“The Burger! It’s a complete balanced meal, all in one. You’ve got your protein, vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates and COMFORT! ” ~ Author unknown
Why is it, that the foods we connect with felicitous memories always taste so much better? It’s not surprising to learn that when asked the question; “What would you choose for your very last meal on earth,?” many people, hands down, responded with, ” A Cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate milkshake.” Perhaps it goes back to our childhood and the comfort we felt when our parents took us to McDonald’s for a Big Mac, Jack in the Box’s for their triple cheeseburger, or to A&W ‘s with their signature Root beer floats. As a child, those were the days, weren’t they? Who doesn’t love a savory and scrumptious burger from the grill? (Especially now that so many TV chefs, ( who are cooking healthy now,) have come up with a huge array of diverse ingredients they use in their burgers, creating masterpieces we would never think up.
Summer has arrived along with its beckoning call to enjoy the great outdoors. It is the most popular season for grilling… It begins with Memorial day parties where we gather with friends, light up the grill and enjoy the flavors of bratwurst, black Angus steaks, turkey or chicken burgers, the all American hot dog and of course the legendary all beef patties, as they simmer upon the smoking coals, filling our souls with a medley of nostalgic memories. ( There is nothing to compare to the delicious aromas in the air when Kit puts on his “grill master apron” and lights up our BBQ.) 🙂 Even when it is in the 90’s with the humidity being 100 %, you will find Grantham , sitting at the foot of the grill, (30 pounds of his weight being his black fur,) just waiting for the first bite of the evenings meal… 🙂 In this blog, I want to share some outstanding burger recipes with you…a recipe of Kits and mine, (yes, low sodium and healthy,) but I have also researched some of the most famous and highly rated burgers from renowned chefs, each with a diverse heritage, bringing spices and flavors that add a little pizzazz to the classic American Burger. I hope you find one you love for your next BBQ, a movie night with your family or for your summer galas.
DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER
“To eat well, I always disagree with critics who say that all restaurants should be fine dining. You can get a Michelin star if you serve the best hamburger in the world.” ~ David Chang
“I always admired Ray Kroc, the man who invented McDonald’s. Ray had a vision of the most commonplace thing-a hamburger and fries to go-but to him it was just the greatest thing ever, and he was going to make it the greatest thing ever for everybody else, and he did.” David lee Roth
“It requires a certain kind of mind to see the beauty in a hamburger bun.” ~ Ray Kroc, creator of the McDonald’s franchise.
“Everyone has the right to a University degree in America, even if its in Hamburger Technology.” ~ Clives James
“Man who invented the hamburger was smart; man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius.” ~ Mathew McConaughey
“The journey of a thousand pounds begins with a single burger.” ~ Chris O’Brien
“Anybody who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in his home town is a sissy.” ~ Calvin Trillin
“You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigation uses stars….We have munched Bridge burgers in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge and Cable burgers hard by the Golden Gate, Dixie burgers in the sunny South and Yankee Doodle burgers in the North….We had a Capitol Burger — guess where. And so help us, in the inner courtyard of the Pentagon, a Penta burger.”
Charles Kuralt, journalist.
A Taste of Italy!
Do you ever question how the people of Italy stay so healthy and fit, eating the abundance of delicious, decadent foods that they do? Well, I have heard it said, they eat smaller portions, always use fresh ingredients and do a lot of walking! 🙂 They certainly do know how to live! The Italian people love to celebrate everything with food. (I love that about this country.) 🙂 If they run out of an occasion to emblazon, they will gather around their dining table or their favorite Italian eatery and just ‘revel in jubilation’ for ‘the great food and wine itself.’ 🙂 They adore cappuccino, espresso coffee, pasta, fresh seafood, vino, freshly made conolies and walking down to the piazza, where they meet with their friends and family, to catch up on all the latest news and happenings.They proudly own a passion for cooking and are renowned for their superb, spicy sauces and variety of cheeses they use in all of their pasta dishes. I am sure the burger with an Italian flare will not disappoint!
Italy’s Giada De Laurentiis’ Caprese Burgers
Ingredients for Burgers:
2 1/2 pounds ground sirloin beef
1 cup fresh or store-bought pesto
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 7 to 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into eight 1/4-inch-thick slices, patted dry with paper towels
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh or store-bought pesto
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Eight 3-inch-square pieces of tomato or plain focaccia bread, halved, or 8 hamburger buns, halved
4 medium tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (16 slices)Directions
Cook’s Note: Freeze the mozzarella for 20 minutes to make slicing easier.For the burgers: Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Combine the beef, pesto, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Form the mixture into eight 4-inch-diameter patties, each about 3/4-inch thick. Grill for 5 minutes. Turn the burgers over and place a slice of mozzarella on top. Cook for about 5 minutes longer until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is slightly melted. Allow the burgers to rest for 5 minutes.
For the pesto mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and pesto until smooth.To assemble the burgers: Drizzle the cut side of the bread with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the pesto mayonnaise over the bottom halves of the grilled bread. Place the burgers on top and add 2 tomato slices. Add the top halves of the bread and serve.
Italian Mini Pub Burgers
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/4 pounds ground chuck
3/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 small ciabatta rolls, sliced in 1/2
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
9 slices (4 1/2 ounces) Taleggio cheese
9 large basil leaves
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the ground chuck, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Pulse until ingredients are combined. Form the mixture into 9 patties. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes each side.
Brush the cut side of each roll with the olive oil and toast on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly golden.
To serve, place 1 mini burger on the bottom half of each of the rolls. Place 1 slice of Taleggio cheese on top of the burgers. Place the basil leaf on top of the cheese and cover with the top half. Serve.
The Beloved SOUTH!
What can compare to a genuine , home cooked Southern meal? (I still have not found an answer to that yet.) 🙂 Cheese grits with grilled shrimp, fried okra, butter beans, hush puppies, boiled peanuts, Pecan pie, oyster stew, biscuits and gravy, collard greens, red velvet cake, buttermilk pie and my favorite, fresh crab from the Inlet water ways. There is an undeniable charm and haunting beauty that captivates each visitor , (as well as resident) in the Carolinas… One of my favorite Southern places is the prestigious and galvanic city of Charleston, with it’s cobble stones streets, chiseled wrought iron fences, summoning Antebellum architecture and grandiose live oaks with their long beard swaying in the soft breezes. Each one, if you listen carefully, telling a magical story, hearkening back to all the many years they have graced this historical, entrancing land. Every once in awhile, I’ll take out one of my southern cookbooks, (inherited from my mom,) and make Kit a special meal. I know to get an extra stick of butter out, (yes, we will splurge for the occasion,) as an authentic Southern meal simply can not be prepared ANY OTHER WAY! 🙂
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared pesto
2 teaspoons coarse-grained mustard
4 hamburger buns, split, buttered, and toasted
1 cup baby arugula
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 pound ground chuck
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large hamburger buns, split
Ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, for serving
Lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and avocado, for serving
Combine the jack cheese and chopped bacon in a bowl. Put the beef in another bowl and season with salt and pepper; use a rubber spatula to mix it in. Flatten 1/4 of the meat mixture in the palm of your hand. Squeeze together about a tablespoon of the cheese and bacon mixture to make a little nugget; put it in the center of the ground beef. Bring up the sides of the patty over the filling, making sure the cheese is completely covered by the meat. Flatten slightly for a nice patty shape. Set them side by side on a platter in the refrigerator while preparing the grill.
Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot. Brush the grates with oil to keep the burgers from sticking. Grill the burgers for 8 minutes per side for medium. (The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until it is no longer pink and the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.) Remove the burgers to a clean side plate while you toast the buns.
Rub the grill rack with more oil and place the buns cut-side down, toast for 1 minute. Serve the burgers with your favorite condiment and any garnish you like, such as lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and/or avocado.
- 2 pounds ground beef (15-20% fat)
- 1/2 cup prepared salsa
- (1) 1.1 ounce package guacamole seasoning
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 slices cheddar jack cheese
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Sliced tomato
- Optional condiments: mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, etc.
- In a large bowl, combine hamburger meat, salsa and guacamole seasoning. Dividing into equal portions, form 4 patties.
- Place on a preheated grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until desired amount of doneness is reached. During the last minute of grilling, place cheese slices on top of patties to melt.
- Place on toasted buns and top with avocado, lettuce, tomato and desired condiments
- 1 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1 pound ground round,
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Cooking spray
- 4 (3/4-ounce) slices reduced-fat Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
- 4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns
- 4 iceberg lettuce leaves
- 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
- Grilled onions (optional)
- Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping into 1/2-inch-thick patties.
- Prepare grill. Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Place 1 cheese slice on top of each patty; cover and grill an additional minute or until cheese melts.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of sour cream over top half of each bun, and set aside. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each with lettuce, tomato, onions (if desired), and top half of bun.
- 12 slices good-quality smoky bacon, 4 slices finely chopped and 8 left whole
- 1 1/4 pounds 80% lean ground beef
- 3 – 4 tablespoons grated onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 2 tablespoons pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil or EVOO, for drizzling
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, well drained
Rolls & Toppings
- 4 soft burger rolls, split
- Crisp yellow corn chips
- Chopped onion, tomatoes, cilantro and pickled jalapeno
Arrange the 8 whole bacon slices on a broiler pan and bake at 375 degrees until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Combine the beef, chopped bacon, grated onion, garlic, chipotle puree and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties (thinner at the center); drizzle with oil. Grill the burgers for 5 minutes on each side for medium.
Make the queso sauce; in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. Stir in the cheese to melt. Stir in the tomatoes.
Buns & Toppings:
Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and top with the queso sauce, crisscrossed bacon strips, corn chips, remaining toppings and bun tops. Serve extra sauce on the side.
Josh Bousel’s Green Chile Cheeseburger
- 3 medium poblano chiles
- 1 half-inch thick slice of a large onion, skewered through the middle horizontally
- 1 lb ground chuck, at least 20 percent fat
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 slices Pepper Jack cheese
- 3 hamburger buns
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Place the poblanos and onion on the grill and cook until charred on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Place the poblanos in a Ziploc bag and seal, set the onion to the side. When chiles are cool enough to handle, about 5-10 minutes, remove from the back, peel of the charred skin, and seed. Coarsely chop the chiles and onion together and set aside.
Mix the ground beef with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Form into 3 1/3-lb patties and use your thumb to make a dimple in the middle of each one. Place the patties on the grill and cook until desired doneness. About 2 minutes before the burgers are done, top each with a slice of pepper jack cheese and allow to melt.
Quickly grill hamburger buns, cut side down, until nicely browned, about 30 seconds. To serve, place the burger on the bun and top with the chili and onion mixture.
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- salt and pepper
- Mix the first five ingredients, and season with salt and pepper
California-style sauce from Rach’s Cobb Club Burger sliders.
- 1 cup sour cream,
- 1 ripe Hass avocado
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- handful of chopped herbs your choice – parsley, chives, dill, etc.
- salt and pepper