Category Archives: Burgers

Quarantine Cuisine Day #25 – Onion Burgers

Those who follow Dixie Pixie Dust (my travels blog) may remember we spent our wedding anniversary in El Reno, Oklahoma, dining at Sid’s, home of the original onion burger. It’s a classic diner along historic Route 66.

Today I duplicated the experience in our kitchen. I need to tweak my technique a bit, but we were pleased with the results.

I toasted whole wheat hamburger buns, which I discovered hidden in my freezer, on the griddle while frozen fries cooked in the air fryer.

Using two quarter-pound burgers from the freezer and one onion, chopped, I grilled the onions first before adding the burger. Onion burgers are created by pressing the meat into the onions, incorporating the onions into the meat. Sid’s uses 3 ounces beef, which yields a thinner burger.

The onion burger was born in the Great Depression as an economic move to stretch beef. Like many recipes of that era it’s now a popular, beloved dish. Onion burgers are a way to reduce red meat and add a vegetable to a meal. Unfortunately, I already had 4-ounce patties. Next time I will use 3 ounces of meat for a better meat-to-onions ratio.

I can’t compete with Sid’s Diner, but this was a close knock-off. Not bad quarantine cuisine.

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Indulge in a Burger Day Without Overeating

We limit our consumption of red meat, yet once a week we enjoy burger day. It’s either beef or bison, never veggie or turkey burgers. This one day it’s all about indulgence. We keep to four-ounce servings, but we buy the best quality burgers we can.

You can get just as creative with a quarter-pound burger, and you control the ingredients and toppings. Serving the burger on a slider bun and luncheon plate creates the illusion of a larger steakhouse serving size because we eat with our eyes first. (Old Weight Watchers® trick–use smaller plates)

This week’s burger day coincided with my jalapeño pepper plant yielding four beautiful red peppers (plus a couple of green), so I’ve added jalapeños in many of this week’s menus–including burgers. Here is my scaled down version of a local steakhouse favorite.

These jalapeño-mushroom-onion-Swiss burgers are our new favorites. If you can’t take the heat of hot peppers, substitute sliced banana pepper.

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Oklahoma Burger with a Georgia Twist

Have you ever eaten at Sid’s Diner in El Reno, Oklahoma? It’s part of historic Route 66 and famous for introducing the fried onion burger back in the 1920s. I’ll admit I haven’t because every time we get to El Reno, we have the bison burger. Love bison burgers! But my curiosity for the fried onion burger grew when my friend Chef Gary Straka made some for a cooking demo for the 360 Cookware skillet. He loves the onion burger, and so did his audience. So today I made fried onion burgers for lunch. Here’s how:

Finely chop Vidalia onion

Finely chop Vidalia onion

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Press onion into the meat

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Grill onion side over medium-low heat

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Carefully turn burgers and increase heat.

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Serve on a toasted whole wheat bun.

RECIPE

Oklahoma Burger with a Georgia Twist

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Divide the beef in two equal portions and form thin patties.
  3. Thinly chop the onion.
  4. Salt and pepper one side of the patties. Press the onions into the meat.
  5. Carefully place each patty, onion side down, on the preheated griddle. Salt and pepper the second side of each patty.
  6. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes over medium-low heat. You want the onions to caramelize, not brown.
  7. Carefully turn each patty (you may need a second spatula as a “helper”) and increase the heat to medium.
  8. Cook burgers just until done, about 3 minutes or until juices run clear. Do not overcook.
  9. Serve on your favorite bun (we like whole wheat potato rolls).

If Vidalia onions aren’t available, substitute any sweet onion.

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Elk Burgers

We love bison burgers and have eaten them for many years. The meat is leaner than beef, and it has no antibiotics or added hormones. When we stopped by our favorite market today to pick up more bison burgers, we bought elk burgers instead. They were about $2.00 cheaper than bison, and elk is something we had never tried. I expected elk to taste like venison, which I like although it’s rather strong and gamey, but elk tasted mild in comparison. We had the burgers for lunch, with a side of baked beans and a baked sweet potato, and we will buy elk burgers again. Delicious!
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RECIPE

ELK BURGERS

Ingredients:

  • 2 ground elk patties, 1/4 lb. each, thawed.
  • 2 whole wheat burger buns + toppings of your choice (I use lettuce, tomato, sweet onion)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper (I use McCormick Pepper Medley)

Directions:

    1. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium heat. (I use a Lodge cast iron grill pan.)
    2. Combine oil, honey, and seasonings and rub mixture over both sides of each burger.

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    1. Cook burgers over medium heat 4 minutes. Turn using a spatula and cook an additional 3 minutes or just until juices run clear. Don’t overcook.

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  1. Serve on whole wheat buns. Add toppings if desired.

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Yield: Two burgers

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Jalapeño Patty Melt Burger

Delicious and spicy, the jalapeño patty melt burger!

We love burgers, but we limit our red meat to one serving per week. Consequently, I look for alternatives to the juicy beef burger. (Boca Burgers and MorningStar Farms aren’t an option for me right now because they contain soy, which interferes with medication I take; however, veggie burgers are a good alternative if your doctor agrees)

I buy lean ground turkey for making my own sausage, pasta sauce, etc. and I’ve experimented with ways to make it more palatable as a burger. The problem is the taste. Turkey has a tendency to be bland, so it’s necessary to bump up the flavors. One solution is my recipe that’s a knock off of a popular beef burger at a fast food chain, the jalapeño patty melt burger. It has a kick, especially if the salsa is hot. If you aren’t a fan of spicy hot food, you can vary the recipe with milder cheese, salsa, and peppers.

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RECIPE

Ingredients:

  1. ½ pound lean ground turkey
  2. dash of salt and pepper
  3. 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  4. 2 Tbsp. salsa, divided
  5. 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  6. 2 ounces pepperjack cheese, divided in fourths
  7. 2 whole wheat burger buns

Directions:

  1. Preheat a cast iron grill pan, outdoor grill, or contact grill.
  2. Combine ground turkey with the salsa, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. Do not overwork the meat.
  3. Form turkey mixture into two equal patties (make a bit thinner in the centers to prevent burger bulge)
  4. Cook for five minutes on hot grill or grill pan, turn, and cook opposite sides of burgers five minutes.
  5. While burgers cook, separate the bottoms and tops of the buns. Place on fourth of the cheese on each bottom.
  6. Remove burgers from heat and place on the cheese on the bottom portions of the buns. Add a fourth of the pepperjack cheese, and the jalapeño slices.
  7. Place burger, bun and all, back in the grill pan or on the grill. Weight the burger down and cook one minute or until cheese melts. (If using a contact grill, no weight is necessary)
  8. Carefully remove jalapeño patty melt burger from the grill and serve.

Yield: 2 burgers

Variations: Mix the salsa with 1 Tbsp. sour cream and spread on each bun before adding the cheese.

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Filed under Burgers, Cilantro, Healthful Eating, Mexican, Recipes, salsa, turkey, Turkey Recipes

From my RV kitchen

Cheryl at Old Faithful

Cheryl at Old Faithful

Old Faithful Inn, built 1904-5

Old Faithful Inn, built 1904-5

We just returned from a three-week trip in our RV, traveling from Florida to Yellowstone National Park via South Dakota. This was our first extended trip in our new Winnebago Aspect, and we were curious to see how it performed. Good news. We came home under budget! First, fuel prices were lower than we’d expected (we paid under $4/gal. except at Gardiner, MT, where we paid $4.04). Also, traveling 55 MPH gave us 10 MPG, very respectable economy for a V-10 gasoline engine in a large rig.

We also came in under budget for meals. We ate most of our HASTY TASTY MEALS in our camper. In fact, we ate only 11% of our meals out. We ate well, too, dining on bison burgers, grilled salmon, red beans and rice, “fried” chicken, chicken fajitas, and a couple of Tombstone Pizzas, along with a lot of fresh vegetables. Because I travel with my Healthy Gourmet cookware, Vita-Mix, and microwave/convection oven, I have what I need to prepare a variety of meals in the tiny RV kitchen. Our lunches were often sandwiches, but they were lean meats on whole grain buns. The few times we dined out were special (like brunch at Old Faithful Inn, a magnificent 104-year-old log lodge; and breakfast at Wall Drug Store, where coffee is a nickel a cup).

Even better news than saving money is we lost weight! I weighed the morning after we got home and had lost two pounds; my hubby lost three. True, we did lots of walking every day, which helped, but avoiding restaurant meals contributed to our weight loss. We’re happy campers!

Cheri

Bison in Yellowstone National Park

Bison in Yellowstone National Park

RECIPE

Bison Burgers
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound ground bison
Mrs. Dash (any flavor, but we like Southwest Chipotle)
4 Whole Wheat burger buns

Directions:

Preheat electric skillet to 350°F. Divide meat into fourths and form flat patties (no thicker than ¼”). Place patties in skillet, cover, and time for five minutes. After five minutes, flip burgers to check for doneness (They will be if you are using quality cookware), unplug, and serve on buns with condiments of your choice. We like Iceburg lettuce, tomato, and sweet onion on ours.

Bison meat is lower in fat than beef and very tasty.

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