1. FRIED MOZZARELLA AND CARAMELIZED PEACH CAPRESE BURGER
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar optional
1 pound ground beef I like to use organic 80/20 beef
smoked salt chipotle salt or just salt + pepper, for sprinkling
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
12 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced into 8 thick round slices
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated
2 eggs beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 inch large nectarines or peaches ripe, but firm peaches, sliced into 1/4 rounds*
1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
4 brioche or pretzel buns toasted (use gluten free if needed)
Add vinegar and brown sugar, if using, to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half and is slightly syrupy. Remove from heat, pour vinegar in a bowl or glass to pour, and set aside to cool and thicken.
Divide the meat into 4 sections and form into 4 patties (or make 8 slider size burgers). Place the patties on a plate. Drizzle the burgers with balsamic vinegar.
In a large bowl, combine the Panko, flour, parmesan, salt, pepper and cayenne, mixing thoroughly to combine. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Take each slice of fresh mozzarella and coat it in the beaten egg, then dredge it through the bread crumb mix, pressing on both sides to adhere. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Drizzle the peaches with honey (or sprinkle with brown sugar).
Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium high heat, once hot, season the burgers with salt and pepper and then grill until your desired doneness. About 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove the burgers from the grill and and cover with foil to allow the burgers to rest while you fry the mozzarella.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sear both sides of the peaches for 1 to 2 minutes until just warmed, but still somewhat firm. Alternately you can also grill the peaches directly on the grill.
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and when hot, fry the coated mozzarella, turning carefully once or twice, until golden and cheese begins to melt but still retains its shape, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels.
To assemble, divide the burgers among buns. Top with a couple fresh basil leaves, a slice of fried mozzarella and a couple slices of caramelized peaches. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Add the top bun.
2. BACON-WRAPPED PINEAPPLE BURGER
2 pounds lean ground beef
½ cup prepared barbecue sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 canned sliced pineapple rings
8 slices bacon
Hamburger buns (optional)
Hamburger toppings (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and it set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and the barbecue sauce. Shape the beef mixture into 4 patties. Season the patties with salt and pepper.
Place two strips of bacon to make four X’s on the baking sheet. Place a hamburger patty on the center of each X, and a pineapple ring on top of each patty. Wrap the patties in a crisscross fashion by folding up the ends of the strips of bacon. Use a toothpick in the center to help secure the bacon. Repeat with the remaining burgers.
Bake the burgers until the beef patties and bacon are cooked to your liking. For extra-crispy bacon, place the patties under the broiler for 3 to5 minutes after the burgers are done cooking.
3. AVOCADO CHICKEN BURGER
FOR THE BURGERS
1 pound ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs (use almond meal or roughly ground oatmeal to make gluten free)
1–2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely diced*
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
FOR THE CHIPOTLE YOGURT SAUCE
3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from the canned chipotle peppers above), or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
Optional: lettuce or spinach, thinly sliced red onion, tomato, prepared salsa, nonfat plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium (about 375 degrees F).
In a large bowl, gently combine the chicken, garlic, breadcrumbs, diced chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, salt, pepper, and cilantro until evenly combined. Carefully fold in the avocado. Shape into 4 patties.
Oil the grill, then cook burgers on each side for about 5 minutes, until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
While the burgers cook, prepare the chipotle yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, adobo sauce, and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve on top of the burgers, with additional toppings as desired.
4. BLACKENED SALMON BURGERS WITH HERBED CREAM CHEESE
BLACKENED SALMON BURGERS
1 pound wild caught salmon skin removed
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs use gluten free bread crumbs if needed
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for cooking
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne more or less adjust to your taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
4 smaller bagels or brioche burger buns toasted
slices Sliced avocado grilled jalapenos + grilled pineapple , for topping (optional)
Microgreens watercress + pickled red onion, for topping (optional)
HERBED CREAM CHEESE
8 ounces cream cheese softened
1/4 cup fresh basil finely chopped
2 teablespoons fresh dill finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
salt + pepper to taste
Add the salmon to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped and similar in size to ground chicken. Alternately, you can chop the salmon very finely with a sharp knife.
Add the chopped salmon to a bowl with the Panko breadcrumbs, parmesan and olive oil. Mix with a spoon until just combined. Form into 4 equally sized burgers (or 2 large) burgers.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle both sides of the burgers generously with the seasoning mix.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook burgers on each side until golden, about 3-4 minutes per side. Be gentle when flipping the burgers, as they are delicate.
Spread the bottom half of your toasted buns with the herbed cream cheese (recipe below). Top each bun with a salmon burger and then add your desired toppings. I highly recommend a slice of grilled pineapple! Add the top half of your bun.
HERBED CREAM CHEESE
Add the cream cheese to a mixing bowl and whip with an electric mix until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in the basil, dill, parsley and a pinch of salt + pepper. This can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.