TURKEY PORTOBELLO BURGER

This will be a bit embarrassing. I’ve made this recipe four times since December, a pretty strong endorsement as I tend to follow the “cook and move on” mode.  Last week I wanted to make it again, so I did a quick search on the blog but came up empty-handed. Puzzled, I went to the index page, and it wasn’t there either.  I concluded I failed to add it to the index page and also did not tag it with the appropriate search words. But then a troubling thought hit me: what if… what if… I simply forgot to blog about it?  Could it be possible?  Only one way to find out. I went to my computer and almost fell off my chair: the pictures were all there, but straight from the camera, never optimized for publication!  Yours truly is officially losing it, but she’s not alone: John from The Bartolini Kitchens  recently had the exact same thing happen to him. We are now virtual siblings, and that makes me happy. So, before I forget everything about ground turkey, mushrooms, and burgers, allow me to share a great recipe that is now part of our regular rotation.

Turkey Portobello Burger

TURKEY PORTOBELLO BURGER
(slightly modified from FoodTV Network)

1 large Portobello mushroom cap
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons lightly packed fresh parsley
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
zest and juice of 1/2 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
cheese slices (optional)

Use a spoon to scrape out the gills from the underside of the mushroom cap. Cut the cap into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a food processor. Add the shallot and parsley and pulse until chopped.

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Add the turkey, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lime zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; gently mix with your hands until just combined. Squeeze lime juice all over and mix very gently. Divide into 4 balls, then lightly press into 1-inch-thick patties. Put on a large plate, cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Heat a grill to medium. Brush the grates with olive oil. Grill the patties, undisturbed, until marked on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Give the patties a quarter turn and cook until marked again, 4 to 5 more minutes. Flip the patties and grill until cooked through, 6 to 7 more minutes; and if you’d like top each with 2 slices cheese during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Comments: As everybody knows, the problem with turkey burgers is that they can be too bland and dry. Who wants that, right? You can deal with the issue in many ways, in fact I have several recipes in the blog with a juicy outcome. But it’s hard to resist a recipe with the title “Perfect Turkey Burger” although I’m usually skeptical of this type of hype. What I love about this recipe is the depth of flavor given by the Portobello mushroom.  My only modification was to add some zest and lime juice because the citric flavor goes well with the burger. Plus, it gives the meat just a little more moisture.  I have made it without resting the patties in the fridge – they are a tad fragile, but if you are gentle, it works.  I imagine you could make them early in the morning and leave in the fridge the whole day, if that suits your schedule.

Turkey burgers are on our menu at least twice a month, and although I am always looking for different takes on it, it’s been hard to move away from this recipe. I say why change a winning team?

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SECRET RECIPE CLUB: TURKEY-CHORIZO BURGER WITH GREEN CHILE DRESSING

August is bit too close to the end of the summer, so the dark clouds start to contaminate my mood, as I notice the forecast showing less and less days over 90 F and more and more below 80 F, which is the divisive line between life worth living and misery.  Meteorological troubles aside, the fourth Monday of the month brings with it Reveal Day for  The Secret Recipe Club! This month I was paired with Lynsey Lou’s, a blog I’ve already been following  for a while, so of course the assignment made me super excited… it was like getting a dear colleague from work on the Secret Santa drawing…  Lynsey has been married to Spencer since 2008, and is convinced that the way to a man’s heart involves food. They both have fond memories of a particular  batch of brownies taken to his frat house when they started dating. Too cute! If I remember correctly, Ina Garten has a similar experience with her husband of many many years, Jeffrey. Great relationships might very well start around the table. Or around a lab bench, I suppose.  😉   One of the lines I loved the most in Lynsey’s About page was this one:

Cooking, like many other things, is a learning experience that comes with a lot of trial and error.

I feel exactly the same way, and like her, love to expand my horizons trying recipes from different cuisines whenever possible. So many recipes appealed to me this month, it was tough to settle on one.  Some of my final contenders are here: White Chocolate Coconut Cookies, Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Ganache (sigh), White Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cookies, and her Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (you gotta stop and check the recipe, perfect to start the day with freshly baked rolls without having to wake up at 4am).  Since so often I lean towards sweets in the Secret Recipe Club, I forced myself to do something different this time.  So, without further ado, I present you with Turkey Chorizo Burgers with Green Chile Mayo.  A mouthful of a name for a fantastic recipe that Phil and I absolutely loved!

Turkey Chorizo Burger

TURKEY-CHORIZO BURGER WITH GREEN CHILE DRESSING
(slightly modified from Lynsey Lou’s blog)

for the burgers:
8 Oz fresh chorizo, casings removed
1-1 1/2 Pounds ground turkey
2 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp cayenne pepper
4 slices Jack cheese
hamburger buns (optional)

for the dressing:
1 Poblano chile
3/4 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Make the chile dressing: Heat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the cleaned chile on the prepared baking sheet and place in oven.  Roast for approximately 15 minutes, until skin is charred and blistered.  Rotating during the roasting process.  Place the roasted pepper in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Remove the pepper from the bowl and remove the skin, stem and seeds.  Finely chop the pepper.  In a food processor, combine the chile, yogurt, olive oil, and lime juice and process until the mixture is smooth.  Season, to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Heat grill to medium. In a large bowl combine turkey, chorizo, Worcestershire sauce, salt and cayenne pepper.  Gently mix the ingredients together, being careful to not overwork the meat.  Divide the meat evenly into 4 pieces, approximately 8 ounces each.  Gently form each section of meat into 1-inch thick patties.

Place the prepared patties on the grill and cook to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Once burgers are cooked to desired doneness, transfer to a plate and top with cheese.

Spread a generous helping of green chile mayonnaise on the top and bottom of hamburger buns, if using.  Place the burger patties on bottom portion of each bun.  Top with lettuce, spinach or arugula and top with the top portion of the bun.  Serve immediately. If not using buns, assemble the burgers using appropriate substitutions (we went with grilled eggplant slices). Spoon the dressing on top, and serve with your favorite toppings.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Comments:  The main modification I made from Lynsey’s original was to skip the mayo and use yogurt and olive oil instead for the dressing. We are both very fond of turkey burgers, but this poblano-infused dressing totally stole the show! Poblano peppers are delicious in their natural form, but roasting improves their flavor and texture quite a bit. Once you process the roasted pepper with the yogurt, you are in for a very special treat…  I found myself sampling a teaspoon here, another there while the burgers were outside on the grill.  Really superb.

These days we almost never have bread with our burgers, so don’t be shocked by the absence of bread from our spread of goodies….  We like our burgers served over hearty lettuce leaves, but this time I grilled thick slices of eggplant and that worked even better.

dinnerserved1

Adding chorizo to ground turkey works great to give a little extra fat and a boost of flavor.  Grilled corn on the cob, avocado, and tomato slices were perfect as side dishes for our meal.

Turkey BUrger Sally

And, of course, I was a super happy camper next day, look at my lunch!

MyLunch

Who said leftovers have to be boring?
😉

Well, folks, that’s all for this Reveal Day… Lynsey, I hope you also had a ton of fun stalking your assigned blog. As usual, I invite my readers to browse the collection of goodies, the result of the hard work of my virtual friends from Group D of The Secret Recipe Club. Just poke the alien-looking frog at the end of the post and have fun!

ONE YEAR AGO: Taco Salad

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SIX YEARS AGO:  French Bread

SCARY GOOD PORK BURGERS

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A few weeks ago I shared with you a recipe for light brioche burger buns, and promised a future blog on a pork burger that was a perfect match for those buns. The inspiration for this recipe was a show by Giada de Laurentiis on FoodTV, but I made enough modifications to call it my own. Pork and green apples make a nice pas de deux, and to give the patties a little more spice I added a small amount of chorizo, an ingredient I’ve been using a lot lately. It packs so much flavor, but its heat is not overpowering, especially if you use it sparingly. These burgers were scary good. Scary in the sense that they almost gave me a heart attack. Read on, my friends. This post proves what I suspected for a long time. In a previous life, I was a merciless serial killer.

PorkBurgers

PORK BURGERS WITH APPLES AND CHORIZO
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

2 pounds ground pork
1/2 link (about 1.5 oz) fresh pork chorizo (Mexican type)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and shredded
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Do not pack the mixture too tightly.

Form into 6 medium-size patties. The mixture will be soft.   Place the patties over parchment paper and refrigerate until it’s time to grill them.

Grill them about 5 minutes per side on grates lightly coated with oil.   If you want to add a slice of cheese, do so on the final couple of minutes of grilling, or as soon as you remove them from the grill, keeping them tented with foil. Serve with tomatoes, lettuce, or any other topping you like.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I prepared these burgers at the end of an intense working day. I was doing experiments that require very precise timing, and once started, cannot be paused until the very end. Every reagent has to be in its spot, ready to be quickly grabbed and used. Once the prep work is all done, I take a deep breath, start the chronometer, and hope for the best.  It’s hard to have a totally flawless experiment, but that day the stars were perfectly aligned, and flawless it was. I drove home feeling on top of the world, ready to stretch the super-accurate timing to dinner preparation. Phil had to stay for another hour working in his office, so my plan was to welcome his arrival home with a nicely set dinner table, juicy pork burgers all ready.

patties

I made the patties, refrigerated them, worked on a couple of side dishes, and walked outside to light the grill.  Under one of those gorgeous Kansas sunsets,  I opened the knob of the gas tank, and lifted the lid of the grill to turn the flames on. The last thought that popped in my mind was “life is good”. And then, it quickly wasn’t anymore. Life had just gifted me a gargantuan mouse prancing over the grates. He froze when he saw me, and just as I let out a screech with the potential to wake up newborn babies in Tokyo, the creature jumped off passing one inch from my left arm, landed on the ground and disappeared into some bushes. Deja vu all over again. The worthless quadrupeds that I feed on a daily basis  went hiding inside their dog house.  Apparently they do not handle well hysterical screaming. I know, inconceivable. That marked the end of a perfectly timed meal. Instead of juicy burgers, Phil encountered a distraught wife who refused to step outside into the backyard to finish the dinner.

mouse1

Due to the profound psychological trauma this situation caused me, I was unable to use the grill for a couple of weeks. Now I go through a process of kicking the door that encloses the gas tank a couple of times, then banging on the grill lid four or five more times before opening it. I am sure the neighbors worry about my mental state in case they catch a glimpse of my routine. Granted, a foreigner can get away with a lot. For all they know, that might be a common pre-grilling performance back in Brazil.   That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Back to food. These burgers were pretty tasty. I made them a second time recently and grated the apples a little finer, not sure which version I liked best, though.  There’s some visual appeal to the bigger shreds of apple peeking at the surface to say hello.  No matter how you decide to treat the fruit, the combination of pork, green apple, chorizo, a touch of ginger was spot on.  No need to use egg as a binder if you refrigerate the patties and handle them gently.  If you are feeling tropical enough, do the Brazilian thing, and release your frustrations on the lid of the grill before you light it.  One never knows….   😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Review of exercise program Focus25

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BLACK BEAN & PEPPER JACK BURGER

If you’ve been around the Bewitching Kitchen for a while you know that I eat quite a bit of meat, enjoy eggs, dairy, grains, regular pasta, whole-wheat pasta, sushi, oysters, sweets, there’s basically no category of food I refrain from eating.  So, when you see me rave about a veggie burger, rest assured: I rave from the perspective of a content omnivore. I love what tastes great. Period. If you are a vegetarian, you will flip for these. If you are not, be ready to flip too.  These are spectacular.

BlackBeanBurgersServed

BLACK BEAN AND PEPPER JACK BURGERS
(from Fine Cooking Magazine)

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 15.5-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large egg
1 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt
2 oz. finely grated pepper Jack cheese (1/2 cup)
1 large scallion, minced
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs. olive oil; more for the plate
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
Jarred salsa, for serving
Sliced avocado, for serving

Put the oats in a food processor and pulse three times to roughly chop. Add half of the beans and pulse into a coarse paste, about 6 pulses. Add the egg, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt and process to mix well, about 1 minute. Transfer the bean mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining beans, the cheese, scallion, and cilantro.

With wet hands, form the bean mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties and transfer to a lightly oiled plate. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to let the burgers set up.

Heat a large heavy-duty skillet (preferably cast iron) on high heat until very hot; add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Cook the burgers until browned, with a good crust, 2 to 3 minutes; then carefully flip and cook, flipping again if necessary, until the burgers feel firm when pressed with a fingertip, another 3 to 5 minutes. Serve the burgers in the buns, topped with the salsa and avocado.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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I saw this recipe in one of the recent issues of Fine Cooking, but did not think much of it. Then, a member of a cooking forum (Cook’s Talk) raved about them. She said that her husband and son, who would normally twist their noses at any burger made with less than 99% beef,  loved them too.  With that endorsement, I was powerless to resist.

Just remember that the patties need to sit in the fridge for a little while to firm up, other than that, a very simple and weeknight-friendly recipe.   They taste amazing, their texture is obviously more crumbly than that of a meat burger, but I don’t see this type of preparation as a substitute for the real thing, it’s just a fun recipe to open your gastronomic horizons.

Before you ask, I did not make the sweet potato fries, they were frozen entities by the brand Alexis, which we find quite tasty.  However, I did make the hamburger buns: a Wheat Berry Caraway bread that turned out as a great partner for these tasty burgers. Recipe shall be on the blog in the near future.

Seriously: try these black bean cuties soon… you will thank me, I am sure. No matter how much you love sinking your teeth into a medium-rare beef burger…   😉

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ROAST BEEF FRENCH DIP SANDWICH WITH GREEN PEA PESTO

Vegetarian readers:  stick around, because the GREEN PEA PESTO IS AMAZING!

One of Phil’s favorite sandwiches is a roast beef au jus, also called a French Dip.  I had never heard of it until we started dating, and was a bit confused by the association with France, as I had never seen it while living in Paris either.  😉  It turns out that this is an American classic, created in the beginning of last century in Los Angeles, of all places!  Two restaurants claim to have “invented” the deliciously moist sandwich, and quite likely the issue will never get settled.  You can read all about it  here. I never thought of making it at home, but watching FoodTV the other day I caught a show by Rachael Ray in which she made her own version. It perked my attention, not only for the sandwich itself, but also for her choice of green pea pesto to gild the lily.  Something told me that would be a winning combo.  Plus, the fact you can prepare the meat in advance and just re-heat the slices in simmering beef broth makes it a perfect option for a quick and easy dinner after work.  If you have home-made beef broth (also known in our home as “liquid gold”), by all means use it, as it will make your sandwich very special.

assembled

ROAST BEEF FRENCH DIP SANDWICH WITH GREEN PEA PESTO
(adapted from Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day TV show)

for the green pea pesto:
1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 20)
1 cup defrosted frozen green peas
1 tsp dried mint leaves
1 clove garlic, pasted (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for desired consistency

for the roast beef:
2 pounds beef eye of round roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups beef stock, home-made is best
bread of your choice for the sandwich

For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the basil, peas, mint,  lemon juice, and garlic (if using) and process until a paste forms.  Add just enough olive oil to get a spreadable consistency.  Season with salt and pepper and process to almost smooth.   Refrigerate and bring to room temperature when ready to serve.

For the beef: Bring the roast to room temperature. Sprinkle the meat with the salt, pepper and rosemary.

Heat  the oven to 475 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil  in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat evenly, 5 minutes. Transfer to the oven and roast 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 120 degrees F on a meat thermometer.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board and cover with foil, 30 minutes. Wrap and store if not serving right away.

To serve, very thinly slice the meat. Heat the stock to warm but not boiling. Quickly dip the meat slices in the stock and place on the French bread. Top with the green pea pesto and set the bun top in place.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Comments:
  You might be wondering how on Earth would I be turning the oven at 475 F in the height of the Kansas summer to roast the meat?  Well, let’s say I did not need to heat up the house for that. Stay tuned for my next installment of “In My Kitchen”, when the mystery will be  solved.  I loved making this meal!  Some people like to have the bread very moist with the beef broth, so you might offer a small, individual bowl with hot beef broth at the table. I prefer to just add a tablespoon or two of beef broth to the bread before assembling the sandwich.  The combination of the meat with the green pea pesto is simply fabulous!  We added a slice of cheese, did not seem to hurt at all…

served

I cannot give enough praise to the green pea pesto. Next day my lunch was just a few slices of the roast beef simmered in beef broth, and all the leftover pesto. All of it. I did not share.  I announced that the pesto would be consumed, so that Phil would not count with it for his dinner preparation that evening. You know, we do the “alternate cooking days thing”.  It was a perfect lunch, and in fact I would have been equally happy with just the pesto on some bread.   Wouldn’t you?

crostini

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ORIENTAL-STYLE TURKEY PATTIES

I got the inspiration for this recipe from two sources: this blog post over at Kalyn’s Kitchen, and a recent Anne Burrel show on Food TV, in which she featured turkey burgers.  Ground turkey is a great basic ingredient to play with because it’s naturally low in fat, but exactly what makes it good has the potential of creating trouble.  As Anne herself said in the show, she’s had plenty of bad turkey burgers in he lifetime, and so have I.  The trick is to season the meat well, and increase its overall moisture.

ORIENTAL-STYLE TURKEY PATTIES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 + 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/2 Tbs Sriracha sauce
2 tsp grated ginger
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped fine
1 egg, beaten
2 green onions, white and light green parts, minced
about 2 Tbs water
a few Tbs bread crumbs, if needed
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the bread crumbs, try not to overwork the mixture or the patties will be too tough.  This won’t be like a regular beef hamburger type mixture, the goal is to end up with more moisture.  Once all is combined, if the mixture is too loose to form as a patty, sprinkle breadcrumbs and mix again.   Form 4 patties, and place them over parchment paper on a baking sheet, place them in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up slightly.

Cook them on a hot griddle smeared with a little olive oil until golden brown and completely cooked through.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I doubled the recipe to have enough patties to freeze for lunches during the week,  but I’m giving you the amounts for 4 patties only.  These cannot be made on a grill, they are too delicate and work much better on a griddle or a non-stick frying pan.

They are very flavorful and moist, the ginger is a prominent flavor, I thought the Sriracha could be increased, but Phil has less fondness for it than myself, so I decided to use a light hand with it.  Feel free to add more.  They can be enjoyed by themselves, with a salad, or as a regular burger with toppings of your choice.  I made some sauteed mushrooms that were a great match, and we added juicy tomato and avocado slices.   A substantial, but not over-the-top weeknight dinner.  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Sourdough English Muffins

TWO YEARS AGO: Kaiser Rolls

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KOREAN BARBECUE BURGER

Coming back home to our kitchen was wonderful, of course, but coming back to my 6 shelves of cookbooks was almost as good!   Whenever I got tired of unpacking and organizing stuff, I would take a “cookbook-break” – not really opening any of them to avoid getting too distracted, but just looking at the titles and trying to remember my favorite recipes inside.  That led me to the shocking realization that quite a few books remain “uncooked from.”   One of my goals – which I intend to take without pressure – is to bring them to life in our kitchen. The first one was The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, a colorful, fun book written by  Jaden Hair.  I’ve had it for a couple of years, inside I found a small card with quite a few page numbers market “to try soon.”  No one can say I lack good intentions.  😉

KOREAN BARBECUE-STYLE BURGER
(adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook)

1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 Tsp finely minced garlic
2 Tbs minced ginger
2 + 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
2 + 1/2 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs finely minced green onions
3 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns

for the pickled veggies
1 cup matchstick cut carrots
1 cup matchstick cut cucumber
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
4 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

Mix the ground beef with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, green onion, sesame seeds, salt and pepper.   Try to mix it gently, but incorporating the ingredients well.   Divide the mixture in 4 equal portions and shape them as patties, making a small indentation in the center, as you see in this photo.   Let the meat rest while you prepare the quick veggie pickle by mixing  all the ingredients in a bowl. Wait 5-10 minutes and the pickle will be ready.

Cook the hamburger on a hot grill or on a frying pan with a little oil, for 5 to 6 minutes per side.  Serve with the carrot-cucumber pickle and other toppings of your choice.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  My main modification in the recipe was to reduce a little the amount of garlic – in case you didn’t notice, we tend to use garlic with a lot more restraint than most cooks – and also the amount of ginger.  In her recipe, she used 3 tablespoons of ginger and we both thought even 2 Tbs was a little much, the ginger taste is quite pronounced.   If you are more of a purist when it comes to tasting the meat first, consider reducing it further.  The hamburger turns out moist, succulent, the brown sugar/soy imparts a beautiful color.

I had to refrain from eating the pickled carrot/cucumber by the spoonful.  Loved it!  It goes perfectly with the burger.  If you find good quality kimchi, consider that as a topping too.

Summer is hamburger season by definition, and the 4th of July is right at the corner, so this could be a nice change of pace for the usual burger, celebrating the melting pot of cultures this country is all about!

ONE YEAR AGO: A twist on pesto

TWO YEARS AGO:  When life gives you chard…

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