Try these twists on basic burgers

Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2005

By Staff
Hamburgers. Lord have mercy, haven't I had a few of these in my lifetime.
Now my daddy, God rest his soul, was a meat and potatoes man through and through. We couldn't make a trip to Pensacola when I was a kid without him pulling in to a Whataburger restaurant or even a Krystal's. I can remember just how much he fussed when those little square burgers went from 10 to 12 cents a piece. He'd have a stroke if he could see how much they are now!
We did make homemade hamburgers when I was growing up. We had one saying when making one at home: "The messier the better."
It doesn't take a whole lot to add some flavor to burger in your own kitchen. Try experimenting with different spices and combinations of spices. You'll be surprised how well it will turn out. My favorite spice to use on beef is Greek seasoning. You can find it at any grocery store in the spice section. It comes in a round canister, similar to salt, only smaller. The label is mostly yellow and has a happy cook dancing around as well.
The following recipes will give you a variety of burgers to prepare for the grill. You're bound to find one that will please your crew!
Seasoned Burgers
1 pound lean ground beef
One-quarter cup ketchup
1 tbsp. Hamburger Seasoning
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 slices Cheddar or American cheese
8 slices cooked bacon
4 hamburger rolls
Mix ground beef, ketchup, hamburger seasoning and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Shape into four patties. Grill patties over medium heat 4-6 minutes per side or until burgers reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Add cheese slices to each burger one minute before cooking is completed, and toast buns on the grill, open side down, about 30 seconds.
This next recipe is one that I've used many times. Well, not exactly. I usually don't get the extra-lean ground beef. I've found that a meat with a higher fat/lean ratio makes a juicier burger. (Yes, I know leaner is better. But I like what I like.)
Onion Burgers
2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
One-quarter tsp. ground black pepper
Three-quarters cup rolled oats (not instant)
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium high heat and lightly oil grate. In a large bowl, combine the beef, onion soup mix, egg, hot sauce and oats. Shape into 6 patties.
Grill patties over medium high heat for 10 to 20 minutes, or to desired doneness.
This recipe sounds pretty good to me. I love salsa anyway, so this one is bound to be good. These burgers would be great served with tortilla chips and a smooth cheese or bean dip.
Salsa burgers
1 pound ground beef
4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
4 tbsp. salsa
4 slices Cheddar cheese
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Form the ground beef into 4 individual patties. Grill patties over high heat for 2 to 4 minutes, then flip over. Top the cooked side of each patty with a dash of hot pepper sauce, a teaspoon of salsa, a slice of Cheddar cheese and a slice of Monterey Jack cheese. Grill for 2 to 4 minutes or to desired doneness.
Of course we have to dress up our burgers with something and sometimes plain on ketchup and mustard just isn't enough. This sauce recipe would really spice things up a little. Give it a try and then let me know what you think.
Burger Sauce
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
One-half cup ketchup
One-third cup sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
One-half bunch green onions, chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste
In a bowl, stir together the vinegar and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, parsley, green onions, and chopped egg, and stir until well blended. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Don't forget to drop me a line, give me a call or stop me in the grocery store and let me know how you like the column. Shoot, I'll even take suggestions on themes or recipes you'd like to see here.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!

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