Cathie Campbell

Don’t put the grill away yet

Invite some hungry friends over and grill a platter full of burgers.
Invite some hungry friends over and grill a platter full of burgers. Wikimedia Commons

Summer time is getting closer to the finish line, but there is still time, at least weather wise, to get outdoors and use that trusty barbecue grill. Most students are back in school, and many families have already had their camping vacations.

The way I see it, though, is that it’s always time to enjoy some good food. There are so many things we can grill these days, but hamburgers seem to have no trouble remaining one of the most popular with people of all ages. And we do not need vacations or holidays in order to sink our choppers into a delicious burger, right? I hope you enjoy one or more of the recipes presented this week.

Portabella burgers

Portabella, portobello, doesn’t matter in this recipe. These aren’t grilled, but can still be served outdoors for those who do not want meat.

2 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed, gills removed

2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and divided

1 cup minced broccoli (fresh only)

 1/2 cup red onion, minced

3 extra-large eggs, beaten

 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons panko crumbs (use gluten free if you like)

1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (there is a version that is anchovy free)

2 tablespoons minced garlic

 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Extra-virgin olive oil

1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of black beans and mash with a masher (chunks are fine). Add in the mushrooms, remaining black beans, broccoli, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce and steak seasoning. Mix until well blended but do not over mix. Gently mix in the eggs, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Set mixture aside.

2. Place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer (about a minute or two), using dampened hands (the mixture will stick to you if you don’t), scoop a  1/2 cup of mixture into the palm of your hand and gently shape into a burger all the while pressing together. The mixture should hold a burger shape. If it doesn’t add just a tablespoon more of bread crumbs.

3. Place in the oil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side. Serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce, Makes 8 to 10 burgers.

Great grilled burgers

I sort of cheat and use my favorite bottled barbecue sauce.

For sauce:

1 cup ketchup

 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

 1/3 cup sugar

 1/4 cup honey

 1/4 cup molasses

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1  1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For hamburgers:

1 large egg, lightly beaten

 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats

 1/4 teaspoon onion salt

 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 1/8 teaspoon salt

1  1/2 pounds ground beef

6 hamburger buns, split

Toppings of your choice

1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Set aside 1 cup barbecue sauce to serve with burgers.

2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, oats,  1/4 cup of the remaining barbecue sauce, onion salt, garlic salt, pepper and salt. Crumble ground beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into six patties.

3. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees, basting with  1/2 cup barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes. Serve on buns with toppings of your choice and reserved barbecue sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Grilled turkey burgers

1  1/2 pounds ground turkey (white meat, dark meat, or a mixture)

 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1  1/2 to 3 teaspoons of hot sauce such as Tabasco

2 green onions, minced, white and green parts

4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted

Sweet pickle slices

1 tomato, cored and sliced

Coleslaw, for serving on burgers

1. Prepare the grill for direct high heat. You can also cook the burgers on the stove-top on a griddle or cast iron frying pan.

2. In a large bowl, gently combine the turkey meat, breadcrumbs, chives, basil, green onions, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, salt and pepper. Work the mixture with your hands until it is just mixed. Don’t over mix or your burgers will end up tough. Form the mixture into 4 patties, about 1 inch thick.

3. Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper. Grill them for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature of the patties reach 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

4. Toward the end of the cooking, put the buns on the grill to toast for about a minute. Remove the burgers from the grill to a platter, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

5. Assemble the burgers by placing each burger on a bottom bun, and stacking a tomato slice, some pickles, and a bit of coleslaw on top, and then topping with the top bun. Makes 4 servings.

Tropical salmon burgers

You will need a small amount of olive oil for the pineapple and avocado.

For the salmon:

1 pound salmon, skin removed

3 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning (jerk, Cajun, etc.)


2 slices fresh pineapple

1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

Butter lettuce

2 hamburger buns, lightly toasted

For cilantro-lime mayonnaise:

4 tablespoons lime juice

2 garlic cloves

 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup cilantro

1 cup mayonnaise

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. For cilantro-lime mayonnaise: In a food processor blend all ingredients except mayonnaise until finely minced. Stir in mayonnaise and refrigerate while preparing other items.

2. For the salmon: Season salmon with your choice of spices on both sides. Brush pineapple and avocado lightly with olive oil. Grill salmon for 10 to 12 minutes or until it is fully cooked. While salmon is grilling, also grill the pineapple and avocado. The avocado will be done in about 5 to 7 minutes; keep a close eye on the slices.

3. To assemble: Spread cilantro-lime mayonnaise on both sides of the toasted burger buns. Place toppings in the following order: Lettuce, avocado, salmon, pineapple, jalapeno. Makes 2 servings, but can be increased as needed.