Growing up, the only time my dad cooked was when it was barbecue time.
This is not to say that my dad was a good barbecuer, but rather, he was an enthusiastic barbecuer who always surprised us with how he always managed to come within an inch of incinerating his culinary offerings. But trust me, even his disasters were delicious.
Actually “barbecue” is one of the most misused words in our cooking vocabulary. Putting steaks, hot dogs and hamburgers on a grill should be called grilling, not barbecuing. In actuality, barbecue involves slow-smoking meat at a low temperature for a long period of time with a liquid or sauce (and smoke) as a flavoring and tenderizing agent.
So, in honor of all the men, or grillers, out there, here are some of my all time favorite grilled burger recipes.
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground beef
4 slices provolone cheese
4 English muffins, split and toasted
1/2 to 1 cup pizza sauce
In a large bowl, combine the egg, parmesan, onion, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary and pepper. Mix to combine. Add the beef and mix to combine. Shape the mixture into four patties. Grill the burgers, covered, over a medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes on each side until they are the desired doneness. Top burgers with cheese; cover and grill 2 to 3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve on muffins topped with pizza sauce. Serves 4.
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced yellow onion
12 ounces ground lamb
4 ounces ground pork
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon each finely chopped parsley, mint and dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 black olives roughly chopped
8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped (you can use fresh tomatoes)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
5 or 6 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves shredded
2 hamburger buns, toasted
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook until browned, about 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer onions to a plate; let cool. In a bowl, mix the onions, lamb, pork, mustard, herbs, spices, garlic and salt and pepper. Form meat into two thick patties and then set them aside aside.
Prepare a grill to medium-high (or heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet). Grill burgers, flipping once, until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium rare. In a small bowl, combine feta, olives and sun-dried tomatoes; toss with the remaining oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Place each burger on the bottom half of a bun and top each with the vegetables and bun top. Makes 2. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
1 large shallot, finely chopped ( 1/4 cup) (you can use sweet onion)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
4 thick slices extra-sharp Cheddar
4 hamburger or Kaiser rolls
Sun-dried tomato mayonnaise:
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
In a skillet over a medium heat cook the shallot in oil with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, and then transfer to a bowl. Add turkey and mix gently but thoroughly.
Turn out turkey mixture onto a sheet of wax paper and divide into 8 equal mounds. Pat one mound into a 4-inch patty and top with one piece of cheese then put a second mound on top, patting it onto other patty to enclose cheese. Pinch edges together to seal and shape into a single patty. Make 3 more burgers in same manner. If you are grilling this outside on the grill you need to grease the racks. If cooking indoors, you need to heat an oiled ridged grill pan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then grill burgers, turning over once, until just cooked through (no longer pink), 8 to 9 minutes total. While burgers are cooking, toast the buns.
For the sun dried tomato mayonnaise: Put everything in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Serve the burgers on rolls with lettuce. Makes 4.