Saturday, July 23, 2011

Four Burger Recipes that are Perfect for Summer!

When I think of summer meals I think of the grill. I've grilled in the dead of winter and it's just not as fun! My family are really big burger people; so when summer rolls around you'll see LOTS of burgers on the menu.

I, of course, love to experiment with new recipes. Some burgers are flops but, for the most part, they turn out to be absolutely delicious! I can't believe I've kept from the world four AMAZING burger recipes that I've tried recently that have blown me and my family out of the water. Whether you prefer a burger made with beef, turkey, or chicken I've got a recipe to please them all :D

Unfortunately, I haven't come across a vegetarian burger that is blog worthy. I've tried many, but they all don't work out for some reason or another. I want to see a veggie burger recipe that isn't all beans or breadcrumbs. I want a veggie burger that is the most part actual veggies like carrot or zucchini (and I've tried the portabello mushroom thing; did not work, way too juicy!). Is that too much to ask?!

So anyway, sorry vegetarians. I only have meat filled burgers on the menu today, but for all the meat eaters out there, you're going to love these! :P

First up, I have to share a recipe for the classic beef burger. You know, an all beef patty with all the fixins?
I found the recipe in my Health magazine about half a year ago and haven't used any other recipe since (when I do beef burgers which I admit, is pretty rare). It's originally for sliders (and for a large amount of meat) but it works just as well as normal burgers. I, of course, use whole wheat buns and super lean ground beef. People say that all the flavor is in the fat, but these burgers are flavor bombs so who needs it all?

The Classic Beef Burger
adapted from Health
1 pound lean ground beef
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
a couple dashes of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese (or cheese or choice)
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

Mix all ingredients (except cheese and buns) and divide evenly into 4 patties. Grill on medium high for about 5 minutes, flip, add one cheese slice onto each burger and cook for another 5 minutes or until burgers are cooked through.

Obviously the traditional toppings are killer on these burgers. Tomato, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, and dill pickles if you have them. Some special toppings that I love are grilled onions (just grill them along with the burgers) and turkey bacon. It's always fun to have a bunch of toppings out for everybody to pick and choose which ones and how much they want.
Here's my burger. With the normal fix-ins and a slice of turkey bacon. Grilled squash and grilled peaches with Greek yogurt on the side. A summer meal indeed! I think what sets the burger recipe apart from all the others for me is that wonderful smoky paprika taste and I love how it uses Worcestershire sauce!

Now I know there's people out there that prefer to not eat red meat. Chicken to the rescue! Enter Barbeque Chicken Burgers. These ones have a slightly less traditional flavoring, but not so crazy that kids would be scared away. I think they would be perfect for a cookout!
This recipe comes from How Sweet It Is and has barbeque sauce right in with the burgers along with many of the same seasonings that are in the above recipe. The barbeque sauce keeps these burgers moist and absolutely flavorful!

I didn't change a thing from her recipe, so go ahead and check it out here. I've made these twice and both times the burgers have fell through the grates a bit too much and I think that's because of the addition of too much liquid. My advice to you is to cook these burgers stove-top, grill plate, or via broiler method unless you want a good quarter of your burger inside your grill!

Serve with sweet potato fries and top with caramelized onions, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and more barbeque sauce for a delicious delicious treat.
She may be ugly but dang, she tasted good!

I'm a huge fan of chicken burgers, so I actually have two recipes I want to share. This next one is a Chicken Parmesan Burger! You know, that time-consuming dish known to all as chicken parmesan? Well this one takes no time at all and is in burger form! 
I've actually seen this recipe idea pop up on many blogs, but the one I used is from Ella Says Opa. You combine ground chicken with parmesan (of course!) and breadcrumbs (I went with Italian seasoned whole wheat) with other Italian flavors like parsley. The fun part is that you then broil the burgers with a little tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese on top to complete the "Chicken Parmesan" vibe. I'm sure it could be grilled as well!
This burger doesn't work with traditional toppings like mustard and pickles, but is great with sauteed mushrooms. We had a Caesar salad on the side so I decided to try a bite with some of the salad on the burger and that ended up also being a great topping! The tomato sauce acts as the "ketchup" so it's kind of a fun take on the classic. :D

SO delicious, and so easy! It really takes no time at all to prepare. You can find the recipe here. (And I just realized both of my pictures are very similar in composition to the two pictures on Elly's funny!)

The last burger recipe I have to share is for Greek Turkey Burgers! When it comes to choosing chicken or turkey for burgers, I usually gravitate towards chicken because it has a less assertive flavor and tends to be more juicy. This recipe, however is definitely one of the best turkey burger recipes I've found because the burgers are so juicy and flavorful!
This burger is packed with feta cheese and has other Greek ingredients such as red onion, oregano, and lemon zest. I love how light and fresh these are! Comparing this picture to the first picture of the beef burger with cheese and turkey bacon, this one seems to be much more refreshing. Of course, I'm not saying anything about my beloved beef burger. Sometimes you want cheesy, beefy goodness!

Anyway, I got this recipe from Southern Living via My Recipes but changed it up a bit, so here it goes-

Greek Turkey Burgers
adapted from My Recipes
One (19.2 or 20 oz.) package of lean ground turkey (I used 19.2 oz. of 93/7)
3.5 ounces crumbled feta (Reduced fat worked for me, but do not use non fat)
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh if you have it)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest*

4 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted
Store bought tzatziki sauce (or homemade)
Lettuce, red onion, tomato, black olives, and thinly sliced cucumber for serving

1. Combine the first 8 ingredients. Shape mixture into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties or 5 smaller patties.
2. Heat an outdoor grill. Brush with olive oil and add patties; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done.

*I only had a lemon that had already been zested so I didn't add zest to the burgers. I did, however, squeeze a squirt of lemon onto my burger before eating and it worked out great.

 This recipe makes large burgers with 4.8 ounces of meat plus tons of feta cheese in each one. It was definitely satisfying! The feta really adds a great moistness to each burger and gives it that little salty, tangy bite. Love it!!
I used store bought tzatziki, but if you want to make your own the original recipe on My Recipes has a recipe for one. Since I didn't make my own tzatziki sauce, the only prep required for this meal was slicing up all the toppings while the burgers where grilling! Gosh...looking at these pictures makes me want to make these burgers again; like ASAP. :D

So we've traveled to Greece, Italy, and America for some fabulous burgers that are bound to be a hit with anyone. No one wants to be in a hot kitchen for too long on a summer day and these burger recipes are fast (how many times have I mentioned that in this post?) and for the most part can be prepared outdoors. Perfect!

Which recipe sounds the most delicious to you?
And do any of y'all have a really good vegetarian burger recipe? I would love to try one out again!

Have a great weekend!
<3 Carlyn

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