Not Your Average Burger
Grilling has advanced to a fine art. And grills, not to mention grilling accessories, are sophisticated and often expensive. With all that in mind, however, the single most popular item emerging "hot off the grill" in millions of American backyards and patios this summer is the Plain Old Burger ("POB" for short).
Now, far be it from me to knock the POB. Americas passion for burgers is comparable in many ways to its love for the internal combustion engine. POBs are undeniably, reliably good. They've been around forever, and we all know how to make them. We even know how to doctor them up a little. So, until something better comes along, most of us will no doubt stick to the POB.
Current auto industry efforts notwithstanding, the internal combustion engine will probably be with us for some time. However, alternatives to the POB are real and plentiful. This article alone provides recipes for four savory, tempting burgers whose only resemblance to the POB is the beef and bun.
Two of our recipes are of the "surprise-inside" variety; that is, they are made up of two thin beef patties with savory ingredients sealed between them. The filling flavors the burger from the inside out resulting in a unique burger experience. The grillmaster needs to know that the patties are filled and avoid mashing or poking them.
It would be a shame, once these exceptional burgers come off the grill, to slap them between cold hamburger buns right out of the plastic bag. No, I am not about to recommend an avant garde bun. I'm suggesting that exceptional burgers deserve grilled buns. This can be accomplished by lightly buttering the inside surfaces of the buns and placing them on the back of the grill, turning them as necessary. Or melt a little butter in a large skillet and, over medium heat, grill the buns on both sides, just barely browning them. Keep the buns warm until it's time to dig in.
Americans will always love the POB, but we are an adventurous breed reveling in the ability to choose what we like. Now we have more choices.
Mix the cream cheese, blue cheese and mustard until smooth. Divide the mixture among 6 of the beef patties, spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with a remaining patty, sealing edges firmly.
Grill patties about 4 inches from coals or heating element, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Makes 6 burgers.
Grill patties about 4 inches from coals or heating element 5 to 7 minutes. Turn patties. Place a tomato slice on each patty. Grill an additional 5 to 7 minutes for medium or until desired doneness, topping each patty with a slice of mozzarella during the last minute of grilling. Serve on grilled hamburger buns. Makes 6 burgers.
Combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, water, salt, lemon pepper and Parmesan cheese, mixing well. Shape mixture into 6 patties about 4 inches in diameter.
Grill patties about 4 inches from coals or heating element, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium, topping each patty with a slice of Swiss cheese during last minute of grilling.
Spread a heaping tablespoon of the mushroom mixture on each patty. Serve on grilled hamburger buns. Makes 6 burgers.
Hamburger RecipesMash the avocado and mix with the sour cream, lemon juice and Tabasco until smooth. Cover and set aside.
Combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cumin, mixing well. Shape mixture into 12 patties about 4 inches in diameter.
Combine the chopped onion, tomato, green chiles and cilantro. Divide the mixture among 6 of the beef patties, spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with a remaining patty, sealing edges firmly.
Grill patties about 4 inches from coals or heating element, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Serve burgers with avocado sauce. Makes 6 burgers.
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