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Grilled Burgers & Brats

Midsummer Hot Dogs

1 Comment | Written on July 3, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

This weekend countless Americans will be firing up the grill or gathering around the campfire to celebrate Independence Day.  One  iconic item that is certain to be on just about every menu?  Hot dogs!

If you are ready to get a little adventurous with your hot dog toppings, I have the recipe for you.  These “Midsummer Hot Dogs” were inspired by a family reunion just a few weeks back.  I think you will love the combination of a juicy hot dog, sharp mustard and the crisp crunch of a cucumber and radish slaw.

Keep reading for the recipe…

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Tailgate Beer Brats

No Comments | Written on September 18, 2013 at 5:00 am , by

It’s taligate time!  Crack open a cold beverage, prepare some snacks, and root on your favorite team!

This easy, 3-ingredient recipe is a game day classic.

Keep reading for the recipe…

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Best Burger Ever – Retro Diner Burger

2 Comments | Written on June 6, 2013 at 12:00 am , by

Last week, we went in search of the “Best Burger Ever.”  Better Recipes readers submitted a wide variety of ideas from the traditional to the trendy.  There were turkey burgers, pork burgers, and seafood burgers.  We also saw flavor inspiration from all over the globe incorporated into a patty and sandwiched between two buns.

In the end, the winning recipe is a classic, all-American burger that has been elevated to new heights.   Get ready for the prize-winning “Retro Diner Burger!

Keep reading for the winning recipe…

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The Ultimate Burger

No Comments | Written on December 21, 2012 at 12:00 am , by

My Christmas gift this year?  A guest post here on Better Recipes from wine expert, Matthew Delaney!

He and I met on a Zonin winery tour through Italy this past October.  Along the way he told me about this epic burger recipe he perfected over the years and we decided it just had to be shared with all of you.  Coincidentally, December 21st just happens to be “National Hamburger Day!”

For more from Matthew regarding all things wine, food and travel, be sure to check out his websites “The Wine’d Up” and “Girl Meets Food!”

This burger has been crowned, “the best burger I’ve ever had”, by every single person I have made it for. The mere mention of an opportunity to savor this burger induces mouth watering daydreams for all who have had it.

Keep reading for the recipe…

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“Grill-Off” Chicken Winner

2 Comments | Written on July 19, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Sliders are all the rage, and we are always looking for new ways to enjoy chicken at mealtime.  No wonder these delicious, innovative and adorable grilled chicken sliders came out on top this week in our grilling contest!  Everyone say “hello” and “congratulations” to our latest winner, Jeanette Nelson!

Jeanette says, “These Island Inspired Chicken Sliders were made specifically for this contest.  The bold and vibrant exotic flavors will have your friends and family begging for this recipe.”

Keep reading to see the recipe for this winning dish!

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“Grill-Off” Burger Winner – La Taverna Tapas Burger

9 Comments | Written on July 12, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Here’s my theory…

There are burgers, and then there are burgers.  I’m talking about the kind of burger where after the first bite you can’t find words to describe the flavor and satisfaction, so you just make sounds.

Yep, this is that kind of burger!


This recipe was created by Tina Verelli, the winner in the “Burger” category of the “Grill Off” Contest!  Tina says, “Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients, cuisines and flavor combinations!”  That is exactly what makes this creative recipe so exciting.  She created an unexpected combination of Mediterranean flavors and Tapas inspired ingredients into one mind-boggling burger.    Tina also advises, “When you eat out, try something you’ve never had before.  It can spark an interest in a new food or ingredient.”  I can certainly see some restaurant inspirations in this recipe!


Let’s break this down and take a look at the components in this burger.  Start off with the ciabatta roll, a perfectly chewy and hearty vessel for this dynamic burger.  The top bun is brushed with olive oil and smoked paprika.  The bottom is spread with a bit of creamed honey.  I have to admit this ingredient threw me for a loop at first.  Honey on a burger?  Oh, just wait…it is the perfect hint of sweetness to balance the salt.  The burger itself is packed with garlic, olives, and red peppers and topped with Manchego cheese.  Then, thin slices of prosciutto adorn the burger.  Because sometimes meat just needs to be topped with meat!  Finally an arugula salad with olive oil and balsamic glaze finishes off the dish.  Do I have your attention yet?!


LA TAVERNA TAPAS BURGER (click here to view and print recipe)


  • 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/3 cup green olives stuffed with pimientos, chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half
  • 1 cup shredded Manchego cheese
  • 12 very thin slices prosciutto
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup creamed honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic glaze


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Prepare burger patties by combining the beef, garlic, olives, red peppers, pepper sauce, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Gently mix until combined. Divide into 6 portions and form 3/4 inch thick patties using the bun shape as a guide. Place burger patties on hot grill. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Lightly brush cut sides of rolls with olive oil mixture. When burgers are ready to turn, approximately 5 minutes, turn them and add rolls, cut side down to the grill. When burgers are turned and have cooked for about 2 minutes, put 2 tablespoons of shredded Manchego cheese on each patty. Remove rolls when toasted and burgers when they reach an internal temperature of 158-160 degrees F. Remove burgers to a platter, top each with 2 slices of ham, and cover with foil. In a large bowl, toss arugula with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lay out toasted bun pairs. On each bottom bun, spread 2 teaspoons of creamed honey. Place burger patties on top of honey and mound each with 1/2 cup arugula salad. Drizzle 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze on cut side of each top bun and place on burger. Secure burgers with skewers if desired and serve.

Number of Servings: 6

Congratulations Tina!  Please, tell us  you came up with your winning recipe!

“This is a recipe that I have been tweaking for a while.  It’s loaded with a lot of my favorite Mediterranean flavors!  I’ve never been to Spain to have tapas, but this burger and a nice glass of wine makes me feel a little closer.  It’s a really delicious burger – my mouth is watering just thinking about it!!  I love how the savory, salty & sweet ingredients work together!”

I certainly agree with you there!  What inspired you to enter the Better Recipes weekly contest?

“I’ve been following and entering the past few contests you have had.  The winning recipes have been so creative!  I like to read what all the winners have to say about their recipes.  It inspired me to keep entering.”

Why do you think your recipe stood out to the judges?

“Maybe it was an idea they hadn’t seen before.”

Do you have any advice for others interested in entering our recipe contests?

“You have to have perseverance and just keep creating & entering!  I’ve won far fewer than I’ve entered – makes a win really sweet!!  I always read over other people’s winning recipes and try to learn from them.  Lots of times my recipes can get too complex and I need to simplify.”

Do you have any fun plans for the prize money?

“I’ve been wanting to buy a nice instant-read thermometer, but haven’t wanted to fork over the $$, maybe I’ll use the prize money for some new kitchen toys!!”

Fantastic!  As you bask in the glow of your win, I encourage everyone to check out the grilling theme this week – FishSubmit your favorite recipes by midnight on Saturday for a chance to win. Best of luck!

Frankfurter Fridays: Guest Blogger “The BBQ Grail”

2 Comments | Written on July 8, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Welcome to a very special edition of “Frankfurter Fridays!”  This week we have enlisted the help of not only a food aficionado, not only a blogging expert, we have a true grilling expert in the house!  Everyone welcome Larry from “The BBQ Grail.”  He is sharing one of his favorite hot dog preparations with us, and I am guest posting a grilled dessert on his blog.  Check out both stories and leave lots of fun comments for both of us!  Take it away Larry!

It’s Frankfurter Friday and I’m honored to have been given the chance to be a guest blogger on The Daily Dish.  At The BBQ Grail blog we hold hot dogs in very high esteem and today I have the opportunity to write about one of my favorites The Danish Hot Dog.

First, let me say right up front this is really a Danish Style Hot Dog.  In Denmark this frankfurter is known as a Red Polse.  It’s a bright red, pork hot dog in a natural casing.  After searching just about every Scandinavian food distributor I could find for the genuine article I was forced to give up and use a plain old beef/pork hot dog.  It seems importing meat products, from Europe, is a lot harder than I figured it would be.

Since I lacked a Red Polse it was imperative I make the rest of the hot dog as realistic as possible.  The highlight of a Danish Hot Dog is the remoulade sauce, which is traditionally used.  A little investigation led me to a recipe for the sauce.  The sauce is traditionally made with a 50/50 mixture of pickled vegetables and mayonnaise.

Danish Hot Dog with Danish Remoulade Sauce


Pickled vegetables – about 2 cups
3 ounces carrots, finely diced
3 ounces cauliflower, finely diced
1½ ounces shallots, finely diced
1½ ounces bell pepper, finely diced
5 ounces sugar
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon sweet mustard (honey mustard)
1 tablespoon curry
1 tablespoon turmeric
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in a little water


Wash the vegetables and cut into fine dice. Place them in a pot, cover with water and add a little salt. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender but still firm, about 3 minutes. Drain all water from vegetables and set aside.  Add sugar, vinegar, sweet and sharp mustard, as well as spices return to a boil.   Add salt and pepper to taste.   Add dissolved corn starch to thicken.

Add the vegetables, and let them simmer for a couple of minutes.

Place the pickled vegetables in very clean pickle-jars and refrigerate.
To make the Remoulade chop the pickled vegetables and mix with an equal amount of mayonnaise.  Chill before using.

If you want to stay traditional cook your frankfurter on a flat top griddle until it starts to get a nice crispy skin on it.  Place it in your bun and top with the remoulade sauce and/or mustard and ketchup, pickled cucumber slices AND then topped with fried onion strings.

You’ve got to have the fried onion strings.  The closest we have to them here are the famous French’s fried onions.  You know, the ones you find at Thanksgiving to top your green bean casserole.

Dig in and enjoy…you’ve got a Danish Style Hot Dog!

For more recipes and tips on outdoor cooking, grilling and smoking drop by  You also find me on Facebook ( and all over Twitter @BBQGrail.

Thanks so much Larry!  What a thrill to have you post here on Better Recipes and share your grilling wisdom.  If you are a food blogger and are interesting in guest posting here on The Daily Dish, please feel free to email me at

Have a great weekend everyone!

This Bud’s For You! From a Top Chef Master…

1 Comment | Written on July 1, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

This holiday weekend many of us will be the “master of the grill” at a backyard barbecue.  So why not take it a step further and use a recipe from an actual Top Chef Master!  Yesterday I had a chance to chat with the burger master himself, Hubert Keller.  Let me tell you, as a huge fan of his work and after hearing about this recipe, it was killing me that the interview took place via satellite!

You simply must watch this video to see the maestro in action.  As the owner of three Burger Bar restaurants and a cookbook by the same name, this classic French chef certainly knows this All-American dish.  At the end Chef Keller even shares a few tips for anyone interested in entering our burger recipe contest this week!  He says not to think of the recipe as “just a burger” but rather approach it the same way you would a fine piece of steak or fish.  Suddenly flavor combinations and components will come to you and you will create a unique and outstanding burger!  Great advice, thanks chef!

BUDWEISER BACKYARD BURGER (click here to view and print recipe)

2 pounds coarsely ground chuck, chilled

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch Fresh spinach, stemmed

4 Onion buns or ciabatta buns

4 ounces Crumbled blue cheese at room temperature

8 tablespoons  Caramelized Budweiser shallot jam (see recipe below)

4 Leaves of butter lettuce

1 large ripe tomato, cut into 4 thick slices

8 slices Crisp apple smoked bacon (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper


For the burgers, shape the meat into 4 evenly-sized patties about 1 inch thick. Handle lightly to keep the texture light and juicy. The burgers can be shaped and refrigerated, covered, for several hours.

When ready to cook, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat until very hot or build a medium-hot fire in a barbecue. Generously season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.

Cook the burgers in the skillet, turning once or twice, 7 to 10 minutes for medium-rare. Do not press down on the patties. With a large spoon, baste the burgers several times with the fat in the pan. (You can also preheat the oven to 450? F and cook the burgers on top of the stove until they are brown on both sides, and then finish them in the oven.) To grill the burgers, oil the grate, arrange the patties on it, and cover. Cook as above.

While the burgers are searing, heat up one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over high heat, and cook the spinach stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the leaves are wilted but bright green about 3 minutes. Keep warm.

Toast the buns in a toaster oven or on the outer perimeter of the grill rack until golden brown.

For the last minute of cooking, display the blue cheese over each burger to melt lightly. Then top the cheese with the warmed up shallot jam. Top the shallots with the spinach. Then remove to a warm platter, keep warm, and let rest several minutes before serving.

To assemble the burgers, divide the butter lettuce leaves between the buns and top with the tomatoes. Add the burgers and the bacon on top of each. Cover with the bun tops.  Serve immediately with remaining shallot jam.

2 tablespoons Olive oil

2 cups Shallots, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons Fresh thyme, finely chopped

1/2 cup Budweiser beer

1/4 cup Sugar

2 tablespoons Aged balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and heat until hot. Add the shallots, stir, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are light gold and have thoroughly melted. Deglaze with the beer and add the thyme. Stir often towards the end of cooking to make sure the shallots do not stick and all the beer is reduced to almost dry. Set aside.

While the shallots are cooking, in a small saucepan, melt the sugar with about 1 tablespoon of water over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook at a boil, uncovered and without stirring, until the sugar caramelizes to a medium amber color, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vinegar. The mixture will foam and spit, so stand back to avoid being spattered. Return the pan to low heat, and stir until the caramel has melted.

Scrape the shallots into the caramel and stir well. Remove to a bowl, cover, and set aside to cool. Taste for seasoning, and adjust with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate the jam in a covered container for several days or longer. It may also be frozen. Bring to room temperature before using.  Makes about 1 cup.

Frankfurter Fridays: Florida Citrus Salsa Dog

3 Comments | Written on June 10, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Don’t get me wrong…I am all for creativity, experimentation and self-expression in the kitchen.  However, there is one sacred culinary rule that can never be broken.

Never Put Ketchup On A Hot Dog

As a born and bred Chicagoan this is the ultimate gastronomic sin.  This summer I will be posting a fun and unique hot dog recipe every Friday.  Throughout this time you will see a plethora of toppings, none of which will be ketchup!  Last week I posted a classic, The Coney Island Hot Dog.  This week we take a trip down to sunny Florida with a hot dog topped with a bright citrus salsa and, just to make things even more fun, a slice of crisp bacon.


1 pkg. (16 oz.) Oscar Mayer Selects Premium Beef Franks

8 slices  Oscar Mayer Bacon

1 navel orange, peeled, chopped

1   tangerine, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup each chopped orange and red peppers

1   fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded, chopped

2 green onions, sliced

1 Tbsp.  chopped fresh cilantro

8 bakery-style hot dog buns, partially split

Heat grill to medium heat. Grill franks 7 to 9 min. or until heated through, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, cook bacon as directed on package. Combine all remaining ingredients except buns. Fill buns with franks and bacon; top with fruit salsa.

Notes:  Serve with assorted cut-up fresh vegetables.  Salsa can be prepared ahead of time. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. For best results, use slotted spoon to add salsa to sandwiches.  Depending on what types of oranges are in season, use any variety and/or combination of oranges for the salsa.  (Recipe from Oscar Mayer)

Hot Dog! Check out some of our blogger buddies and their fantastic frankfurter posts.

Family Fresh Cooking –  Hot Dog Skewers:

Recipe Girl – Corn Dog Muffins:

Cheeky Kitchen – Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs:

The Culinary Cellar – Never Put Ketchup On A Hot Dog:

Burger Bash Winner

No Comments | Written on October 12, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Remember way back in July when we hosted the Burger Bash recipe contest?  Well, it is finally time to introduce you to our winner!  Meet Nicholas S. and his outstanding recipe for Apple-Bacon Burgers!


“My recipe probably stood out because it has bacon and grilled apple.  I simply added together a couple of the ingredients that I enjoy and ended up with a great burger.  My biggest advice for others thinking about entering, is to go for it; Don’t doubt and second guess yourself.  This was the first contest I have entered. I entered just to see how I measured up in the culinary world.  I wanted to see if my ideas were shared by others. I look forward to entering more in the future though!”

Congratulations Nicholas!  For all of the rest of you creative cooks out there, don’t forget that a new round of weekly contests is now underway! There is a new “twist” each week so you have many chances to enter and win. Right now we are in the middle of week 2.

Week 2: 10/10-10/16/2010 Halloween Treats
Week 3: 10/17-10/23/2010 All About Apples (any recipe featuring apples)
Week 4: 10/24-10/30/2010 Pumpkin Dishes (any recipe featuring pumpkin)
Week 5: 10/31-11/6/2010 Heartwarming Soups and Stews
Week 6: 11/7-11/13/2010 Thanksgiving Sides
Week 7: 11/14-11/20/2010 Thanksgiving Desserts
Week 8: 11/21-11/27/2010 Leftover Solutions (any recipe using Thanksgiving leftovers…turkey, mashed potatoes, etc..)
Week 9: 11/28-12/4/2010 Family Traditions (any recipe that your family loves and the holidays just wouldn’t be complete without it!)
Week 10: 12/5-12/11/2010 Christmas Cookies
Week 11: 12/12-12/18/2010 Holiday Party Appetizers
Week 12: 12/19-12/25/2010 Warm Winer Drinks (anything from cocktails to hot chocolate that is great to serve during the cold winter months)



A beef mixture with cooked bacon and bacon drippings is formed into large patties, grilled, and topped with slices of brie and grilled apples.


2 lbs of lean ground beef
1 lb package of smoked bacon
8 oz. wheel of brie cheese
12 leaves of iceberg lettuce
2 Granny Smith apples
6 oz of Dijon mustard
9 oz mayonnaise
2 tsp of kosher salt (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
6 potato buns


Cook bacon until crisp, reserving about half of the drippings. Drain bacon and finely crumble. Combine ground beef, bacon, the reserved bacon drippings, salt and pepper in a bowl; mix well. Form into six patties. Core apples and cut into thin slices. (12 of them are needed.) Cut the wheel of brie cheese into 18 slices. Spread 1 oz of Dijon-style mustard on the bottom portion of each bun. Spread 1.5 oz of mayo on the top portion of each bun. Grill burger patties until desired doneness. Grill apple slices (on foil) until softened. Place patties on bun bottoms. Add 3 brie cheese slices, then 2 apple slices, to each burger. Add two leaves of iceberg lettuce to each, and then the bun top.

Number of Servings:  6