Hamburger with caramelized onions

Quick and easy gourmet burgers

Why settle for unoriginal burgers on the grill when you can add a few boldly flavored ingredients and wow your summer cookout guests with a gourmet grilled burger?

Here we show you how the usual 4th of July beef burger recipe gets some quick and easy updates, featuring unusual ingredients you mix right into the meat, artisan cheese, tongue-tantalizing toppings, and homemade sauces.

Chipotle burger with caramelized red onions

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce give these burgers a distinctive warm and smoky flavor that deliciously counters the sweet red onions. I love using chipotle when making turkey burgers to give the mildly flavored poultry a bolder taste.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2-1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • 4 chipotle peppers with adobo sauce from a can, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • 8 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 whole grain hamburger buns, toasted
  • Mayonnaise or other condiments of your choice

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Drizzle with vinegar and stir to combine. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine beef or turkey, chipotle, cilantro, garlic, lime zest, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix well. Form beef into eight patties.
  4. Oil the grill grate and grill burgers for five minutes, flip, and grill for another four minutes. Lay slices of cheese over burgers and cook for another one to two minutes or until burgers are cooked through.
  5. Slather buns with mayonnaise and/or other condiments. Place burgers on the bottoms of the buns and top with caramelized onions.

Blue-cheese stuffed burgers on ciabatta rolls

Blue cheese lends a gourmet touch to the usual burger. If you aren't a fan of blue cheese, substitute crumbled feta.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
  • 8 ciabatta rolls, split, toasted
  • Honey mustard dressing
  • Tomato slices
  • Spinach leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, salt, and pepper and use your fingers to combine.
  3. Divide beef into eight portions. Flatten each portion into a thick patty and press an indentation in the top of each.
  4. Place two tablespoons of blue cheese in each indentation then use your hands to close the patty around the cheese, sealing it in, making a ball. Press each ball into a patty.
  5. Grease the grill grate and grill burgers for five to six minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  6. Spread or brush ciabatta rolls with honey mustard dressing. Place burgers on the bottom halves of the rolls and top with tomato slices and spinach leaves.

Curry burgers with peanut sauce

Inspired by an upcoming cookbook aptly named The Burger (Love Food, August 2012), these curry burgers are a delectable addition to your 4th of July party as well as other summer cookouts. I used ground chicken as the original recipe suggests, but ground turkey, beef, or even pork will take well to the Asian ingredients.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

For the burgers:

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 fresh serrano chili, chopped
  • 2-1/2 pounds fresh ground chicken
  • 8 French rolls, halved
  • Pickled onions, thinly sliced

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons hot water, plus extra if needed
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 fresh serrano chili, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, curry, garlic and chili. Set aside.
  3. Add chicken and mix well with your hands. Divide the mixture into eight portions and press into patties.
  4. To make the sauce, put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add more water to adjust consistency if necessary.
  5. Oil the grill grate and grill patties for five minutes on each side or until burgers are cooked through.
  6. Spread both halves of the rolls with the peanut sauce and top with patties and pickled onions.

More 4th of July recipes

Low-carb 4th of July recipes on the grill
Sunny Anderson's patriotic recipes
Independence Day dessert recipes

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