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Late summer burger feast

Maureen Malloy | Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Labor Day may remind us that summer is coming to an end, but that’s no reason you can’t enjoy one more burger before you unpack the sweaters. If you didn’t have time to barbeque yesterday (since our school sometimes forgets that good burgers and cold beers are a better way to celebrate our country than going to class), grill up some of these all-American dishes to enjoy for dinner. The bacon-and-cheese filled burgers have plenty of flavor but would definitely benefit from a generous topping of grilled onions. Sweet potato fries are a nice change from traditional French fries and can be popped in the oven while the burgers are grilling. Any chilled drink goes well with the burgers and fries, but my favorites are icy cold margaritas which you can make with a mix. Round off the meal with a simple dessert to cool off your taste buds, such as vanilla ice cream topped with fresh berries and drizzled with caramel sauce.

Glazed Bacon-and-Cheese-Filled Burgers

If you don’t have access to a grill, this recipe can be easily made on a stove-top grill pan.

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar1 1/2 teaspoons paprika1/2 teaspoon garlic powder1/2 teaspoon ground cumin1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper1 pound ground beef1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled4 rolls

Heat grill to medium. Combine the sugar, spices, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Form the beef into eight equal patties. Toss the cheese and crumbled bacon together and place an equal amount on four of the patties. Place the remaining patties over the cheese and bacon and pinch the edges to seal. Generously pat each burger with the reserved spice mixture. Grill to desired doneness – about five minutes per side for medium.

Recipe courtesy of ivillage.com.

Sweet Potato Fries

Extra-virgin olive oil, for light coating 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced like steak fries 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/4 packet taco seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl, drizzle oil over the potatoes and toss to coat. Add salt and taco seasoning mix and toss. Place sweet potato fries in one even layer onto a baking sheet. Keep space between them so they get crispy on all sides. Bake in batches. Place into the oven for ten minutes, then flip them over. Place back in for ten more minutes. They should be soft on the inside and browned on the outside. Let them cool for five minutes before serving. You may substitute baking potatoes for sweet potatoes. However, when placing back into the oven, change cooking time to five minutes instead of ten.

Recipe courtesy of ivillage.com.

Peach Iced Tea

3 orange pekoe tea bags4 cups cold water5 (5-ounce) cans peach nectar (about 3 1/3 cups), chilled1/4 cup chilled simple syrup

Simple syrup:

1 1/3 cups sugar1 1/4 cups water

Peach slices for garnish

Place tea bags in a quart-size glass measure or heatproof bowl.

In a saucepan, bring water just to a boil and pour over tea bags. Steep tea for five minutes and strain through a sieve into a heatproof pitcher. Cool tea and chill, covered, until cold, about one hour. Stir in nectar and syrup. Serve tea over ice in tall glasses and garnish with peach slices and basil sprigs. To make simple syrup: In a saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring and boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Let syrup cool and chill, covered. Syrup may be made two weeks ahead, chilled and covered.

Recipe courtesy of ivillage.com.