Here’s the thing about burgers: Even when they’re dressed down, with just a juicy patty and a slice of gooey cheese, they’re pretty satisfying. Extremely satisfying, actually. But when you dress them up with bold ingredients, the flavors and textures are intensified, making them all the more craveworthy. On this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast showed off two new takes on burgers — one classic and the other creative. Both of them will keep you coming back for more all summer long. See below how the co-hosts did it.
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If you really want to make the most of summertime, you have to plan ahead. For instance, no one wants to reach Labor Day without having eaten as many burgers as possible, right? Consider this your “burger bucket list.” Can you check them all off before summer ends?
Ultimate Backyard Burger (above)
Cheese and bacon are always enough to make a burger irresistible, but this recipe’s special smoked-chile ketchup and mustard aioli take it over the top.\
Memorial Day, the year’s first formal celebration of summer, is the perfect opportunity to make seasonal dishes in a patriotic palette. Kick off grilling season with the American spirit in mind when you try these sweet and savory recipes.
Patriotic Berry Trifle (above)
Sunny Anderson’s towering pile of cake, whipped cream and berries is a showstopping dessert that’s a little more rustic than the traditional flag cake.
Juicy charred burgers and ketchup-slathered hot dogs may drive the initial attention to your Memorial Day cookout, but these showstopping side dishes are sure to make folks stay. More inventive than your average mayo-clad coleslaw, each of these bright, summery sidekicks will quickly disappear from the first backyard bash of the season.
Give your cookout side the trifle treatment for a true sight to behold: Food Network Magazine’s Layered Cornbread Salad. With stack after stack of cornbread, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, peppers, cheese and more, this multilevel creation is tied together with a creamy sauce spiked with lime juice and chili powder.
If you’re headed to a cookout this weekend, don’t even think about showing up empty-handed. When choosing a dish to take, however, there are a few criteria that must be met to make transporting and serving a breeze.
Rule #1: Bring your dish in the same vessel you’ll serve it in.
Don’t take a bag of salad greens, then ask your host for a serving bowl, and don’t take a cake and ask for a stand. Pack up everything in (or take along) whatever you need to serve your dish. (Label anything you’d like back, or use disposable platters and bowls.) Bonus points if you take disposable serving utensils.
Melon balls were the quintessential summer party food when I was growing up. Heck, they were even the quintessential summer snack food. I loved that we could grab watermelon and cantaloupe wedges from the fridge if we wanted, but when we got to snack on the melon balls? It just felt more fun — more fancy. And, obviously, they tasted fantastic under the hot sun.
My mom didn’t do anything fancy to the melon balls. She simply scooped them out and tossed them in a bowl, sometimes with pineapple chunks or even strawberries. It wasn’t until I was out of college that I had my first melon ball “salad,” if you will: melon with fresh mint and even a bit of dressing. It was incredibly refreshing and has been a staple for me ever since.
Don’t even give me your melon balls unless they have a touch of fresh mint! And honey. And now … lime juice. And RUM.
This just keeps getting better and better.
If you’ve got leftover chia seeds from an experimental recipe of the past, pull them out of the pantry, because believe it or not, you can put them to work in kid-friendly recipes. All six of these kid-tested options deliver tried-and-true results, for meals and treats from breakfast until dessert.
If you’ve just about had it with your usual salad routine of lettuce and dressing, it’s time to dress up your greens with one hearty, satisfying addition: falafel. Made with bold spices and mashed chickpeas, falafel are golf-ball-size rounds that boast all the heft of meat in your salad, without the actual meat.
The summer cookout has been a carnivore’s arena since the dawn of conveniently packaged meat. But now, with fresh, seasonal produce like asparagus, zucchini and corn back in vogue — and not just for the healthy-eating set — it’s time to turn the traditional grilling practice on its head by demonstrating how beautifully spring and summer vegetables hold up over the coals. Next time you’re planning a cookout, try throwing one of these wholesome, meat-free dishes into the mix. The vegetarians will thank you, and even the most-stubborn meat eaters won’t be able to resist a few helpings of smoky grilled veg.
Perfect Veggie Burgers
You won’t miss the beef when you bite into these hearty vegetarian patties. Each one is packed with protein-rich walnuts, beans and barley, which combine to reproduce the meaty, wholesome bite you would expect from a traditional burger.
Ketchup fans, we feel you. There’s indeed a time and a place for that classic condiments. But this isn’t it — at least not right now. On this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast shared a duo of hot-dog makeovers just in time for summer, which is (hopefully) on its way. While Jeff Mauro opted for a tried-and-true hot-dog base and dressed-up toppings, Geoffrey Zakarian went so far as to swap out the traditional dog in favor of a hearty Polish kielbasa. Read on below to see how they do it.