Posts tagged burgers

Breakfast burgers

When Mr. Squid mentioned he wanted to make breakfast burgers I wasn’t immediately on board. See, we tried out breakfast pizzas once on a whim and the results were, well, not good.

But sausage patties are perfect for the grill. We buy ours from a local farmer’s market that makes fresh pork and turkey varieties. Top your grilled patty with the works like bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. Or keep it simple–I like just a turkey sausage patty topped with thick-sliced tomato.

Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

4 sausage patties (1 pound)

4 whole wheat kaiser buns

4 slices bacon, if desired

4 slices cheddar cheese, if desired

4 eggs

Directions

  1. Form the sausage into 4 thin patties.
  2. Heat the grill to high, then place the sausage patties on the grill.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  4. Take the patties off the grill. While they cool prepare a fried egg for each.
  5. Place the patty on the bun followed by the bacon, cheese, and fried egg. (Alternatively, top the sausage patty with a slice of tomato.)
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Portobello basil burgers

That's not beef--that's mushrooms!

Forget the beef, earthy portobello mushrooms taste even better. And when you top them with pesto mayo, fresh basil and thick-cut bacon? Tasty. My meat-loving brother-in-law even asked for a bite–having never had a portobello mushroom before–and liked it! In fact, I think I even saw a hint of envy…

Recipe

Servings: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes + grilling

Ingredients

4 large Portobello mushrooms

¼ cup olive oil

Grill seasoning mix

Garlic powder (optional)

Onion powder (optional)

Salt and pepper

Hamburger buns

Fresh basil leaves

Sliced tomato

Bacon (if desired, you know you want it!)

1/4 cup mayo (or reduced fat cream cheese if you’re trying to go light)

1 Tablespoon prepared pesto

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the mushrooms. Remove the stems.
  2. Bring the grill to high heat.
  3. Brush the olive oil on one side of the mushroom. Sprinkle with seasonings as you would hamburgers. I use a mesquite grilling mix along with garlic and onion powders and then salt and pepper.
  4. Place the mushrooms on the grill with the oiled side down. Grill until the mushroom starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Brush the non-oiled side and then flip the mushroom. Grill 5 more minutes or until browned and tender.
  6. Mix the mayo and the pesto (I added a few sun-dried tomatoes too).
  7. Slather the hamburger bun top with pesto mayo. On the bottom part layer the mushroom, tomato and basil.
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No Need for Beef Bean Burgers

Bean burgers sounded like a bit of a stretch for me—I mean, how do you get them to stay together? And truth be told, I’m not a burger fan. (Shhhh! Don’t tell Mr. Squid, he makes great burgers, but for me it’s still always about getting great toppings that make a burger worth eating no matter if it’s ground sirloin or chuck.)

When I started looking through various black bean burger recipes I realized a couple of things—first that they were constructed a lot like meatballs with bread crumbs and an egg to hold them together and second that bean patties are common. Who knows, maybe falafels, those balls of ground, fried chickpeas often wrapped in a warm pita, were the inspiration for black bean burgers.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the recipes I came across—why no ‘bean fushion’? I like black beans but what about adding in a few red beans or pinto? The flavoring in black bean burgers seemed fairly expected too, garlic and onions, onions and garlic, sometimes sautéed and sometimes added raw. I figure if you’re already using beans for your burger you should make it a southwest burger with enough spice and heat to distinguish it from it’s beefy cousin.

No problem getting the kids to eat bean burgers!

So instead of bread crumbs as I binder, I used ground up tortilla chips and I didn’t even bother with onions and garlic, I spiced it as I might a burger with onion powder, garlic powder and then chili powder. I also tossed in a little mayo to hold it together; to brighten the flavor even more I added plenty of fresh chopped cilantro. As for the beans, I decided on a black-pinto combo.

The results? I really wasn’t expecting to like the bean burgers much (I mean, it is still a burger). But the crisped patties melded together with the vivid flavors of beans, cilantro, southwest spices and corn won me over. My kids too. My husband even had seconds, and said—I kid you not—“I like these better than regular burgers.”

Have you tried bean burgers?

Recipe
Servings: 8, 3-inch burgers
Prep + Cooking time: About an hour


Ingredients
1 15.5 oz can black beans (drained)
2 15.5 oz cans pinto beans (drained; you’ll only use half of the second can)
1 cup corn chips, ground (measured after grinding)
1 egg
2 tablespoons mayo
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Slices of cheese, optional
Oil


Directions

  1. In a food processor, grind the corn chips and then set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Drain all of the beans. Process 1 can of pinto beans until smooth. Add to the corn chips in the separate bowl.
  3. Again, in the food processor, pulse the remaining pinto beans (remember half of the can; the rest you can save for another recipe) and half of the black beans until chunky but NOT pureed. Two or three pulses should do it.
  4. Add the chunky pinto and black bean mixture to the corn and pureed bean mixture. Add the remaining ingredients (except the rest of the black beans) and stir.
  5. Add in the whole black beans to the rest of the bean mixture and stir gently. The mixture will be loose.
  6. On a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, form three inch in diameter, one-inch thick patties. Place on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. In a large skillet bring three tablespoons of oil to medium-high heat. Gently add the firmed patties to the oil and sauté on one side for about 4 minutes and then flip over gently and sauté the next side for 4 minutes or until crisped. You should be able to fit four patties into the pan at a time.
  8. Replace the parchment on the baking sheet and put the sautéed patties onto the sheet. Add a slice of cheese to the top (I used Monterrey Jack, but you can use whatever your family prefers). Melt the cheese in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 7 to 10 minutes while you prep the rest of the burger ingredients.
  9. Serve the burgers on bun with lettuce, tomato, and onion. I also added a chipotle mayo to the bun top for some extra heat.
  10. Enjoy!
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$50 Bison Sampler Giveaway!

Squid, sure. Tripe, why not. Bison? You betcha. My kids love to try new flavors and foods (me too!) so I’m happy to announce that High Plains Bison will be offering a $50 meat sampler to one lucky MKES reader. If you’ve ever snacked on bison jerky or maybe even a bison burger, you know this would be fun to cook up bison dogs, indulge in a bison filet mignon. Okay, now I’m getting hungry and it’s only 9am!

But before you skip ahead to figure out how to enter, I’ve got to point out a few things I learned about bison when I was getting ready for this giveaway–I promise, you’ll be impressed it involves a certain Oscar-winning actor and a large, hairy beast. I’ve got your attention now, right? First, the good stuff–bison meat is packed with protein (okay, you probably figured that one out) but with less fat than beef, chicken, even salmon.

Now for a little trivia you can share with your kids–bison meat is completely different from buffalo. A whole species apart (not to mention an ocean). So you know that scene in Dances with Wolves where Kevin Costner has his fingers pointed to make little horns and he’s trying to learn Lakota? Yup, he should have been saying, “Tatanka? Bison?” I guess buffalo sounded a lot better and most folks still think of bison as buffalo (myself included until about a week ago!).

So here’s the deal, share with MKES a favorite food you’ve either been meaning to try or something you’ve tried out recently for the first time. My take–I sampled pork belly at a tasting event a couple weeks ago. I didn’t expect to like it with a name like pork belly–but I should have known that something with hints of bacony crispiness and a smoky vibe would be delicious.

What have you tried lately? The winner will be chosen at random August 12th.

*Note: the giveaway can only be sent to a U.S. locale. Sorry kiwis!

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Q&A with The Fly Trap’s Kara McMillian

The Fly Trap's Red Chile Salmon Burger

A creamy combo of cheddar, smoked Gouda, and Blue cheeses mixed in with the trademark elbow macaroni, then topped with caramelized onions. Is your mouth watering yet? That’s the description of The Fly Trap’s 3 Cheese and Mac. I’ve had friends go in and order this dish planning on eating about a third of it at the diner and then snacking on the rest for a week afterwards.

Located in Ferndale, The Fly Trap’s notoriety for serving classic dishes alongside funky favorites like Asian pho bowls and tofu fried rice have made it not only a hit among locals, but even the Food Network has featured its fixins’ on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (that’s where I first heard about it).

Kara McMillian and her brother Sean McClanaghan, are the co-owners of the popular dining spot. Kara’s husband, Gavin, is the brain (and head chef!) behind the eclectic, mouth-watering menu. Here, she spills on her favorite ingredients—and her go-to dish when she dines at work.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?

I love cooking with spice. Big flavors are what set us apart. That’s our biggest complaint when we have new guests come to the restaurant–we like to add a little spice to our dishes. At home we always have Sambal Oelek, which is a Vietnamese red chili paste, on hand. Olive oil. Locally made tofu.

Your favorite meal?

My favorite meal on the menu is the fried rice. We use short grain brown rice, tons of roasted eggplant and red pepper; shiitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms; carrots; sugar snap peas; fresh spinach; and a splash of chili paste. It’s so good with lots of veggies and whole grain rice. Mmmm. It’s something that I like to have to take home with me.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?

I recently took up making desserts. I used recipes from Baked, which is from a bakery in New York City. Their brownies are absolutely spectacular. I get requests for pans and more pans. The key is there’s the smallest amount of espresso powder in the brownies and that turns the corner with the flavor—they are super rich.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?

I made a whole batch of cookies once and let people eat them without trying them myself. They had way too much flour and baking soda in them.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?

Tofu. We buy our tofu from Michigan Soy Products in Royal Oak. It’s a really good product. We also get fresh fruit and fresh-squeezed juices from the Western Market right here in Ferndale.

What do you suggest for first-timers to The Fly Trap? What menu item should they make sure to try?

There are two categories of first timers. For a real crowd-pleaser, I would suggest the Charmoula Chicken, which is a North African spiced chicken breast, jack cheese, caramelized onion on grilled sourdough with a lemon, garlic aioli. But for those who are a little more adventurous, I’d recommended the Vietnamese pho bowl, which is a really brothy, spicy dish that has your choice of tofu or chicken, rice and tons of veggies. On a cold day, it’s really heartwarming.

If you’d like to get a taste of The Fly Trap at home, McMillian graciously shared her recipe the Red Chili Salmon burger.

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The Fly Trap’s Red Chile Salmon Burgers

Recipe for Red Chile Salmon Burger

provided by Kara McMillian


Makes 8, 6 oz. Patties

3lbs. Salmon Meat

1 Tablespoon Sambal Oelek

1 Tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Cup Chopped Green Onion

Grind all of the above in a food processor.  Sautee in skillet, or char-grill, in 1 Tablespoon Olive oil over medium heat, flipping once until desired temperature. Enjoy!

The Fly Trap’s Red Chile Salmon Burger
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