What could be more American than gathering around the grill for a delightful barbecued hamburger? Hamburgers can be anything from plain to fancy, grilled or fried, stuffed or not, but however you create them, hamburgers are perfect weekend family fare! Here are a few burger making tips from "Burger Me!"

1.  Purchase the best natural ground beef possible.

2. If you have a meat grinder then by all means take it out of the storage closet. Use a mix of sirloin and chuck. If you don't have one then be sure to purchase high-quality ground meat from the type of place where the butchers actually grind the meat on the premises and know which cuts are used.

3. Use meat that has about 15-20% fat (that's 80-85% lean on the label). Fat equals flavor in a burger. It also prevents the meat from drying out on the grill. If you want a leaner meal, then you probably shouldn't be eating a hamburger.

4. Don't include extraneous ingredients. Avoid eggs, bread crumbs and anything else that will detract from the beef flavor. These ingredients are for meatloaf, which is a fine dish but isn't a burger.

5. Keep the seasonings simple so the taste of the beef shines through. I use only salt, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce and a little onion or shallot. You can also add some chopped herbs, Dijon mustard or onion powder. And if your meat seems a little dry, add in about 1 Tbsp heavy cream for a pound of meat to add richness.

6.  Don't over handle the meat as doing so toughens the burger. The meat doesn't need to be compressed into a patty for it to hold together.

7. Shape thin patties. When you cook meat, it contracts in on itself, so thickly-shaped burgers end up resembling meatballs. It's better to include two thin patties on your sandwich then one chunky burger that is unevenly cooked. You should also make your burgers a little wider than your bun as the patty will shrink in size when you cook it.

8. Press a little dimple into the center of the burger to keep it from bulging out when you cook it. As mentioned earlier, meat shrinks when it cooks and so the center has a tendency to swell in the middle. Indenting will counteract this.

9. Grill with the cover on at medium-high heat. Do not overcook. We usually barbecue our burgers for about three minutes per side for medium-rare meat and four to five minutes per side for burgers that are cooked through for the kids.

10. Don't press on your burgers while grilling them. I really can't stress this enough. If you press on your patties with a spatula you are pushing all the juices out and you're going to end up with dry burgers.

Turkey Chili

Ingredients: Onions diced, diced green chile, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, chile sauce, water, ground turkey, onion powder, chile powder and salt and pepper.

Steps:

1. On a flat top griddle brown 5lbs ground all natural turkey. 

2. Lightly caramelize 2lbs yellow onions and add to ground turkey mix. 

3. In a stockpot combine cooked turkey and onions with water.  

4. Add 3 types of beans, green chilies, chili sauce, onion powder, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Let simmer for 2 hours.

Sriracha Ccole Slaw

Ingredients: Red cabbage, wasabi mayo, Sriracha sauce and teriyaki sauce.

Steps:

1. Shred 2 red cabbage 

2. Add 1 cup wasabi mayo  

3. Add 1 cup of teriyaki sauce

4. Add Siracha sauce to taste    

5. Mix together

Lamb burger

Ingredients: Ground all natural Colorado lamb, Tzaziki sauce, feta cheese, red onion, mixed baby greens, tomato

Steps:

1. Toast bun

2.Cook lamb to desired temperature

3. Add feta cheese

4. Spread tzaziki sauce to top bun

5. Add mixed greens

6. Add onions, tomatoes

 

 

 

Tzaziki sauce:

1. Drain 2 pounds of plain yogurt with coffee filter

2. Dice 1 cucumber into small pieces

3. Dice 6 cloves of garlic into small pieces

4. Cut 1 bunch fresh mint

5. Add two table spoons of extra virgin olive oil

6. Add salt and pepper to taste