This epic burger is part of a month-long event hosted by Girl Carnivore, but opinions are always my own!
Welcome to #BurgerMonth!
The warmer weather – and the start of grilling season – is something I look forward to every year. Being able to spend lazy days in the backyard capped off with dinner on the deck feels my soul in the best ways. Of course, one of our favorite warm-weather meals is burgers!
I love switching things up and trying new burgers, but this is one that I come back to again and again. It’s my tried-and-true burger patty smothered in my favorite sauce – and it’s a perfect burger for summer.
If the only thing you’ve made on your grill so far this summer is burgers, hot dogs, and/or barbecue chicken, we need to have a chat. Your grill can do SO much more!
I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite grilled main dishes. Whether you’re looking for something for a crowd or just dinner tonight, there’s a plethora of ideas below. Don’t let summer slip by without giving your grill a workout!
I am in total denial that it’s Labor Day weekend. Where did my summer go?!
The bucket lists we created at the beginning of the summer still have a lot that needs to be checked off, so we’re spending the long weekend concentrating on family time and checking off a few last items. Oh, and there will be plenty of grilling.
If you’re looking for something fun-but-easy to make this weekend, these burgers are a great candidate – especially if you have a whole bunch of basil to use up. The addition of the basil makes these fresh and perfect for the end of summer.
Basil Burgers with Sundried Tomato Mayonnaise (adapted from Taste of Home) Serves 6
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the dried kind – not packed in oil)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
Fresh mozzarella, for serving
Hamburger buns, for serving
Add the dried tomatoes to the water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Drain and add the tomatoes to a food processor, along with the mayonnaise. Process until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the Worcestershire, basil, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Break up the ground beef over the spices, and mix until well combined. Divide into 6 equal balls, and form into patties.
Grill over medium-high heat for approximately five minutes per side. Add mozzarella during the last minute and allow to melt.
The beginning of the year always has me a bit reflective. I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what the new year will bring, and what I want to take into it. One of the things I’m super pumped for this year is the travelling we have planned.
We already have a trip to Austin, Texas booked and ventures to Ocean City, Maryland and Lake George, New York are in the works too. We’re also debating a fall/winter trip and I’m hoping to make it up to Boston too. It should be a great year for travelling!
One of my little traveling traditions is to pick up a cookbook from everywhere we visit. I’ve amassed quite a little collection – and one of my goals for the year is to use them more. I picked up Spike Mehdelsohn’s The Good Stuff after a D.C. trip a few years ago. We had eaten as his restaurant We, The Pizza and loved it. The Good Stuff is pretty much a guidebook to turn your kitchen into a burger joint – never a bad thing!
There’s nothing terribly revolutionary here. No overly fancy ingredients – but the process makes such an awesome burger. Whip up an easy, special sauce, toast your buns, and wrap the burger in wax paper before serving and you’ll never be running for takeout burgers again!
30 oz. ground sirloin
6 potato buns, cut in half
Salt and pepper
6 slices America cheese
6 leaves iceberg lettuce
6 tomato slices
6 red onion slices
12 pickle slices Good Stuff Sauce
Make 6 burger patties from the ground sirloin and refrigerate. Prep your toppings and cut 6 sheets of wax paper. to wrap the burgers in.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high with just enough oil to cover the bottom. When the oil starts to smoke, reduce heat to medium and add patties. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, flip, cook for another minute. Add cheese slices to the top, cook for another minute and a half, then cover to melt the cheese.
Toast the buns.
Place each burger patty on a toasted bun and top with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and Good Stuff Sauce. Wrap each burger in wax paper and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Disclosure: I received these products complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Food blogger burger confession: unless I’m making some fancy burger, we typically buy frozen patties. (Gasp!) I know, I know. We’re under no illusions that the frozen burgers you get in the store are just as good as ones you make at home, but for me, burgers are usually a quick meal and trying to deal with getting uniform patties quickly is always a turn off.
And, I’ll fully admit, when I received this Aluminum Burger Press from Cave Tools to review, I thought this would go into my pile of cooking tools for special occasions. I was so, so wrong. I loved it so much that I immediately bought another to give as a Christmas gift!
This burger press is awesome. It helps you make uniform patties super quickly – and they include 200 burger papers which help immensely with cleanup.
The idea is easy – put a burger paper down, place your ball of ground meat on top, add another burger paper, and press down.
The burger paper largely keeps the raw meat from touching the burger press – which makes it easier to wash! – and then makes it super easy to transfer the patties to a plate to be cooked.
Quick tip to stretch your burger papers: Once you’ve transferred a finished patty to a plate, you can peel off the top paper and use it (raw-meat side up) as the bottom paper for the next burger.
We all relished the fresh-made burgers on a weeknight. My next project is to try freezing my own burgers – with the press and the burger papers, I think it will be a breeze!
And who doesn’t want a quick and easy way to whip up burgers? (I’m not drooling – you’re drooling!)
The Aluminum Burger Press can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code BURGER15 to take 15% off. They can also be found on Amazon.
Another great company I was introduced to via #CookoutWeek was Swine Dining. They specialize in small batch, made-by-hand spice mixes – and they’re awesome. They sent us three spice mixes to try and we loved them all.
Their signature blend is “Wimpy’s BBQ Rub” – called Wimpy’s because there’s no heat. We used it last night to make up a batch of our favorite pulled pork. We didn’t miss the heat – and it made it much more toddler-friendly. It was an awesome dinner for the whole family. Wimpy’s is currently available via their Etsy shop. They have plans to launch the other two spice mixes we tried – Jamaican Me Hungry (which I used in these burgers) and Dilly Dust – via Kitckstarter.
As soon I as I saw they sent us a jerk seasoning, I knew I wanted to make some sort of sweet potato burgers. The patties were too soft to place directly on the grill so I opted to bake them and they came out fabulous. If you wanted to get the grilled flavor, you could make them ahead of time and reheat on the grill.
Jerk Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers (a Kate’s Recipe Box original} Serves 8
2 large sweet potatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. Swine Dining’s Jamaican Me Hungry jerk seasoning
Fresh sliced pineapple
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes and poke all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until very tender. Let cool until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork.
Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
Mash half of the black beans and mix into the sweet potatoes. Mix in the remaining black beans, quinoa, breadcrumbs, egg and jerk seasoning until thoroughly combined. Divide into 8 patties and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 45 minutes, flipping halfway.
Serve on a bun, topped with pineapple and lettuce.
A Shake Shack opened in our town last year and it’s been… dangerous. It’s probably the easiest and tastiest to-go burger around. And then add a milkshake? Yeah, bad news to have that in your backyard.
I was craving some last week when I remembered Sarah had blogged a copy-cat version a few years back. When I looked at the recipe, I was skeptical they’d be really that simple – but they are. These hit the nail on the head and totally cured my craving.
Now I’m trying to decide if it’s more dangerous to have a Shake Shack so close or to know I can make them at home so easily.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. ketchup
1 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard
2 slices kosher dill pickle, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/4 lbs. ground sirloin
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
8 slider rolls, preferably potato
8 leaves lettuce, tops of leaves only
8 slices ripe Roma tomatoes
8 slices yellow American cheese
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, yellow mustard, chopped pickle, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne. Set aside.
Split rolls and butter cut-side lightly. Broil until lightly toasted. After toasting, top with 1/2 – 1 tsp. of sauce, a slice of lettuce and a slice of tomato. Set the prepped buns on parchment paper.
Divide the ground sirloin into eight equal parts and form into patties. Season with salt and pepper and place seasoned-side down in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Press down and season again. Cook for about three minutes, until the bottoms have a nice crust and then flip, top with cheese and cover until cheese melts.
Transfer the cooked burgers to the prepped buns and wrap in parchment for a minute to let the juices absorb. (This is what really makes the burgers – don’t skip it!) Unwrap and serve immediately.