Thursday, June 17

Bring on the Burgers

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Summer is back in a big way! We predict a record number of burgers will be grilled at outdoor gatherings this year. Of course, you have your own signature burger… but these recipes give you some great options guaranteed to keep all your parties feeling as special as the first burger of the season.

Herbed Beef Burgers
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1½ pounds ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 8 hamburger buns
Instructions
  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine the thyme, oregano, parsley, chives, salt, black pepper and red pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine the ground chuck and ground sirloin in a medium bowl. Divide the beef into 8 patties. Sprinkle the herb mixture evenly on each patty and press gently into the meat. With your thumb, make a shallow indention in the center.
  3. Grill 6 minutes on each side or until the beef is no longer pink in the center. Serve immediately on hamburger buns with your preferred condiments.
Potato Coated Crab Burgers
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound fresh crabmeat, drained
  • 2 cups soft breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups instant potato flakes
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sweet pickles
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Place the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When melted, add the bell peppers, shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set the skillet aside. Cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper and set aside.
  2. Add the crabmeat, breadcrumbs, eggs and mustard to the mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Shape into 4 patties and place on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle both sides evenly with the potato flakes, and with your thumb, make a shallow indention in the center. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, pickles, parsley, black pepper and tarragon. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the vegetable oil in the same skillet used to soften the vegetables and place over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the patties 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Discard the waxed paper from the cookie sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Place the patties on the cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
  4. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on both sides of the buns. Top with lettuce and tomato. Serve warm.
Relish These Turkey Burgers
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ⅓ cup green tomato or pickle relish
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned, garlic or onion salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
Instructions
  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine the ground turkey, relish, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Divide into 4 patties, and with your thumb, make a shallow indention in the center. If desired, sprinkle the outside with additional salt and pepper. Grill 6 minutes on each side. Serve immediately on hamburger buns with your preferred condiments.
Pineapple Chicken Burgers
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1¼ pounds ground chicken
  • ½ cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • 4 fresh pineapple slices
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced onions
Instructions
  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, pepper and garlic. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken and breadcrumbs along with half of the prepared sauce. Divide into 4 patties, and with your thumb, make a shallow indention in the center. Grill 5 minutes, then turn and baste with the remaining sauce. Add the pineapple slices to the grill and continue cooking until the patties are fully cooked (165 degrees) and the pineapple is charred.
  2. During the last minute of cooking, place the buns cut side down on the grill to toast. Assemble the patties on mayonnaise-smeared buns with lettuce, onions and the grilled pineapple. Serve warm.
Sesame Salmon Burgers
 
Use leftover cooked salmon or canned.
Ingredients
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans boneless, skinless salmon, drained and squeezed dry
  • ½ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 sesame seed hamburger buns
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced red onions
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler to high and cover the broiler pan with aluminum foil. Grease and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the salmon, breadcrumbs, egg, 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise, sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper. Blend well, then divide and shape into 4 patties.
  3. Place on the prepared pan and broil 5 minutes or until the tops are browned. Carefully turn the patties over with a spatula and broil another 4 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the hamburger buns and smear evenly with the remaining mayonnaise. Add the patties, then top with lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Serve warm.
Tuna Croquette Sliders
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tuna, drained and squeezed dry
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 cup packed room-temperature mashed potatoes
  • ¾cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 slider buns
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Lettuce
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the tuna, eggs, onions, potatoes, ½ cup of the breadcrumbs, mustard, lemon juice, dill, salt, paprika and pepper. Mix well, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Place the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Divide the tuna mixture into 8 portions and shape into balls. Roll in the remaining breadcrumbs, then mash into patties. Fry in batches for 3 minutes, then carefully turn and fry the other side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Toast the buns and evenly smear each with mayonnaise. Add the croquette, top with lettuce and serve warm.

Tammy Algood develops recipes for The Tennessee Magazine that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce.


Building the perfect burger

Ground turkey, chicken, pork, Italian sausage and seafood are great foundations for a burger. If you still prefer beef, stick with ground chuck for the best flavor.

Beyond salt and pepper – Seasonings can change an ordinary tasting burger to one out of this world. Instead of just dusting the surface, mix it in to distribute evenly through the entire burger. Moist ingredients such as onion, fresh herbs and garlic boost the juiciness.

Equal is best – Burgers that are close to the same size are ideal for grilling/cooking purposes so that you have everything ready to serve at the same time. I prefer burgers that are no more than an inch thick and no thinner than ¾ inch.

Give it a mash in the middle – To keep burgers level and prevent puffy middles as they cook, give each an indentation in the center with your thumb.

Temperature control – Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness. Slip it into the center from the side.

Take advantage of the heat – While the grill is hot, place the buns cut side down over the direct heat. It takes less than a minute to have them perfectly toasted and gives you a platform for no sogginess!


Ask Chef Tammy

Email your cooking questions to Tammy Algood: talgood@tnelectric.org.


Janice would like to know an alternative to using breadcrumbs in meatloaf. “I never use breadcrumbs and hate to purchase them for just that one recipe,” she writes.

Janice, there are plenty of substitutes for bread crumbs. Pull out your food processor and mince carrots or crushed cornflakes, crackers or chips. If you are using crackers or chips, reduce the amount of salt in your recipe. You can also use oats, dry onion soup mix or, if you have it, cooked rice. But if you really prefer using breadcrumbs and have the space, consider freezing the excess in a moisture-proof zip-top bag. They will keep up to a year, and no thawing is necessary.

Charlene writes, “I love seafood salad, but when I make it, it tends to be watery. I use precooked shrimp that I thaw and peel as well as crabmeat, mayonnaise, shallots, seasonings and a touch of mustard. It is great at first, but if it has to sit in the refrigerator for any time before serving, it gets watery. What am I doing wrong?”

Charlene, I am guessing it is excess moisture in the shrimp. First of all, make sure they are completely thawed, and drain them well. As you peel them, place in a colander to drain even more. You might even take the extra step of wrapping them in paper towels and gently squeezing out any excess liquid.

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About Author

Tammy Algood develops for The Tennessee Magazine recipes that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce. For more information about our recipes, contact Algood at talgood@tnelectric.org.

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