Caprese Burgers & Cubed Cajun Sweet Potatoes

And just like that..summer is here! Long, hot days paired with the countless possibilities for cocktails and summer fare, make summer one of my favorite seasons of the year. In Maine, you can count on three solid months of good weather, so us Mainers make these months count! Let’s celebrate the heat with these caprese burgers and a side of cubed cajun sweet potatoes. Combining two of my favorite summer foods, caprese salad and burgers, was how this dish was born. The basil aioli paired with fresh mozz and tomatoes make this dish one of my top 3. Make more than you think you’ll need of these, they’ll be popular!

Makes:  3 Burgers +/- –  Cooktime: 1 hour +/-

INGREDIENTS:

Caprese Burgers:

  • (3)-6oz Ground Beef Burger Patties (3/4-inch in thickness)
  • (9)-1/4 inch Slices Fresh Mozzarella Log
  • 3 Tomato Slices
  • 1 Tablespoon Avocado Oil
  • Garlic Powder, Salt, & Pepper, To Taste

Cubed Cajun Sweet Potatoes:

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, Peeled & Cut into 1-inch Cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Basil Aioli Spread:

  • 10 Basil Leaves, Cut Roughly into Chiffonade
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Roughly Chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Mayo
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1.) Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Combine all spices into a small bowl. Transfer sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle combined seasonings over potatoes and give a good toss (your hands are the best tool!). Place in oven for 35-40 minutes, until crispy and browned, flipping potatoes halfway through to ensure an even cook.

2.) Prepare basil aioli spread by first combining all ingredients, except the mayo, into a small food processor. Pulse on high until ingredients are combined and have a paste-like consistency. In a small bowl, add basil paste to mayo and stir to combine.

3.) Heat a 12-inch frypan on medium for 3 minutes. Smear both sides of bun with basil mayo and toast cut-side down on pan. Remove from pan once browned, about 5-6 minutes.

4.) Simultaneously, heat a cast iron pan on medium-high for 3-4 minutes. Season both sides of burger patties with a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place burgers in pan and cook, covered, for 3 minutes each side. Turn down heat to medium-low and cover each burger patty with 3 slices of mozzarella cheese. Top with a slice of tomato and season with a dash of salt and pepper. Cover burgers and let cook for an additional 3 minutes. Temp the meat to ensure the center is above 130°F (medium rare).

5.) Remove buns from pan and spread additional basil aioli on both sides of buns. Add burger stack on bun and serve alongside the sweet potatoes. Enjoy!

GENERAL TIPS:

  • You can sub venison for the ground beef. However, before forming the patties, add 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, juice of half a lime, and 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce to ground meat. This will rid the meat of any gamey flavor.
  • Use any extra basil aioli to dip your sweet potatoes in, this spread is addicting!

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