This weekend, grills will be fired up all over the country to celebrate the Fourth of July. And on the menu for many households is the hamburger. But instead of the traditional beef patty, spice things up with one of these creative alternatives.
I've eaten many turkey burgers in day, and I enjoy the flavor. Just as hearty as a beef burger, turkey burgers aren't as heavy and blend well with a variety of spices. This recipe has a Mediterranean flair, with sun-dried tomatoes and feta blended right into the meat. I also added chopped and pitted black nicoise olives to round out the ingredients.
One problem with chicken or turkey burgers is they can be dry. To avoid this, use the mix of dark and white meats instead of just the ground breast meat. The dark meat has more fat, which will create a juicier burger.
Instead of the usual ketchup and mustard, mix up this Sun-dried Tomato Aioli, which is basically a flavored mayonnaise, ahead of time. Top with spinach or arugula leaves for a little crunch.
Although the idea of feta and olives were a bit much for my kids to appreciate, they totally understood the flavors in these veggie burgers. As one pointed out, it's like tacos without the tortilla. Sort of.
These black bean burgers are bound together by mashing half the beans, then adding an egg and some bread crumbs. The spices and diced peppers and onions result in a perfectly flavored patty. I sliced up avocado and spooned on some salsa as toppings. You could also serve these with cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, pickled jalapeno and a chipotle mayonnaise.
Although the recipe said it would yield four, we like a hearty burger and got three. However, for only using one 15-oz. can of beans, this is the most economical of all the burgers, assuming you already have some of the seasonings at home.
My fellow eaters and I agreed that this burger may have been our favorite of the three. I've eaten veggie and poultry burgers before, and have also enjoyed lamb burgers, however, I don't recall ever eating a pork burger. And I've been missing out.
The ground pork mixture smelled delicious right from the beginning, with the onion scent of the scallions blending with the pungent sesame oil aroma. The burgers also cooked up well, with the pale meat contrasting with the dark grill marks.
I was concerned with the simple slaw that the recipe described. The coleslaw only called for a couple of ingredients, which I thought may make for a bland mixture. However, the slaw added the perfect amount of crunch and saltiness to the burger.
A good way to introduce a new kind of burger to the kids (or adults, for that matter) is to make sliders. These mini burgers can be served on small dinner rolls, and the size alone makes them instantly appealing to children.
And if you are still hankering for that beef burger, here are some ideas for dressing up that all-American favorite hamburger: