1. CAPRESE BURGER WITH ARTICHOKE PESTO SAUCE
For the burgers:
1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons red wine
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 and 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced (or more to taste)
For the Artichoke Pesto Sauce:
1/2 cup quartered artichoke hearts (mine were from an un-marinated can)
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 large hamburger buns
butter, to spread on the buns
8 thick slices of fresh mozzarella
romaine lettuce leaves (or any kind)
1-2 large tomatoes, sliced
fresh basil, to top burgers with
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Make the burgers first. In a large bowl add ground beef, red wine, salt, pepper, garlic, and minced basil. Use your hands to combine the mixture. Just do it. A spoon won't work as well. Mix only until it is just combined. If you work it too much the meat will get tough.
Form the meat into 4 patties. Use your thumb to make a gentle indentation in the center of each one. Set aside. Heat your grill over high heat.
Now make the Artichoke Pesto. Add the artichoke hearts, pesto, and mayonnaise to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside.
Transfer the hamburgers to the hot grill. (No need to oil it). Cover and grill for about 5 minutes, then flip each one. Grill for another 3 minutes, then top each patty with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese. Cover and continue to grill for about 2 minutes. When the burgers are done and the cheese is melted, remove from the grill.
Spread butter on each inside half of the hamburger buns. Grill the buns, butter side down, for just a couple minutes until they get to your desired crispiness level.
Meanwhile, make the Balsamic Glaze. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small pot and set over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will bubble and thicken. When it is syrupy and has reduced to about 3-4 tablespoons, remove from heat. If your hamburgers aren't ready yet, leave it on the burner over the lowest setting. It needs to be warm when it is drizzled over the burgers.
To assemble the burgers, spread the Artichoke Pesto on one or both sides of the hamburger bun. Add the hamburger, then add lettuce, tomato, and fresh basil. Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze, then top with the other bun. Enjoy the mess!
2. CHIPOTLE BURGERS WITH CREAMY AVOCADO SAUCE
1 lb. ground beef
2 chipotles in adobo
1 Tablespoon adobo sauce
2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
4-6 cheese slices
4-6 hamburger buns
For the Creamy Avocado Sauce
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves
15-20 sprigs cilantro
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
splash of water
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise or cream (optional)
In a mixing bowl combine 1 lb. ground beef, two minced chipotles in adobo (with stems and seeds removed), 2-3 Tablespoons of finely chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.
Combine well and form into 4 patties each 1/4 lb. in size, or 6 smaller burgers.
The burgers can be cooked as you see fit.
For the Creamy Avocado Sauce, add the following ingredients to a blender or food processor: 1 avocado, 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/4 jalapeno, 2 garlic cloves, 15-20 sprigs cilantro, juice of 1 lime, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper, and a splash of water. Combine well. You can also add a drizzle of cream or 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise.
Coat each hamburger bun with the Creamy Avocado Sauce and serve with your choice of lettuce, tomato, and other fixings.
Be sure to finely chop the onion. If left chunky it can make the patties crumble.
3. COFFEE RUBBED BURGERS WITH HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE
COFFEE RUB SEASONING MIX:
1.5 Tbsp ground coffee
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp pepper
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/4 Tbsp coriander
DR PEPPER BBQ SAUCE:
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 yellow onion diced
3 cloves garlic roughly minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
6 oz Dr Pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp brewed coffee
2 lbs Angus ground beef
2 Tbsp Dr Pepper BBQ sauce
salt and pepper
8 slices cooked peppered bacon
2 Tbsp butter
Combine coffee rub seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and mix together with a fork. Set aside.
Melt butter over MED heat in a saucepan. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
Add remaining sauce ingredients, stir to combine. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until sauce has thickened.
Pour sauce into blender or food processor and puree. Set aside to cool.
To a mixing bowl, add ground beef, salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp cooled bbq sauce. Mix well with your hands. Divide into 4 equal sections. Each burger will be 1/2 pound.
Rub coffee rub seasoning mix over both sides of each burger.
Heat a large skillet over MED-HIGH heat, add a small pat of butter and toast the pretzel buns (sliced side down). Remove from pan to cool.
Add 1 Tbsp butter to skillet and add burgers. Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, until burger is cooked to desired doneness.
Spread BBQ sauce over both sides of pretzel bun, layer arugula, burger, peppered bacon, then add the top bun.
** additional topping options include aged cheddar cheese slices and caramelized onions
4. BBQ MEATLOAF BURGER WITH HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE AND CRISPY FRIED SHALLOTS
• 1 ½ lbs. Kramer Foods Butcher's Blend
• 3 ounce french roll, processed into breadcrumbs in food processor (or roughly 2 cups loosely packed)
• 1 egg, whisked
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• ½ small onion, finely diced
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon chopped, flat-leaf parsley
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• 1 ¼ cup BBQ sauce (recipe below, or store bought is fine)
• Brioche burger buns, toasted
• 8-12 strips crispy bacon
• Crispy-fried Shallots (recipe below, or you can use store-bought crispy-fried onions)
Preheat the oven to 350°, and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
Place the ground beef into a large bowl; add in the remainder of the ingredients up to and including the black pepper, and gently mix together with your hands just until well combined.
Place the meat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and hand-form into a meatloaf shape; brush about ¼ (heaping) cup of the BBQ sauce all over the meatloaf, then sprinkle on a little black pepper, and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through; allow the meatloaf to rest for about 10 minutes.
Slather on about ½ cup more of the BBQ sauce, then slice the meatloaf into medium-thick slices.
Assemble the burgers by spreading a little mayo (if desired) onto both top and bottom bun; add a couple of slices of meatloaf (you can add a little more BBQ sauce, if desired), followed by a couple of strips of bacon and a sprinkle of some of the Crispy-fried Shallots; cover with top bun, and serve.
BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
• 1 cup organic ketchup
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• ¾ teaspoon liquid smoked seasoning
• ½ teaspoon granulated onion
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• Pinch of two salt
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
Bbq Sauce Instructions:
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well-combined; spoon into a container and use immediately, or store in fridge (also any unused portion).
Crispy-fried Shallot Ingredients:
• Vegetable oil, for frying
• 4 shallots, sliced thinly into circles
• Black pepper
• ¼ cup, heaping, flour
• Pinch paprika
Crispy-fried Shallot Instructions:
Place oil into a small/medium-size pot, and slowly bring the oil up to 365°.
Meanwhile, place the sliced shallots into a bowl, and sprinkle on a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, plus the flour and the paprika; toss to coat.
In batches (if necessary), add the flour-coated shallots into the hot oil, and fry for a couple of minutes until golden-brown; remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel, and sprinkle with a little extra salt/pepper, if desired; repeat with remaining shallots.
Once cooled, they can be stored in a ziplock bag lined with a paper towel.