If you’re looking for a lamb burger unlike any other this grilling season, with a simplicity that is approachable for any home cook with a gourmet look and with flavor that will keep folks coming back for more, then look no further. Chef and butcher Adam Sappington of The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar in Portland, Ore., is showing FN Dish readers how to spice up their burger recipes with different meats and out-of-the-ordinary toppings, like jam.
Try lamb: Making sure that lamb is the star of this burger, Adam seasons the patty using only salt and pepper. Once grilled to perfection thanks to his step-by-step instructions below, the patty is laid on a buttered bun piled high with creamy Havarti cheese, peppery arugula and Adam’s showstopping Smoked Tomato and Mint Jam — lamb and mint, a match made in heaven. The best part of this jam, besides the flavor, of course, is how home cook-friendly it is. It starts with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, then all of the ingredients, ginger, paprika, brown and white sugar, salt and pepper, are added to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cooked to the desired consistency. Once everything is cooked, fresh mint is folded in; the jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Get the recipe
When it comes to building the ultimate hamburger, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is doing things a little differently. Forget about everything you know to be true about barbecuing, seasoning and flipping the meat. Chef Zakarian is introducing an all-new method that will wow you with its simplicity and tried-and-true results, so much so that you won’t be tempted to return to the dry, flavorless patties of burgers past. Chatting with fans at a recent event at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, he demonstrated his flawless technique and shared can’t-miss tips that are easy enough for the home cook to master — and you don’t even have to wait until grilling season to try them.
10. Cook hamburgers on a cast-iron skillet indoors, instead of on an outdoor grill.
9. Opt for corn-fed ground meat that features about 25 percent to 30 percent fat.
8. The ideal blend of freshly ground meat includes equal parts chuck, rib eye and either flank steak or brisket.
7. Let meat come to room temperature before you cook with it.
6. Preheat the skillet until it’s screaming hot — only then should the meat be added.
Get Chef Zakarian’s top 5 tips
- Choose a specific cut. Meat with generic labels like “ground beef” or “hamburger” can come from any part of the cow or from trimmings, so they can be inconsistent in flavor and texture. Ground meat labeled “chuck,” “sirloin” or another cut must contain at least 50 percent meat from that cut; it’s usually higher quality. If possible, go for organic, grass-fed beef; we love the flavor.
- Check the color. Don’t worry if packaged ground beef is bright red in some areas and brown or purplish in others. This is a harmless reaction of the meat’s surface to the air. However, if all of the meat in a package is gray, check the date — it may be past its prime.
Skip the preformed patties and more
Last year, we polled FN Dish readers: Burgers or hot dogs for Memorial Day weekend? While 44 percent said they would be indulging in both, 35 percent said they were all about the burger. To ensure you cook up tender and juicy burgers this upcoming long weekend, we asked the “Magician of Meat” Pat LaFrieda, Jr. to offer up some tips.
5 Things to Avoid Doing to Your Burger
• Never place your burger on a grill that is not preheated. Always make sure your grill is hot enough and ready to cook on before placing the burger down. Too often people turn on the grill and immediately place the meat down to start cooking — and the end result is never pretty. If the grill is preheated to the right temperature, you’ll notice the difference.
Don’t do these four things to your burger
Food Republic: Congratulations to Ted Allen for winning his second James Beard Award last weekend. The Chopped host talks about his inspiration from competition judges and reveals his favorite food pairings.
Washington Post: Nearing Julia Child’s 100th birthday, we remember how the beloved French Chef revolutionized home cooking, especially for women.
Travel + Leisure: Have a passion for burgers? See if your town made the cut for America’s Best Burger Cities 2012.
Slate: We all know kale is good for you, but how about an all-kale diet?
The Daily Meal: Girl Scout candy bars are real. Flavors include Thin Mint, Caramel and Coconut and Peanut Butter Créme.
“Burger Bash is where it’s at,” Michael Symon said as we started our interview. It’s arguably the most sought after-ticket at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, drawing in crowds by the hundreds. Food writers, bloggers and burger enthusiasts travel from far and wide to watch their favorite chefs vie for the title of Best Burger. (And eat them, of course.)
Last year, event sponsors Allen Brothers provided each of the 26 vendors with meat; this year, they increased that number to 32 — that’s right, 32 burgers (see the full list here).
There are three awards to be had for the night: People’s Choice, Judges’ Favorite and the Heinz Best-Dressed Burger Award. While they are all coveted, there is one in particular that each chef has their eye on: The People’s Choice — the award where the guests get to choose their favorite. How do they vote? As you enter the tent, everyone receives one token. Next to each of the chefs’ booths is a box. Once you pick a favorite burger, you drop your token into the box.
Find out who won
So who won Food Network’s 6th Annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash? Well, that depends on the category:
The People’s Choice Award: Michael Symon (B Spot)
The Porky Burger: A pork and bacon burger topped with pulled pork and slaw.
Judges’ Favorite: Brendan B. Connor (Whisk)
Crispy Shallot, Bacon and Swiss Burger: A sirloin patty with melted Swiss cheese, buttermilk-marinated crispy shallots, pecan-wood smoked bacon, tangy horseradish sauce, ripe Florida tomatoes and watercress on a toasted onion bun.
Heinz Best-Dressed Burger Award: Guy Fieri (Guy’s Burger Joint)
Straight‐Up With a Pig Patty: A ground chuck and bacon patty with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle with a liberal slathering of donkey sauce.
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds — boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that will cook up in 30 minutes or less. So fire up the grill this weekend and make it a family affair.
Main Dish: Bobby’s L.A. Burger (pictured above)
Side Dish: Smokey Corn On the Cob
Dessert: Grilled Banana Splits
Drink: Peach-Ginger Iced Tea (in honor of National Iced Tea Month)
Planning on making one of these dishes? Snap a photo and post it on Food Network’s Facebook wall.
Move over ketchup, mustard and pickles — your burger is taking a trip to the Southwest and it’s coming back with a makeover. Juicy burgers are grilled to perfection and topped off with a corn salsa mixed with bell peppers, lemon juice and olive oil and a chipotle-spiked mayo that adds an unmistakable sweet and smoky burst of flavor.
Get the recipe: Chipotle Corn Burger
Get more of Food Network’s burger recipes from Grilling Central.
- People’s Champ Bobby Flay’s Winning Burger, Photograph by Thomas Censani
This year’s New York City Wine and Food Festival’s burger battle was a massive face-off featuring over 20 chefs in an old warehouse in Brooklyn, with Bobby Flay’s nacho-style burger taking the people’s choice award. (If you’re inspired, browse our collection of Bobby’s best burger recipes.)
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