Burger Night!

One of the best parts of a three day weekend that includes a Monday is that Wednesday feels like Tuesday, but it’s really already Wednesday, which means Thursday is the next day, and Friday is so soon!  Did that make sense?  I haven’t had my coffee yet.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, or weekend for those of you outside of the US.  I was lucky enough to spend it with some of my favorite people.  And as always, a big thank you to the people in the Armed Forces who make Memorial Day possible.

How are you guys doing?  How was your weekend?  Any special three-day weekend events?

Last night was burger night, and I wanted to jazz it up.  I’m sneaky like that.  It’s too simple to call a recipe, but I wanted to share it anyway.  I used portobello mushrooms and avocado to really bulk up the burgers without extra meat, and made oven fries for a healthier twist on a comfort food favorite.  So, kind of classic American for Memorial Day, perhaps with a worldly twist.  Sounds good, right?  So yummy.  I can’t wait to share it, so here it is.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ground meat (I like 90% lean, especially with the toppings I planned.  Count on 6 to 7 ounces a person)

Avocados (1/2 avocado per person is perfect, so 2 avocados for 4 people)

Portobello mushrooms (1 per burger)

Sweet potatoes!!  Regular potatoes work too.  (The !! are because they were so yummy.  At least 1 good sized potato per person, because they shrink a bit.  I used 3 large potatoes, and one squidgy one that had been hanging around my vegetable drawer for weeks.)

Whole wheat sandwich thins.  (Buns are fine too, but these burgers are so heavy, you won’t miss the extra bread.)

Tomato for slicing.

Olive oil, for brushing on the potatoes and mushrooms.

Sugar and salt, for coating the potatoes.


Preheat your oven and grill.  450°F for the oven, and medium is good for the grill.

Wash and scrub your potatoes.  I left the skins on for texture and because they’re so healthy that way.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  {I needed two cookie sheets for four potatoes.}

Cut your potatoes into fry-sized strips about 1/2 inch wide.

Prepare your potatoes: toss them in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon sugar was good for my three and a half potatoes (the problem with using a leftover squidgy potato is having to cut out all the icky black parts, which ends up being effectively half the potato).  {The sugar is supposed to help the potatoes crisp up in the oven.}  Arrange them in a single layer on the cookie sheets, and sprinkle generously with sea salt.  Bake at 450°F for about 30 minutes, until they crisp up.  Depending on your oven, you may have to rotate them, and/or stir so they don’t get too crispy.  These oven fries are best served right out of the oven, but I can attest that they’re still pretty stinkin’ yummy if you don’t quite time cooking right, and end up eating them an hour later than planned.  Because sometimes, it just happens that way.  And that’s alright too.

Once you have your fries crisping up in the oven, you can deal with the mushrooms.  Pull any stems off, and wipe the dirt off the caps with a damp cloth or paper towel.  Don’t run mushrooms under water – that will just make them gummy and gross.  Once they’re clean, brush with olive oil and grill on medium heat until they look done.  I forgot to time the shrooms for you guys, but it didn’t take long, and cooking time is dependent on how hot you have your heat anyway.  Let’s say somewhere between ten and twenty minutes, including a flip of the mushrooms at some point so both sides get evenly done.  If you’re also cooking up the stems, brush them with oil and grill them along with the caps.

While the mushrooms are cooking, shape your burgers – I like to use one of those plastic burger makers where you put them in the bottom and then smush them down, a scale so you know that the burgers are all about the same size.  These were between 6 and 7 ounces.

Take the mushrooms off the grill and put them off to the side.  Raise the heat to medium high.

Cook your burgers.  I like my burgers super rare, so two minutes a side is perfect for me, but if you like your burgers slightly less mooing, adding a minute or so on each end would probably not hurt.  If you want cheese on your burger, make sure to add it in the last minute of cooking, so it has time to get nice and melt-y.

While the burgers are grilling, slice your avocados.  Prepare your plates for the meat.  Open up the buns and have them ready.  When the burgers are done, top with mushrooms, avocado, and tomato.  Make a ketchup smiley face on your bun (mine came out a little more Hannibal than Happy, but oh well), and enjoy 🙂















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