Aug 17, 2021
When summer rolls around, and the mercury starts to climb, it’s too hot to consider even turning on the oven. The answer to a fantastic dinner is burger night. Is there anything quicker and more manageable after a long summer day in the sun than firing up the grill and making a delicious hamburger?
Burger night is one that everyone will look forward to, and the beauty of it is that it’s easy to prepare, everyone can help, and you won’t spend half the night working in the kitchen. Sitting around the patio table with a cold drink and a burger fresh off the grill is what summer is all about.
While lean ground beef is an excellent choice for a burger, you can elevate things by using ground chuck instead. You can also ask the meat counter or butcher to grind up a steak for you.
Adding ground pork will give your hamburger a smooth texture, making it closer to a meatloaf or meatball taste. You could also try using Korean bulgogi beef for added zing. If you’re using non-ground meat for your burger, consider a “sloppy joe” approach and use a thick sauce to stabilize everything.
Ground turkey also makes for a delicious, healthy burger, or, if you’re not a meat lover, try out a plant-based burger. There are many plant-based options out there, with new ones appearing on the market all the time.
No time to mix up your own patties? No problem; hit up Co-op’s Meat Department and pick up some Spolumbos pre-made fresh burger patties. With new flavour profiles, these are a quick and easy way to get a flavourful new twist on burger night. This week, our Make It Tonight selections all centre around these fresh and tasty Spolumbos patties.
Ketchup, mustard, and relish are traditional favourites for burger night but don’t limit yourself. With a bit of extra thought, you can create some tasty and memorable burgers.
Burger Flavour Profiles
Fried onion rings add an extra crunch to your burger, and bring that sweet yet spicy onion taste to the meal, so take a look at our recipe for Pork and Beef Burgers with Onion Rings. They go great with a barbecue sauce. You can find pre-made onion rings sold by the bag in the Co-op freezer section or make your own. Smoked cheddar is an excellent choice to bring some layers of flavour to your burger and our recipe calls for a thick slice here. Try combining it with a relish or mayo to balance the smoky flavour. You can make it yourself on the grill with wood chips and a smoker box or pick it up from your favourite cheese shop or grocery store.
Whether Boston or Bibb, butter lettuce will bring a fresh, buttery texture to the meal and not overwhelm the other toppings. Your burger will taste light and summery and will go perfectly with fresh tomato and herbs.
Take your burger to the Greek Islands with a feta and spinach pairing. The Feta adds a tangy, cheesy salt with a bit of salt. Add a tzatziki sauce or garlic aioli to round out the flavour profile. Spinach and Feta go great with a turkey burger and don’t forget to add greek spices when making your burger.
People often argue about whether pineapple belongs on a pizza, but there’s little doubt when it comes to an exciting and unique burger. A slice of pineapple and a thick teriyaki sauce, with mayonnaise and lettuce, and you’ll be wondering why you haven’t done this before.
While we’re touring the burger world, let’s make a quick stop in Argentina for a favourite, Chorizo Burger with Chimichurri. It’s usually served on a bun that resembles a baguette, includes shredded cabbage rather than lettuce, and comes smothered in Chimichurri. This oil-based South American sauce features parsley, garlic, red chiles, herbs, olive oil, and vinegar.
Love spicy food? Our Classic Jalapeño Cheddar Burger is a surefire winner.
4 Spolumbo’s Pork & Beef Jalapeno Cheddar burgers
4 brioche buns
4 slices kraft cheddar cheese
8 leaves Founders & Farmers butter lettuce 1 tomato thinly sliced
2 dill pickled sliced ½ inch thick
4 tbsp ketchup
4 tbsp mayonnaise
Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Heavily season burgers with salt and pepper. Grill for 4-5 minutes a side until nicely browned and grill marks arise. Top burgers with cheddar cheese and let melt.
Toast buns on grill for 1 minute a side.
To assemble place mayo on bottom bun then add stack onions, pickles, burger patty, tomato and lettuce. Spread ketchup on bun lid and place on top to finish.
Consider trying out a ciabatta or even a pretzel bun for a change-up on a standard hamburger bun. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can use tortillas.
Lettuce wraps make for great burger buns when you’re trying to limit calories. Make sure to use an iceberg or other sturdy lettuce to avoid wearing your burger. Keep in mind that lettuce won’t absorb liquids like a bread bun does, so avoid heavy ketchup or mustard.
Portobello mushrooms make a fantastic bun substitute with deep umami flavours. A thick slice of zucchini will also do the job if you grill it up for added sturdiness.
If you’re after something truly different, take a large tomato, cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds and soft flesh. Place your burger and condiments inside, and serve your inside-out burger.
Nothing says summer like burger night, and for its ease of preparation, clean-up, and minimal effort to make it happen, there’s no better choice for a summer backyard get-together than burgers. However you want your burger, these recipes will help you Make It Tonight!
Written by Chef Chabot
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