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…
The “unofficial” start of summer is here! This time if year is filled with family gatherings and the need to feed a crowd. Burgers are always a summertime favorite, and sliders can be even more fun. This recipe is an easy way to make a big batch of sliders for a group.
Keep reading for the recipe…
Last week we took a bit of a detour with the weekly recipe contest and threw our readers a curveball – quinoa. This “ancient grain” has suddenly become a trendy ingredient. We received a wide variety of recipe submissions with creative ways to use quinoa, but one unique preparation stood out to our judges, sliders!
These meatless mini-burgers are made with black beans and, of course, quinoa. They come with a kick because of a spicy mayo spread as well as a jalapeño and corn salsa. Believe me, you will want to make these “Quinoa and Black Bean Burger Sliders” this weekend!
Keep reading for the winning recipe…
Celebrations and Parties, Dinner Tonight, Fresh and Healthy | Tags:
Hamburger Recipes, Mexican Dishes, Mexican Recipes, sliders, Vegetarian Dinner Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes, Vegetarian Sandwich Recipes
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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!”
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…
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!
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?!
- 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 – Fish! Submit your favorite recipes by midnight on Saturday for a chance to win. Best of luck!
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!
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.
Better Recipes, Celebrations and Parties, Dinner Tonight, Foodie Events, Holidays, Tips and Tricks | Tags:
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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
Ok, so it is time for a few changes to this feature! Since we are giving away a weekly contest prize, these winners have become our featured cooks each week. However, I still want to highlight more of our wonderful readers and fans! Therefore, I have decided to change our “Cook of the Week” into a “Cook of the Month” story instead! Makes sense, right? That being said, I want to introduce you to our new “Cook of the Month” Anthony Jacquet!
Actually, let me rephrase, let’s call Anthony “Chef of the Month!” Anthony is a Better Recipes reader and the head chef at the Whisper Lounge – a fantastic restaurant over at The Grove in Los Angeles. He and I were both winners in a lamb burger contest sponsored by Australian Lamb. Right now, we are over in Sydney, Australia to compete against Aussie chefs in a lamb burger showdown!
My winning recipe was Tunisian Lamb Burgers with Harissa Mayonnaise and Orange, Olive and Date Relish. Anthony’s dish is this amazing Australian Lamb Burger with Brie, Cranberry Compote and Roasted Jalapeno Aioli. How good does that sound?! What do you think? Can the two of us take down the competition ‘Down Under?’ Needless to say, I will have tons of stories, recipes, photos and videos to share from this trip when we get back!
Grilled Australian Lamb Burger with Brie, Cranberry Compote and Roasted Jalapeño Aïoli
2 pounds Australian lamb, ground
2 shallots, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 teaspoon rosemary, fresh, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, fresh, chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 Brioche burger buns, toasted
2 cups Roasted Jalapeño Aïoli*
2 cups Arugula, wild
8 brie slices, 3-inch by 1/4-inch
2 pounds Cranberry Compote**
Sweet potato fries
To make burgers, combine ground lamb, shallots, jalapeños, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Form into 8-ounce patties, about 1 inch thick.
Grill patties 2 minutes on one side, then rotate 90 degrees and grill 2 more minutes to create hash marks. Flip burgers and repeat to make hash marks on other side. Remove medium-rare burgers from grill and rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
Spread tops and bottoms of toasted buns with roasted jalapeño aïoli. Cover bun bottoms with arugula, then add burgers and brie. Finish with compote and top buns and serve immediately with sweet potato fries.
*Roasted Jalapeño Aïoli
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup canola oil
Place egg and yolk in food processor with garlic, jalapeño, lemon juice and cilantro. Start machine and drizzle in olive oil and canola to emulsify. If aioli is too thick, thin with water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Season with salt and white pepper and reserve, refrigerated.
1 pound cranberries, fresh
1/2 cup cranberries, dried
1/2 cup pinot noir
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Riesling
1 cup sugar
Zest of one orange
5 thyme sprigs
2 teaspoon pink peppercorns
1 Chile de arbol
1 bay leaf, fresh
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, until cranberries have burst open and mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency. Reserve, refrigerated.
I love burgers! This All-American staple is a basic recipe that can be creatively transformed into an endless array of dishes. You have the basic formula of bun, burger and toppings. This is where you can get inventive! A different bread, new herbs and spices or a fun topping can transform your basic burger into a flavor adventure. Get your passports ready, because it’s time for “Around The World Burgers!”
Here is a basic burger mixture, but there are 4 variations of simple additions that will make your burgers sensational! Your burgers can be Asian, Middle-Eastern, French, or Bavarian for a wonderful change of pace in your summer grilling.
Basic Burger Mixture:
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1-1/4 pounds ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients. To make each burger special, add your favorite world flavors below to each basic recipe, then form into 4 equal-sized patties. Grill over direct medium-hot heat for about 14 minutes total time, or until desired doneness, turning burgers once. Makes 4 burgers of choice.
Combine the basic burger mixture and set aside.
2 Tablespoons bottled minced garlic
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seed
4 teaspoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Mix half of this sesame mixture into the basic burger mixture. To the other half of the sesame mixture, mix in 2 Tablespoons of coarsely chopped, prepared kimchee; set aside. (Kimchee is a spicy Korean vegetable condiment found in the Asian section of grocery stores). Shape and grill burgers as directed above. Serve burgers on toasted sesame buns topped with the kimchee-sesame mixture.
Middle Eastern Burger:
To the basic burger mix, add:
1/4 cup drained, rinsed, and coarsely chopped canned chickpeas (garbanzos)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Shape and grill burgers as directed above. Serve in warm pita pockets with chopped cucumber, tomato, and tahini sauce.
To the basic burger mix, add:
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, plus additional for topping as desired
2 Tablespoons drained capers
2 Tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
Shape and grill burgers as directed above. Serve French burgers on toasted, sliced sourdough bread, topped with additional crumbled blue cheese.
To the basic burger mix, add:
2 Tablespoons toasted, crushed caraway seeds
Shape and grill burgers as directed above, but add slices of Muenster cheese to tops of burgers after turning once. Serve burgers with beer mustard on warmed pretzel buns, or rye bread. (If you love sauerkraut, you can also top burgers with it, or add some into the meat mixture).
Have you been following the TGIF series this summer? Check out past grilling articles: