I'm also a big fan of the macadamia nut pie -- which I fell in love with in 1998 when a business associate mailed one to me as a Christmas gift. Since I'm a nice person, I immediately cracked open the package and shared the bounty with my colleagues -- but soon regretted the decision. Let's put it this way, the word "luscious" doesn't even begin to describe that deliciously salty sweet pie. In fact, I've been conspiring to make a pilgrimage to Hawaii to pay homage to the macadamia nut ever since.
It probably goes without saying that if someone challenged me to make something delicious with macadamia nuts, I'd be most likely to think of a sweet application for them. But, those Daring Cooks... they're sly. Margie of More Please (who also happens to be a local food blogger -- yay!!) and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies chose to challenge all of the Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and then use the nut butter in a SAVORY recipe.
Hmm. I'll admit I had to think about this one for a moment.
It's not that I've never eaten a savory recipe made with nut butter. After all, there's nothing quite like a mole made with almond butter or an Asian noodle dish made with peanut sauce. But, I wanted to do something a little different. And less... well... expected.
So, I enlisted my usual compadre in crime, Peef, to help me think of a great savory application for nut butter. Our two brains ground around on the topic for quite some time (pun intended), and we finally decided on a plan.
The credit for the burger concept belongs to Peef, who is always coming up with new and wonderful ways to combine meat and bread. He may have been slightly inspired by the Barrie burger, which is served at a little local burger joint called AJ Bombers (if you're on twitter, you've probably heard of them). The Barrie burger consists of a cheeseburger topped with bacon and... peanut butter. Actually a fairly brilliant combination, master-minded by @KateBarrie, and enjoyed by many in the humble city of Milwaukee.
But, we're not complete copy-catters (though you might remain unconvinced if you look back in our archives at the Stendler breakfast burrito or the Buttafuoco tomato sandwich -- both Comet Cafe knock-offs). And I was pretty determined to do something wonderful with macadamia nut butter. So, we settled on that classic combination -- teriyaki chicken and pineapple. To take the challenge truly over the top, we also added a Daring Baker's challenge -- homemade brioche buns.
We mixed the chicken with the pineapple mixture and put everything aside to marinate in the fridge. In the meantime, we took about a cup of roasted salted macadamia nuts (this seems to be the only way we can find them here in Wisconsin), and made our nut butter. We used about one cup of macadamia nuts, which produced approximately 1/2 cup of butter.
The thing about macadamia nut butter is that it's scarily addicting. In fact, the both of us stopped just short of simply taking out a couple of spoons and finishing up the batch right then and there. But, we refrained. And, as painful as it was, our burgers were far better for it.
We distracted ourselves by finishing up the brioche rolls. Gorgeous, aren't they? (seriously, you must try this recipe at least once... it was particularly perfect with these burgers)
We probably should have drained off more of the marinade, since the resulting ground meat was a little bit damp. But, we solved that problem by adding a few crushed saltine crackers to the mix. We formed the chicken into patties and put them on a plate in the refrigerator to give them a bit more time to firm up before we grilled them, along with a few slices of pineapple.
A homemade hamburger bun, a slathering of fresh macadamia nut butter, a perfectly grilled teriyaki burger, and a slice of grilled pineapple -- there's something for everyone on this burger. The freshly ground meat was tender, the burger was juicy, and the flavors were outstanding. A little bit of sweet, a little bit of salty... and all kinds of great synergy between the pineapple, red peppers, macadamia nuts, and soy sauce.
Light Brioche Buns
Teriyaki Chicken Burgers with Pineapple & Macadamia Nut Butter
The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.
And don't forget to check out other Daring Cooks' Challenges! Lots of creative folks out there whipping up nut butter.
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