First and foremost, thanks to everyone who serves our country in the military. Memorial Day allows us to honor those people who died while serving – something I will always remember to acknowledge.
It is, also a national holiday that seems to have become the unofficial beginning of summer “outdoor cooking” season, and with that, a chance to fire up the grill and make some burgers!
Calling All Burger Lovers!
The reason I love making sliders is that you can play around with a lot of different flavors without getting too full – and by playing around, I mean BACON!
A Memorial Day Slider Celebration!
That might be a bit much today, so let’s dial it down a notch.
The key to a great slider is the hamburger patty. Your basic hamburger uses good quality ground beef with at least 15% fat content, to ensure lots of juicy flavor. I mix in raw minced onion and minced garlic, with salt, pepper as well.
That’s it for me – and as you can see, nobody said you could only have ONE – upon this temple of meat flavor, I add unique ingredients that give my sliders a more specific flavor…here are some of my favorite recipes!
The All-American Bacon-Cheeseburger Slider!
What can you say? It’s as American as you can get:
Cheese – melted and dripping
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Mayonaise, mayonaise, mayonaise!
Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank California makes a classic “all-American” burger, you can see it here:
If you want to add more toppings, here is one to get you started:
Top your burger with melted Provolone Cheese, and a boatload of saute’d Crimini Mushrooms,
along with Caramelized Sweet Onions, a slice of Roma Tomato and Spicy Mustard Aioli – boom!
Or, get fishy with it!
Handmade Salmon Patties, Frizzled Onions, Spring Mix, Roma Tomato with a Lemon Pepper Aioli will give you a delicious taste of the Pacific Northwest!
Or, if you are just in the mood for a burger that will drive you NUTS…or perhaps you don’t want a burger at all, well here’s the answer!
The Nut Burger!
The Nut Burger was made famous at Matt’s Place Drive-In in Butte, Montana. Matt’s Place Drive-In was established in 1930.
And, in honor of vegetarians who have chosen to read this post, there is a great “no meat” burger waiting for you!
1 medium onion
1 cup walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews or other nuts, preferably raw
1 cup (raw) rolled oats or cooked short-grain white or brown rice
2 tablespoons ketchup, miso, tomato paste, nut butter or tahini
1 teaspoon chili powder or any spice mix you like
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil, extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn.
1. Grind onion in food processor. Add nuts and oats, and pulse to chop, but not too finely. Add remaining ingredients except oil. Process briefly; don’t grind too finely. Add a little liquid — water, stock, soy sauce, wine, whatever — if necessary; mixture should be moist but not loose.
2. Let mixture rest a few minutes, then shape it into 4 burgers. (Burger mixture or shaped burgers can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.) Put oil in nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet and turn to medium. When oil is hot, add burgers to skillet. Cook about 5 minutes, undisturbed, until browned, then turn with spatula. Lower heat a bit and cook 3 or 4 minutes more, until firm.
This is good enough to satisfy meat eaters, too!
Now, if you want to venture overseas, this is one of my favorites.
Japanese Wasabi-Avocado Slider!
I read about this over the holidays and I made one…it was delicious! It is very simple: a slider patty topped with sliced avocado, and a heavy dose of wasabi mayonaise. Trader Joe’s sells it, or buy some great mayo and wasabi and mix it together to the strength you can handle…this is delicious with a Sapporo! One last look….trust me, MAKE THIS ONE!
The Sriracha Burger!
Wasabi not powerful enough for you? Well, THIS will do the trick:
This is a GREAT idea…the recipe is from the terrific “Serious Eats” website!
3 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck, 80/20)
1/4 cup soy sauce
10 tablespoons Sriracha
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 slices thick-cut bacon
2 large sweet onions
3/4 cup blue cheese dressing
8 sesame seed buns
8 thick slices Swiss cheese
1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced
Arugula or romaine lettuce
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, soy sauce, 5 tablespoons of the Sriracha, and the pepper.
Cook the bacon. While the bacon is cooking, peel and quarter the onions. Once the bacon is cooked through and slightly crispy, remove the slices from the pan, reserving the remaining bacon fat in the pan. Cook the sliced onions in the bacon fat over medium-low heat until they caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes.
Grill the burgers. While the burgers are cooking, in a small bowl, combine the blue cheese dressing with the remaining 5 tablespoons Sriracha. Lightly toast the buns on the grill during the last minute of cooking time.
To assemble, spread the blue cheese mixture on both halves of each hamburger bun. Stack a burger patty, Swiss cheese slice, bacon, caramelized onions, tomato slice, and a small handful of arugula between each hamburger bun.
Oh, but what about dessert?
That’s right, just add a scoop of ice cream to your burger and top off your meal on a delicious high note!
Click here to see how to make one:
Whatever hits your grill today, take a moment and remember what this day stands for, and for everyone who has – or is – serving out country today – thank you!