and spices, and crispy bacon all layered onto freshly buttered bread before being pressed lightly and grilled to perfection in a panini press, and then sliced into perfect sandwich slices.
Yeah, I would eat the heck out of that. And I’d have another on the grill while I did because there’s no way I would stop at one. Mmmm.
It’s both a Halloween trick and a treat, no?
The girls love burgers, so I thought it’d be a blast to make an extra large one. It was Fall of 2009 and it was probably one of the first times I went on a true pumpkin kick. I was loving “look alikes” at the time, too, so it just fit, don’t you think?
Anyway, I’ll leave you with the pictures. Details of how I made it are at the bottom.
“Bun” – Carve the pumpkin in half. By “carve,” what I really mean is that I had to fight with it and a butcher knife until I finally won. It was close, though. This isn’t the same as being able to slice off the top for a jack-o-lantern or throwing a pumpkin to bust it into chunks. Trying to get it perfectly even down the middle was a pain in the butt. Ugh. Worth every minute, though. The pumpkin seeds were turned into fake sesame seeds by gluing them on top to look like a real burger bun.
Meat – A mix of beef and turkey so that it wasn’t as greasy as pure beef would’ve been. That meant I could get a full patty to hold together instead of it breaking apart. I cooked it on a large round cookie sheet and let it cool just slightly before sliding it onto the ‘bun.’
Toppings – Tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, cheese…. nothing special here. The cheese was left in small slices and not spread across the entire thing so that it made it easy to serve individual burgers after we deconstructed it.
Serving – I cut it into jagged squares-ish, based loosely around the cheese and tomato slices fell and let each person reconstruct their own burger on a regular bun. Then they could add their own condiments and trade toppings they don’t like to other people before eating. You could easily toss them in a toaster oven to melt the cheese more or add the cheese to the whole patty before putting the burger together in the first place. I wasn’t sure how well it would hold my first time, though.
2 bags (32 oz. each) pinto beans - $3.50 (Aldi)
3 pounds ground meat (beef, pork, turkey…whatever you feel like) - $3-6 (Catch it on sale)
Several cans tomato products (sauce, paste, diced, stewed, fresh) - $3?
Spices, weee! – Do you really need a price check on this?
Total — $10-$15
This is another reason I don’t do these sorts of posts. I have no idea what was put in that particular pot of chili. Those were complete guesses and vary a lot based on how it’s made each time.
What I do know, though, is that whether you prefer mostly meat and no beans….soupy or thick….tomatoes or no tomatoes…chunked meat instead of ground…. spicy or mild…
No matter what, 21 quarts of chili is a lot of chili. O.o
Based on a cup serving, that’s 84 servings…
Which means a large roaster pan of chili like this (or soup, meal, whatever) will not only feed you tonight and tomorrow….but once frozen, you’ll have meals for months for those lazy nights where you don’t feel like cooking. Add it into your OAMC
rotation and you’ll be set for a while.
And for potlucks, fundraisers, etc, it’s a great way to push out a lot of food for a small amount of money. Turn it into chili dogs for something more substantial or serve with corn chips, crackers, or bread. It can easily be turned into a chili casserole, too, to stretch it even farther and get more bang for your buck.