Summer is here! The longest day of the year has recently passed and it’s time to get those grills fired up. I don’t have a grill at my apartment in California, so now that I’m home in NY it’s time for some serious grilling, because there’s nothing quite like an outdoor BBQ in the summertime: friends, family, fun, the fourth (of July) and fabulous food (from fire and flames).
The one dish that reminds me most of summer is raspberry brownie. Anyone that’s been to my house on July 4th knows what it is and has never forgotten it. I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason everyone comes back to our party every year. I won’t taunt you any further with it, because I’ll be posting the (unbelievably simple) recipe the week before the Fourth. Other than the aforementioned delectable dessert, cheeseburgers are my second favorite summer food. And here’s a great way to jumpstart your summer, some flavored hamburgers.
I’ve been making these ever since I got a burger cookbook a few years back. The book has some great recipes in it, but I’ve only made this one – once you taste them, you’ll see why. I usually make them with beef but decided to try pork this time and was pleasantly surprised. If you can’t find lean ground pork, ask the butcher to grind up a pork tenderloin for you, it’s the same thing. The tenderloin is the most tender part of the animal and makes these burgers melt in your mouth.
I always think I have the quantities memorized but I’m always way off from the original recipe. The way I make it has a lot more spinach, cheddar and seasoning which I think makes for a tastier burger anyway. Now I think it goes something like this…
20 oz (1.25 lb) lean ground pork, beef or soy-based “beef”
1 cup shredded nonfat cheddar cheese
1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 packet dry onion soup mix
Quite simple, really. Mix the ingredients together very well, form into 6 or 7 patties and grill or broil until well done. The cheese crisps up very nice and adds a great texture to the burger. I usually dress the burger up with a slice of cheese, shredded cabbage (far superior to lettuce in my opinion) and ketchup.
When I don’t have grill access, I’ll cook it in a pan on medium heat. It takes a little longer too cook all the way through, but it comes out super crispy.
I’ve never actually tried it with a soy-based “beef” like GimmeLean, although I’ve been meaning to. If anyone gives it a whirl, let me know. I think the lean pork is more tender than lean beef and still has a great flavor, and the onion soup mix adds a wonderfully intense flavor.