Usually by the end of summer I am all burgered out. Then around January or February the craving comes back like a bang. I am ready for the weather to change from cold and dreary to the warm and wonderful grilling season.
Burgers are the perfect canvas for just about any flavor topping. I’ve even seen a guy order an ice cream sundae on his burger. That’s right, a bacon cheeseburger topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry.
Apparently, it wasn’t that bad. The guy said it tasted like a donut. I suppose it did but I haven’t seen too many donuts with burger meat on them. Bacon, yes, but not burger meat! Maybe there is a donut idea somewhere, tag me if you find one.
For this post, I think I will stick with something a little more crowd pleasing. I am going to put mushroom onion burgers and sweet potato fries on menu.
Let’s start with the vessel that will hold the burger and all its tasty toppings. You can find the 1 1/2 minute video on how to make the burger buns on the BELL-VI-DEO page. Do you have a favorite burger bun? Give these a whirl and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Next, it’s about the burger meat. This is an important piece of the construction. Not all burger meat is created equal and I have found a place that has amazing burger meat. The place is a bit of a drive, but I buy in bulk to save money and travel time. I recommend going on a burger meat tasting tour around your area. There isn’t a topping out there that can cover up poor meat quality.
When we are in the need for ground beef or if they are running a killer meat special, we head down to Nick’s of Calvert or Nicks of Clinton. Their meat counter is crazy awesome. If you go on the weekend be prepared to wait in line. It’s totally worth the wait and you will find the best meat deals around.
Nick’s has nice produce, private labeled products and you can find all the fixings for building your own cannolis at the deli counter. They don’t sell everything that a supermarket does, but what they lack in a dozen different varieties of wheat bread they make up in their booze department! They aren’t short on an assortment of liquor, wine and beer for sale.
We usually purchase a 5 pound bag of ground beef for about $16, bring it home and make 4 ounce burger patties. We separate each burger patty with parchment paper, bag them and freeze the meat. Freezing the meat and buns gives us a fast weeknight meal or party ready eats as easy as opening up the freezer door.
I would rather grill fresh meat burgers, however the sacrifice is worth the quality of meat I can get at Nick’s.
Since Sunday night dinner is a food experiment tradition in our house, a plain cheeseburger just won’t do. Well, maybe for my kids a plain cheeseburger will do. They haven’t figured out how awesome of a cook their mom is yet. 😉
MUSHROOM ONION BURGERS
8-10 Burger Buns, see video
8 -10, 5 ounce burgers, unless you want a double!
8-10 slices of deli sliced Swiss cheese
When it comes to the cooking temperature of burgers, I like mine medium well. I don’t wanna see pink in my burger. RELAX! We aren’t talking steak here, which should be treated to an internal temperature of no more than medium in my opinion. We are talking burgers. I am not a fan of E.coli. However, burger cooking temperature is going to be left in your hands for this post.
If you don’t have a grill, you can always heat up your broiler. I actually find cooking frozen burgers under a broiler is better than on a grill. However, a fresh chargrilled burger is the best! Don’t forget to salt and pepper the meat before you cook it.
Before the burgers have reached the internal temperature of your liking, add a slice of swiss cheese. Allow the heat of the grill or the broiler surround the slice of cheese with its warm embrace until perfectly melted.
MUSHROOM ONION TOPPING:
8 ounce pack of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet onions, chopped
1/2 cup of red wine
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon of French Thyme
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Toss the onions into the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and scoot those veggies around the pan until the mushrooms have cooked down. Deglaze the pan with a 1/2 cup of red wine and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Sprinkle in the thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside until you are ready to build your burger.
1/2 cup of ranch dressing
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Whisk the Old Bay and ranch together, transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate for up to a week.
SWEET POTATO FRIES:
4 large sweet potatoes, sliced into long thin pieces
Salt and peper
Before you start burger construction, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. These potatoes take about 35-45 minutes to cook. Slice your sweet potatoes, coat them in olive oil, sprinkle on some thyme, salt and pepper.
Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set those bad boys in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, flip the potatoes and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes. I like my sweet potatoes burnt and crusty on the outside with a soft, creamy inside.
Serve along side the burgers with a helping of the sweet potato dipping sauce and enjoy every last bite!!
SWEET POTATO DIPPING SAUCE:
1/4 cup of Mayo
1 tablespoon Hot Mister Mustard
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Whisk together all ingredients, transfer to a small serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 3 days.
BUNS: If you’ve already made the burger buns and stored them in the freezer, take them out and leave them on the counter in between a kitchen towel to thaw for about an hour. My husband likes to defrost them in the microwave. Before you are ready to construct your burger creations, place those sliced buns on the grill cut side down or under the broiler cut side up until golden brown.
CONSTRUCTION: Start with the bottom of a nicely toasted bun and spread on some of the burger sauce. Add a piece of lettuce, bring over one of those cheeseburgers, top it with a heaping spoonful of mushroom and onions and finish off the picture perfect burger with the top of the sesame seed bun.
Stand back and admire your design.
If you’ve gotten this far in the post, I think you have earned the chocolate strawberry “milkshake.” This is a sure way to get my kids to eat their greens and not even know!
CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY “MILKSHAKE”
5-8 ounce servings
2 cups of Greek non-fat vanilla yogurt
16 ounce bag of frozen strawberries
1/2 cup of Chocolate syrup
A large handful or two of baby spinach
Throw all the ingredients except for the almond milk into a blender. You are looking for a smoothy consistency, add your almond milk a little at time until you get the texture you desire. Pour into your favorite glass, get a straw and suck it down!
My husband likes a little sweeter “milkshake.” Adding some honey or agave to the mix will give this “milkshake” the sweetness you are looking for.