08 February 2017

Fill Your Hamburgers With Flavor

 I have been experimenting with making hamburgers a lot since we moved to New Mexico. With a very unique flavor palate all it's own, New Mexico is an inspiring place to really jump into trying new spices and punching up the flavor of your meals.

We've been eating a lot of homemade hamburgers lately and I find they are the perfect companion to a big plate of sliced fresh fruits and vegetables...and we often add some chips and salsa or good old Lay's Potato Chips along as well. With all the add ins, you might think my burgers are hot spicy but they aren't. They just taste like regular old juicy hamburger. But the added spices give is a richer, more delicious flavor. Here's a printable recipe version.

To make 4 big hamburgers I usually start with about two-and-a-half pounds of ground beef. I use 80/20 lean ground beef. Then I start adding things. Here's my list.

KK's Tasty Burgers

2.5 lbs ground beef
1/2 minced fresh medium size onion
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic or 4 cloves minced
(I use the minced garlic I buy in a jar at the grocery store).
1 tsp. New Mexico green chile (roasted, from a jar)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
 Optional: A few shakes of Lowry's Seasoning Salt and/or garlic salt

I mix this all together, then form my patties and layer them between freezer paper or parchment paper until I am ready to serve them. I make them really big (6" diameter) and they tend to shrink down quite a bit and fit a bun perfectly by the time they are cooked. I fry them in a pan with the lid partially covered so they stay moist but get nicely browned at a higher heat.

To top them off once they are cooked, we toast the buns on a stovetop griddle quickly and then here's what we add:

1 slice Provolone cheese
1 slice Monterey Jack cheese or Cheddar
*add cheeses the last couple of minutes of cook time for a perfect melt
1 slice onion
Tomato slices
Crisped butter lettuce
Generously salt and pepper to taste (sometimes we use garlic salt which is delicious!)

For our fruit plate here's what I usually throw on the sweet little rectangle tray I regularly use:

Sliced Honeycrisp apple (get an apple slicer that does it for you. Makes my life so much easier!)
Sliced pears (usually Bosc and Barlett)
Red grapes
Sliced oranges
Sliced European cucumber (sometimes I put these on my burger like pickles)
Carrot sticks
Celery sticks

It makes for a nice mix of nutrients and colors, crisp and sweet to go along with the burgers. I find it's a good way to sneak in fresh foods along with the burgers. We are trying to eat the rainbow every day and I like to count and see how many fruits and vegetables I can get in their mouths each day without having to beg. Pairing them with burgers and hot sandwiches has been very successful!

So that's the scoop on our the big, tasty burgers we're enjoying at our house frequently.

image: kalanicut

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