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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Recipe! Basic Burgers

I know, I know, burgers are a summertime food...in fact, being in part of the country that is under twenty-some inches of snow right now, making burgers is almost laughably absurd. Nevertheless, when I asked the family what they wanted me to make for our (second) snow day dinner, the reply was "Burgers!", and thus burgers I made.

The thing about making burgers is that they will always, always, always be better on a grill. No matter how well seasoned or delicious, a burger simply isn't as good in a skillet as it is on a grill. However, our grill is mostly buried in the snow, just like everything else in our yard, so skillet-burgers would have to suffice. Of course, I wasn't about to resign myself to sub-par burgers, so I came up with this recipe, and served them with Sweet Potato Fries. The taste-testers loved it, so I want to share it with you here.

Now, the key to any good burger is good beef. I recommend, of course, local organic grass-fed beef, but if that isn't available get the leanest, highest quality beef you can find/afford. With the fillers, antibiotics, and hormones that beef can contain, it's completely worth using a higher quality type. Also, don't be afraid to be a little heavy handed with the seasonings. If you like spice, use extra sriracha or pepper! Beef has such a strong flavor, it isn't easy to overwhelm.

You can cook these burgers on a grill or in a skillet, and serve them with or without cheese. Enjoy!


Basic (and delicious!) Burgers


1 lb beef, ground
1 medium yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t sriracha (more, if you like spice!)
20 whole grain crackers, crushed or food-processed until fine crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Put onion and garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until ingredients are almost liquid.

2. Combine all ingredients and mix well with your hands or with two forks. Cover and allow to sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

3. Shape 1/4 of the mixture into a patty, repeat until you have four patties. Cook either in a skillet or on a grill!

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