KAYLIN'S KITCHEN: May is National Hamburger Month - Who has the best burger?

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"There is nothing like a beef burger--the aroma, the sizzle, the juiciness. And it just so happens that the entire month of May is dedicated to hamburgers." - National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

In honor of National Hamburger Day Month, we challenge you to explore the area's best burgers with a month long “Burger Lunch Tour.”  Who has the best burgers in town?  We want to know!  Is it a restaurant or your loved one who has cornered the best recipe in our area? 

Here are some recipes from the Beef Association and Steven Raichlen to get you started on your own best burgers at home. 

Steven Raichlen's Great American Hamburger Recipe
    1-1/2 lbs. Ground beef
    2 to 3 Tbsp. Butter, melted or extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
    6 Vidalia or other sweet onion slices, cut 1/2-inch thick (optional)
       Coarse salt and pepper
    6 hamburger buns, split
    Toppings: Iceberg lettuce leaves, tomato slices, dill or sweet pickle slices, cooked bacon, ketchup, mustard and/or mayonnaise (optional)

1.  Lightly shape beef into six 1/2-inch thick patties. Brush onion slices with 1-1/2 teaspoons melted butter, if desired.

2.  Place onion slices on grid over medium ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 15 to 20 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 15 to 20 minutes) or until tender. Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 11 to 13 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 8 minutes), turning occasionally, until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

3.  Brush cut sides of buns with remaining butter, if desired; place cut sides down on grid during last minute of grilling.

4.  Serve burgers on buns; top with toppings, if desired. Close sandwiches.

Makes 6 servings.

Cook’s Tip: If using 95% lean ground beef, add 1/4 cup soft bread crumbs and 1 egg white to ground beef in step 1.

Adapted from The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 1998). 

For those of you who are more advanced at the grill or like a challenge, try Steven's recipe below...

Steven Raichlen's Green Chili Burger with Salsa Verde Recipe
    1-1/2 lbs. Ground beef
    4 New Mexican green chiles or Anaheim chiles or poblano peppers
    1 cup Shredded white Cheddar cheese
    Coarse salt and pepper
    6 hamburger buns, split
    2 Tbsp. Olive oil (optional)
    Prepared green salsa

1.  Place chiles on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 15 to 20 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 15 to 20 minutes) or until tender and skins are completely blackened, turning frequently. Transfer chiles to large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skins, stems and seeds. Cut chiles into 1-inch thick slices; cool completely.

2.  Meanwhile lightly shape beef into six 1/2-inch thick patties. Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 11 to 13 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 8 minutes), turning occasionally, until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F. Evenly top each burger with cheese during last 2 minutes of grilling. Season patties with salt and pepper; keep warm.

3.  Brush cut sides of buns with olive oil, if desired; place cut sides down on grid during last minute of grilling.

4.  Place each burger on bottom half of buns. Evenly top with chile mixture and green salsa, as desired. Close sandwiches.

Makes 6 servings.

Cook’s Tip: If using 95% lean ground beef, add 1/4 cup soft bread crumbs and 1 egg white to ground beef in step 1.

Cook’s Tip: Green salsa is also called salsa verde or tomatillo salsa. It is available in large supermarkets and specialty food stores.

Adapted from Indoor Grilling by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2004).