Sunday, July 13, 2014

Backyard Burger Bash

There are so many ways of enjoying burgers grilled to perfection on your grill that I will only give you my favorites. But I would like to give you some ideas of meat combinations though. Certainly we all grew up simply adoring 100% beef patties our parents prepared for us and most of the time, I am completely satisfied with them(but ever EVER put them onto Wonder bread again). But there are also many instances where I am in the mood for lamb, sausage, pork, chicken and ground turkey, or a combination of any of those. Now many chefs will tell you to even play with different types of beef as well. Some boast that a combination of ground sirloin mixed with flat iron is the best, while a 50-50 ratio of tenderloin and sirloin is above all others. Me? I say whatever works for you, but I would never combine expensive cuts of meat that have been ground and are about to be laden with every conceivable topping under the sun. The flavor is lost and with the price of sirloin and tenderloin, those are best suited for grilled 'au naturel'.
I will, however, admit that I often combine ground beef with Italian sausage(either sweet or hot) and topped with grilled onions and peppers. With a thick slice of Provolone melted over the top, there are very few burgers that can compete with the smell and taste of this.

Now these recipes aren't overly complicated....rather simple really, I just wanted to give you a tweak to get you to think of some of your own mixtures, recipes, ideas and combinations.
Here are some simple burger ideas for you to share with family and friends this summer.

French Tarragon Burgers

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons chopped shallots, 1 teaspoon dried tarragon and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cut two loaves French bread into 4-inch segments then cut in half horizontally. In another bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 2 pounds ground beef and ¼ cup minced shallots. Patty up and grill to your liking. Grill bread, cut side down and assemble burgers. Slather some of your mayonnaise mixture on one or both sides of the bread and serve with lettuce and tomatoes.

Guacamole Burgers

In a large skillet, cook 8 slices bacon until crisp. Remove, drain and set aside. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup minced red onion and 1(4-ounce) can green chilies; set aside. Shape 1 pound ground beef into 8 thin patties and top 4 of them with the onion mixture. Cover with remaining patties and firmly seal edges. Grill until done and top each burger with bacon and a slice of Monterey Jack cheese. Serve with the cheese melted and divide 1/2 cup guacamole to be spread on each.

Teriyaki Burgers

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups crushed Rice Chex cereal, 1/4 cup minced onion, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder. Mix well and combine with a pound of ground beef. Shape into 4 patties and grill to your liking. Grill some pineapple rings until lightly browned on both sides and add to the burger in some grilled onion rolls.

Chicken Pesto Burgers

In a large bowl, combine 1 pound ground chicken with 2 (canned) chipotle chiles in adobo sauce that have been diced, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil. Shape into 4 patties and grill until done. Top each burger with pesto, slices of mozzarella cheese and grab it and growl.

Bacon Wrapped Burgers

In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, 1 small onion that has been minced, 1 beaten egg, 3 tablespoons ketchup or salsa, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1 pound ground beef. Shape into 4 patties and wrap each with a raw bacon strip, securing with a toothpick. Grill to your liking and don't forget to throw away the toothpick before eating.

Zesty Turkey Burgers

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce. Mix in 1/4 cup oatmeal. Take out half of this mixture and set aside. In the other half, add 1 pound ground turkey. Mix well and shape into 4 patties. Grill patties until done, basting with remaining ketchup mixture.

The Burger Meister(for the thrifty)

Combine 1 pound ground beef, 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, 1/4 cup milk, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, 1/2 teaspoon both onion and garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well and patty into 4 burgers. Grill up!

Texas Chili Burgers

In a large bowl, combine 1 pound ground beef, 1/4 cup minced onion, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 3 tablespoons tomato paste and 1(8-ounce) can kidney beans that have been drained and mashed with a fork. Patty into 4 big ol' burgers and top each with a slab of extra sharp Cheddar cheese to melt, and add some sour cream and sliced tomatoes onto each burger.

Pizza Burger for a Crowd

In a large bowl, combine 1 pound ground beef, 1 pound hot Italian sausage(casing removed), 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/2-3/4 cup minced red onion, 1/2 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce. On a sheet of waxed paper, flatten out into 1 large patty, about 7-8-inches across. Place half purple onion, separated into rings, 1/2 bell pepper, sliced and 1(2.5-ounce) can sliced mushrooms and 1/4 cup sliced olives that have been drained into a large piece of foil. Crimp well to form a pouch. Place large burger and foil packet on grill and cook 13-15 minutes, or until burger is well done. Turn foil packet only once while cooking. During last 2 minutes, or so, of cooking burger, layer slices of mozzarella cheese over the top to melt. Grill 1 large focaccia or boule that has been split. Slice assembled burger into wedges to serve.

Wangan Burger Packets

In a bowl, combine 1 pound ground beef, 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well and shape into 4 patties. Place each patty on a large piece of tin foil and top each with 1/4 cup canned baked beans and some raw slices of onion rings. Crimp well and place packets on grill rack,(seam side up)and cook 20-30 minutes.

Cranberry Topped Turkey Burgers

In a large bowl, combine 1 pound ground turkey, 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms, 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs., 2 tablespoons minced onion, 1 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme. Mix well, divide into 4 patties and grill till well done. While cooking, grill hamburger rolls. Top each burger with lettuce, Dijon mustard and whole berry cranberry sauce.

Southwest Burrito Burgers

Combine 1 pound ground chicken, 2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips or corn chips and 1/4 cup salsa. Shape into 4 patties. Grill till well done. Meanwhile, wrap 4(10-inch)tortillas in foil with a splash or two of water. Place on grill during the last minute of cooking to heat and soften. To serve, place some shredded lettuce in the center of each tortilla, top with a cooked burger, guacamole and shredded flavored Cheddar cheese. Fold ends of tortilla toward the center and overlap sides to cover burger. Serve with salsa.

High Falutin' Burger

In a large bowl, combine 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausages, casing removed, 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, 1 small, minced onion, 1 beaten egg and1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Shape into 4 oblong patties to fit equally-sized slices of French bread. Grill till well done. Toast bread slices and assemble. Top each with shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced, canned artichoke hearts, bell pepper, onion and mushroom slices.

Mooooo Shu Burgers

Combine 1 pound ground pork, 1 small minced onion, 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs, 2 beaten egg, 1/2 cup minced bamboo shoots, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger. Form into 4 patties. lightly dampen 6 tortillas and wrap tightly in tin foil. In the last minute of cooking burgers, place foil packets onto grill to heat tortillas. Remove everything and assemble. Spread some hoisin sauce onto each tortilla and place a burger onto each. Top with sliced green onion, bean sprouts, sliced water chestnuts, sliced bamboo shoots  and fresh cilantro sprigs. Wrap and eat.

Greek Lamb Burgers

Combine 1 pound ground lamb, 1/2 small minced onion, 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/2 cup finely chopped dried pineapple, 1 beaten egg and 2 teaspoons curry powder. Form into 4 patties and cook as desired. Grill pita slices that have been cut in half crosswise. place cooked burger into each pita half and serve with chutney, yogurt and sliced cukes.

And my favorite of all burgers...............

THE Yankee Burger

If desired, use ground sausage or even all burger, making a total of 1 pound of meat. The subtle hint of apple and the salty, pungent addition of real Vermont cheese will have you laughing the next time you see a chef on television telling you NOT to forget the salt when seasoning burgers. The Yankee Chef says, forget about it-not needed!

3/4 pound hamburger

2 links sweet or hot Italian sausage, casing removed

1 large apple, peeled and cored

3-4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 hamburger rolls

Grate the apple into a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the hamburger, sausage, grated apple and black pepper. Divide the burger mixture into 8 equal size balls. Between 2 sheets of film wrap, place 1 burger ball and lay a piece of film wrap over the top. Press down to flatten. The patties will be thin but it will be perfectly suited for our purpose. Put about a half ounce of cheese on top, coming to within a 1/4-inch of the edge. Flatten another burger ball the same way as instructed, placing on top of cheese-laden patty already formed. Repeat until all the burger is pattied and cheese is used. Put in refrigerator for 15 minutes while heating your gas grill to medium.

Cook each burger for 3-4 minutes over direct flame, or until nicely charred and flip to cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or  until well done. If your burger is heavier on fat content, lay your burgers slightly off the direct flame. Don't forget to toast your rolls while you're at it!



lovecooks said...

you know what I like about your posts Chef? Simple yet informative. love everything about your recipes because they are for all of us, young and old, chef or not.....

Anonymous said...

Is it ok to cook the yankee burger less than well done?

The Yankee Chef said...

No, you should cook raw sausage well done. And thank you for the question.