Burgers becoming more ‘open minded’

Published 9:37 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

Bless Your Spoon

By Stephanie Williams Dean


The burger is getting due respect by becoming more open minded these days.

With a focus on healthier eating, burgers join the foods highlighting this trend with a more open-minded approach – open-faced and lean meats topped with spicy, vegetable relishes – and limitless possibilities of bread.  Lamb, tuna, salmon, and turkey stack up well as alternatives to the beef burgers while sourdoughs, focaccia, pita, and other fancy breads now support the tasty, healthier versions of burgers – open-faced and loaded down with chunky relish.


1 lb. lean, coarsely ground sirloin

1 finely chopped onion

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

Sunflower or vegetable oil

8 slices of American cheese

Mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup

I wedge Iceberg lettuce

2 thickly sliced tomatoes

1 sliced onion

2 dill pickles, sliced lengthwise

In a mixer, slowly combine first 4 ingredients.  Chill. Divide mixture into 4 patties and brush each patty with oil. Grill burgers for 4 minutes on one side Add slice of cheese and cook on opposite side 4 minutes or until medium well.  In a 350 degree oven, toast the buns. Spread condiments. Layer lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickle.


½ cup crumbled Roquefort cheese

1 cup softened, salted butter

3 Tbsp. fresh chives

1 lb. 10 oz. coarsely ground sirloin

1 chopped onion

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 egg yolks

1 crushed garlic clove

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

In a mixer, slowly combine cheese, butter, and chives.  In a separate mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients. Divide hamburger mixture into 8 patties. Spread 4 patties with cheese mixture.  Top those patties with another beef patty, and pinch sides together all the way around.  Brush both sides of burgers with oil. Grill 4 minutes or until medium well.  Dress burger with the desired choice of condiments.


2 ½ lbs. freshly ground lamb (shoulder)

2 tsp. coarse kosher salt

In a mixer, combine ingredients. Shape into 6 patties. Grill 5 minutes on each side or until done.


3 lbs. coarsely ground sirloin

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 ½ fresh ground black pepper

In a mixer, combine all ingredients. Shape into 8 patties. Grill 4 minutes on each side or until medium well.


1 ½ lbs. coarsely ground sirloin

4 oz. shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

½ tsp salt

½ tsp fresh ground pepper

3 Tbsp. cilantro

½ tsp cumin

In a mixer, combine all ingredients. Shape into 4 patties. Grill 4 minutes on each side or until medium well.


1 medium, cooked russet potato, peeled

1/4 cup mayonnaise

4 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp. white wine vinegar

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

4 tsp chopped capers

4 tsp minced shallots

1 lb. chopped, boneless tuna steaks, skinless

Bake potato in oven or microwave until tender and peel. In a mixer, combine ¼ cup of mashed potato, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, basil, capers, and shallots. Add chopped tuna and mix gently. Shape into 4 patties. Grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.


¼ cup applesauce

1 Tbsp. plain yogurt

2 Tbsp. any fruit chutney

2 ½ tsp. curry powder

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

4 Tbsp. green onions.

4 Tbsp. fresh mint

1 lb. chopped turkey breast

In a mixer, slowly combine applesauce, yogurt, chutney, curry powder, salt, and cayenne. Shape into 4 patties. Grill about 5 minutes per side or until done.


4 Tbsp. olive oil

3 chopped shallots

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup fresh lemon juice

1 4 oz. jar drained, chopped capers

2 lbs. skinless, boneless salmon cut in 1-inch pieces

3 cups French bread crumbs

2 large, beaten eggs

4 Tbsp. chopped dill

1 ½ tsp. salt

¾ tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a heavy skillet, heat 4 tbsp. olive oil. Saute shallots until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add wine, lemon juice, drained capers and cook until liquid evaporates. Chill mixture.  In a mixer, combine shallot mixture, salmon, breadcrumbs, eggs, dill, salt, and pepper. Form into 10 patties. Heat olive oil in skillet. Cook patties 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Note: To keep burgers from puffing up in the center, make a slight indention in the meat by pressing in the center. Handle the beef as little as possible to avoid overworking the meat. Tuck any pieces of cheese back into the meat. Brush sides of bread with oil before grilling.  For plain patties, sprinkle salt and pepper on outside instead of blending into the meat.