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It’s that time of the year when everyone becomes a grilling expert and we all enjoy endless varieties of hamburgers cooked on the grill.
When a hamburger is done right, you know it…the smoky, char-grilled outside and the juicy meat on the inside, stacked between a toasty bun covered with your favorite condiments. That’s what a burger is all about!
Don’t pack the burgers too tightly. Heat the grill on high for a few minutes or so to get the grilling surface searing hot, then reduce the heat to medium for grilling. For consistent results, it’s always best to grill them with the grill cover down. Let them rest for about 5 minutes after grilling to keep them nice and juicy.
Save the salt
There is one common ingredient that you may want to leave out…salt! Don’t combine it into the meat mixture, especially if you’re not going to grill the hamburger patties right away. Salt tends to extract moisture from the meat and the result will be bone-dry burgers. Instead, wait and sprinkle each burger with salt right before you put it on the grill.
Grilled Beef and Mushroom Burger
Although this recipe calls for using a grill, you can easily pan fry them on your stovetop using a large cast iron pan.
1 pound ground beef
1-oz. pkg. dried mushrooms (porcini, morels or other mushrooms)
2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms (substitute button or cremini), sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsps. olive oil
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 hamburger onion buns
Process the dried mushrooms using a grinder or food processor until ground into a powder; a few small pieces will be fine. In a large bowl, mix together the meat, mushroom powder, pepper and Worcestershire sauce until combined. Shape mixture into four patties, creating a slight indentation at the centers of the patties (when they cook, the sides tend to contract more than the center).
In a large sauté pan over high heat, add the mushrooms and sauté until they release their water, about 2-3 minutes. Add the onions and olive oil; toss to combine and continue to sauté over high heat for another minute. Add salt to taste and cook until the onions soften and begin to brown. Remove from heat and place mushroom mixture in a bowl.
Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Grill burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, 5 minutes per side for medium and 6 minutes for medium-well. When the burgers are almost done, lay the Swiss cheese over them and allow cheese to melt. Spread a little olive oil on the buns and toast them on the grill grates. To serve, place a burger on each bun and top with the sautéed onions and mushroom mixture. Makes 4 servings.
Grilled Burgers with Guacamole and Monterey Jack Cheese
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 4 pieces (2-inches square x 1/2-inch thick)
4 tsps. chopped pickled jalapeno chiles
2 cups prepared guacamole
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Divide the ground beef into four equal amounts and then shape each into a ball. Using your thumb, make a depression in the center or each ball. Fill each depression with a piece of the cheese and one teaspoon of the jalapeno chiles. Form the meat around the cheese mixture into a 1-inch thick patty. Before placing burgers on the grill, season with salt and pepper.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place burgers on the grill, cover and cook about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare and 5 minutes per side for medium.
Transfer the hamburgers to the buns and top with guacamole. Makes 4 servings.
Grilled Burgers with Cream Cheese and Jalapeno
These jalapeno and cream cheese stuffed hamburgers will add spice to your next cook out.
2 cups seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 pounds ground beef
8 hamburger buns
Preheat the grill for medium heat. Once hot, lightly oil the grate. In a medium bowl, mix together the jalapenos and cream cheese.
Divide the ground beef into 16 portions and pat out each one to 1/4-inch thickness. Spoon some of the cream cheese mixture onto the center of 8 of the patties. Place the remaining patties on top, pressing the edges together to seal.
Grill for about 10 minutes per side, or until well-done, taking care not to press down on the burgers as they cook. This will cause the cheese to ooze out, a real no-no! Serve on buns with your favorite toppings. Makes 8 servings.
Mexican Salmon Burgers
Tired of the same old beef burger? Try this Mexican-inspired salmon burger topped with a fresh lime-cilantro mayonnaise sauce. Serve with spinach salad topped with a sweet, slightly spicy Asian dressing for a tasty accompaniment.
For the sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the salmon:
1 pound salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 Tbsps. cilantro leaves
2 Tbsps. chopped green onions
1 Tbsp. chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
2 Tbsps. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 sesame seed hamburger buns, toasted
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices cucumber
Combine mayo, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl; cover and chill.
Place salmon in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add breadcrumbs, cilantro leaves, green onions, jalapeño pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until well blended. Divide salmon mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Add salmon patties to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Carefully turn patties over and cook additional 2 minutes or until done.
Spread about a tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture over the bottom half of each bun. Top each with a salmon patty, 3 cucumber slices and a lettuce leaf. Makes 4 servings.
Grilled Summer Cobbler
No need to heat up that oven. Keep the heat outside with this easy summer fruit dessert made on the grill.
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1-1/4 cups Bisquick mix
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 medium peach or nectarine, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 cup fresh blueberries or blackberries
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat grill to medium heat (350 degrees). In medium bowl, mix Bisquick, 1/2 cup of the sugar and milk; beat for 30 seconds. In 9-inch round foil cake pan, add butter to the pan and melt on the grill. Pour batter over the butter in pan. Top with fruit. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
Cover the grill and cook about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. After the cobbler is baked, move the pan to the side of the grill to keep it warm. Makes 8 servings.