I hate to do the whole “ohmygodwheredoesthetimego?!” schtick (so hot right now on the small talk circuit), but summer really did sneak up on me this year, and I feel sort of weird and stressed that it’s already late May. Going from polar vortex to the thick of wedding season in approximately 3 weeks has thrown me for a loop, and the remnants of my winter eczema and I are playing a serious game of catch up. Please bear with us during this awkward (and very pale) transitional period.
Seasonal confusion aside, I’m pleased to report that I spent a glorious holiday weekend celebrating friends’ Chapel Hill nuptials with my roommate. The weather was perfect (read: not too sweaty), and I can’t say enough good things about the inspired brunch cocktails, epic dance moves, and generally giddy vibe of the love fest. Weddings are the best.
Until your hotel’s fire alarm goes off the morning after. That, friends, is the worst.
At 7:30 am yesterday, I was jolted from a deep sleep by the terrifying wail of a high-pitched alarm. Extremely hungover disoriented, it took me a good minute to remember where I was and figure out what was happening. Logan eventually snorted to life beside me, and we both tumbled out bed, hands pressed over ears to keep our heads from exploding.
The two of us stared blankly at each other for a few seconds before Logan pulled on some shorts and opened the door to our room, intensifying the life-ending alarm sounds by infinity. Seeing a manager hightailing it down the hall, he casually screamed, “Hey man, is this gonna stop, or do we need to leave?” Unimpressed, the hotel employee informed him that, no, the alarm was not going to stop, and yes, we should definitely get out immediately.
That’s when the panic kicked in. I’ve seen enough episodes of Chicago Fire to know that you do NOT want to be trapped on the third floor of a burning building with limited window access. (Especially in a smallish city that most likely does not have a hunky, well-trained rescue squad.) Urging my roommate—who was slowwwly putting on a shirt and searching for a lost flip-flop—to HURRY, I grabbed my phone and booked it down the stairs.
Given the rush to not die in a hotel fire, I figured I’d find my fellow wedding guests in similarly disheveled states. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered most people were fully dressed and equipped with phones, chargers, wallets and valuables. As I sat there in nothing but retainers and a thin hotel robe, listening to two mothers discuss what they had chosen to “save,” I was rather disappointed in my emergency behavior. I mean, if the place went up in flames, I’d be the naked girl with no ID. Not necessarily surprising, but definitely not ideal.
Waiting anxiously on the terrace for an update on the situation, I mentally took stock of the items I’d brought to Chapel Hill. I could obviously live without the clothes and toiletries, but dear GOD, my computer! I teared up a little bit just thinking of all the things I hadn’t yet backed up. So many genius ideas, photos and recipes would be lost forever, like Chicken and Goat Cheese Burgers with Peaches, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes.
Honestly, the thought of losing this burger recipe and its glamour shots was pretty devastating (everything is super dramatic when you’re hungover and awake before 8am), as I’d been looking forward to sharing the wonders of these little flavor bombs for over a week. I had even planned my chicken burger sales pitch, which highlighted their uber moistness (sorry, sorry), subtle spice and occasional pockets of creamy goat cheese, and ended with the joys of a basil-spiked seasonal produce medley. It was beautiful and succinct.
Mid-mourning the virtual death of my sexy summer burgers and other unsaved gems, the alarm suddenly stopped. Fire fighters and management gave the all clear, and everyone was mercifully allowed to return to their beds. Crisis (anticlimactically) averted.
Just FYI, I like these bad boys for both weeknight fare and casual entertaining, as they come together quickly and can easily be prepped in advance if you like. Personally, I’m all about the lettuce wrap right now (light and tight for beach season), but feel free to serve your burgers on actual buns, in a pita, or over your favorite grains. You could also toss the peach mixture with greens to make a festive salad and serve the burger on top. Say it with me: You do you.
Full disclosure: Upon waking up three hours after the fire alarm debacle with a much clearer head, I remembered that I hadn’t even brought my computer with me, and this recipe was never actually at risk. That said, it did make me appreciate these burgers even more…
Chicken and Goat Cheese Burgers with Peaches, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes: (Serves4)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 ear corn, kernels removed
2 ripe (but still slightly firm!) peaches, peeled and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound ground chicken breast
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Romaine or butter lettuce leaves (for serving)
Preparing your Chicken and Goat Cheese Burgers with Peaches, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes:
-Start by cooking your corn. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small sauté pan. When hot, add the corn kernels and cook for 6-7 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 ear corn, kernels removed
- 2 ripe (but still slightly firm!) peaches, peeled and diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Romaine or butter lettuce leaves (for serving)
- Start by cooking your corn. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small sauté pan. When hot, add the corn kernels and cook for 6-7 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Add the peaches, tomatoes, basil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt to the bowl with the corn, and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place the chicken in a medium mixing bowl and add the goat cheese, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients until well combined. (Gross, I know, but it must be done.)
- With damp hands, form the chicken into 4 patties about 1-inch thick.
- Heat a lightly oiled grill or grill pan over medium heat. When hot, place the burgers on the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes per side until cooked through.
- Serve burgers over lettuce leaves and top with the peach mixture.
I’m thrilled to be a part of Food Network’s Summer Soirée this week. For more inspired chicken recipes, check out the awesome blogs below.
Feed Me Phoebe: Gluten-Free Healthy Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce
The Lemon Bowl: Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken
The Heritage Cook: The World’s Easiest BBQ Chicken
Creative Culinary: Smoked Chicken with Chipotle, Peach and Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Homemade Delish: Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups
Daisy at Home: Perfect Fried Chicken with 5 Dipping Sauces
Healthy Eats: 6 Reasons Not to Write Off Chicken — Summer Soiree
Red or Green: Spicy Pesto Chicken Bruschetta
Napa Farmhouse 1885: “Buffums” Chicken Salad Sandwiches
TasteBook: Asian-Style Grilled Chicken Thighs
Taste with the Eyes: Gochujang Chicken Adobo
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tandoori Chicken
Bacon and Soufflé: BBQ Chicken Pizza
FN Dish: The 6 Essential Chicken Recipes of Summer