Burgers with Flair

Fresh ground beef makes the best burgers due to the fat content. It can be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 2 days. Beyond that, it needs to be well wrapped and frozen. When the time comes to thaw it, place on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent any drips from contaminating other food.

While there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned cheeseburger, you can wow your guests at your next cookout by adding a little flair. First, let’s start with a basic burger recipe.

Basic Burger Recipe

1 pound of ground beef
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
½ teaspoon of dried basil
4 slices of sharp Cheddar cheese
4 buns

Heat the grill to high. Mix everything together except for the buns and the cheese. Grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until done. For a juicy burger, do not press down on the burgers while cooking. Brush the buns with a bit of olive oil and add to the grill to toast. Place the cheese on the burgers during the last minute of cooking. Serve on the toasted buns with the condiments of your choice.
To give it some flair, just use your creativity. The sky is the limit. You can keep it simple or go as elaborate as you’d like. Let’s take a look at some options.

Pine Nuts, Broccoli and Feta Cheese:
1 pound of ground beef
2 tbsp. sun dried tomatoes
2 tbsp. roasted pine nuts
2 tbsp. chopped broccoli
2 tbsp. crumbled feta
2-3 tbsp. olive oil

  • Amounts given are for 2 burgers

Divide ground beef into 4 patties. In a bowl, mix the sun dried tomatoes, roasted pine nuts, chopped broccoli and crumbled feta with a little olive oil. Place a large spoonful of this mixture on one patty and cover with a second patty. Pinch the edges together. Repeat for the other burger and grill. Toast the buns and garnish the burger with some mayo and lettuce or spinach.

Garlic, Onion and Blue Cheese

1 pound of ground beef
1 Tablespoon of spicy brown mustard
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 chopped green onions
2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese
1 egg
1 Tablespoon of water
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients just until blended. Shape the mixture into patties a bit larger than the bun and about ½ inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. Make sure the grill is well oiled and very hot. Place the burgers over the direct heat and grill for 5 minutes on each side. Serve on toasted buns.

Turkey Pita Burger

For a twist to your barbeque, try using something besides ground beef and hamburger buns. Turkey has become a popular choice in health food circles and it can be grilled and served on Pita bread for a non-traditional burger. The ingredients in this recipe are mixed in with the turkey as well as served over them as a sauce.

1 pound of ground turkey
½ of an onion, diced
¾ teaspoon of oregano
2 cups of plain yogurt (or mix some with sour cream)
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of dried chives
2 teaspoon of dried parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
Pita Pockets

Mix one cup of the yogurt with the garlic powder, onion powder, chives, parsley, salt and pepper. In another bowl, mix half of this yogurt mixture with the turkey, oregano and chopped onion. Form the patties and cook over high heat until done. Meanwhile, blend the other cup of the yogurt with the cucumber and mash. When the burgers are done, place them in pita pockets and top with the cucumber sauce. Mozzarella cheese can be melted over the turkey burgers just before removing from the grill if wanted.

Apple Chicken Burger

Chicken takes on the taste of whatever is added to it and makes a perfect burger for the grill. The apple in this recipe produces an incredible flavor.

1 pound of ground chicken breast
1 peeled and shredded apple
½ of an onion, finely minced
½ teaspoon of salt
1 and ¼ teaspoons of poultry seasoning
½ cup of bread crumbs (more if needed to hold the burger together)

Blend together, shape into patties and grill. Try adding apple chutney on top for a most unusual burger.

Spicy Fiesta Burger

1 pound of ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning mix
¼ cup of chive and onion cream cheese
1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Here’s another example of filled burgers that kick the flavor up a notch. Mix ground beef with the taco seasoning mix and make 8 patties. Blend flavored cream cheese with shredded cheddar cheese and spoon onto 4 patties. Cover with the other 4 patties and pinch the edges to seal.

Bring the grill to medium heat and cook the burgers until done, about 8 minutes per side. Place on a toasted bun and top with a type of salsa and avocados.

Healthy Turkey Burgers for Kids

12 ounces of ground turkey
½ cup of diced celery
1 small box of frozen spinach, thawed
½ teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
Enough bread crumbs to hold the patties together.

Be sure to drain the spinach and squeeze out the excess moisture. Divide into patties and grill or fry in a skillet and serve with mushroom gravy over noodles or rice.

Portobello Mushroom & Avocado Meatless Burger

4 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 sliced onion
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 sliced avocado
½ teaspoon of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of soy yogurt
4 roasted red peppers
4 hamburger buns

Brush the mushrooms and onion with oil and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. In a large, heated skillet, cook mushrooms about 10 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate, cavity side up, and cover to keep warm.

Using the same skillet, cook the onions in the same manner. Meanwhile, mash together in a small bowl, ½ of the avocado, yogurt, garlic, and some salt and pepper. Spread this on the bottom of each bun. Add the mushroom and fill with onion and roasted pepper. Top with the remaining avocado and top bun.

Burgers aren’t just burgers anymore. With a little imagination you can create flair-filled burgers that will be the talk of the town.

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