It’s not necessarily a tailgating party that has you hovering over the barbecue grill. Just as often, maybe even more often, the occasion is an after-the-game gathering, or the drooling-to-be-fed game-day TV watchers at your place.
Any or all of the above likely being the case on various weekends right now, does that mean burgers again?
Well, I don’t see why not. After all, the last time we did burgers (Camano Island cook Susan Bender’s cheeseburgers in paradise in the Aug. 30 Forum column), readers really got all, uh, fired up about them. In fact, Carolyn Kriegel of Stanwood even took the time to whip off a quick note, telling us, “I just made the cheeseburgers in paradise. That’s the longest list of ingredients I’ve ever seen, but I actually had all the stuff.
“I wasn’t too impressed with the ambrosia sauce and substituted Brianna’s chipotle cheddar dressing and topped the burgers with smoked cheddar. We’re cutting high glycemic carbs, so I left off the buns, giving me the best stuffed burgers ever! Excellent dinner with great flavor you could taste a half-hour later! Hope they freeze well – I made a bunch for quick-fix dinners.”
Like Susan’s recipe, today’s offerings are definitely not your ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum hamburgers. Hardly. These here are meal-on-a-bun (or bread) happenings.
Take the ranch burgers. They’re double-dosed with ranch dressing mix (part mixed with avocado for a funky guacamole-like sauce), then zapped with red onion, barbecue sauce and smoked cheddar cheese.
Pepper jack cheese and roasted chiles spark the bronco burgers, and a snort of chipotle honey sauce takes them to the finish line. (Incidentally, this creation took Kim Frantz of Denver to the second-place finalist spot in the 2005 National Honey Board’s Honey of a Barbecue Contest.)
Enough said. I say we try:
1packet (1 ounce) ranch dip mix, divided
1pound lean ground beef
1/3cup minced red onion
1/4cup barbecue sauce
3/4cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese
4slices sourdough bread
1Hass avocado, peeled, seeded and mashed
4romaine lettuce leaves
Place 1/4 of the dry ranch mix in a small bowl; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining ranch mix, ground beef, onion and barbecue sauce; mix well. Form meat mixture into 4 large flat patties (to fit the bread) and grill over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Top each burger with about 3 tablespoons shredded cheese while still warm. Grill bread slices until lightly toasted. Add mashed avocado to remaining dry ranch mix and mix well.
To assemble, top each bread slice with a lettuce leaf, 2 tomato slices and a burger patty. Add a heaping spoonful of seasoned avocado. Makes 4 servings.
1pound ground beef or ground buffalo
1teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
4roasted Anaheim chiles, fresh or canned
4slices pepper jack cheese
Chipotle honey sauce (recipe follows)
4slices red onion
To prepare burgers, divide meat into 4 equal portions and shape into patties. Combine salt, pepper and Creole or Cajun seasoning; sprinkle evenly over patties and grill until nearly cooked to desired level. Top each patty with a chile, followed by a slice of cheese. Cover grill and cook burgers until cheese melts and burgers are cooked to desired level.
Spread the chipotle honey sauce evenly on each of the 4 buns. Serve patties on buns and garnish with lettuce, tomato and onion. Makes 4 servings.
Combine 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (sliced), 1/3 cup honey, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons ketchup and 1 tablespoon yellow mustard.
The next Forum will appear in Friday’s Time Out section.