Mushrooms and onions are two of those foods that seem like they were made for each other,Â kind of like ham and eggs or fish and chips. And when you combine them with burgers . . . well that’s another story.
That combination is one you might find at the Burgerbase recipe collection at the website of Sutter Home Winery (www.sutterhome), which each year sponsors the Build a Better Burger contest. The granddaddy of beef burger contests offers a grand prize of $100,000. (You also can enter an alternative burger for a chance at a $15,000 prize.) Entries for the contest are beingÂ accepted through Aug. 31. (For rules or to enter, go to www.sutterhome.com.)
To get you in the mood, here is a recipe thatâ€™s right up my alley. Itâ€™s a burger that is topped with both mushrooms and onions as well as cheese, another favorite of mine.
Porcini Mushroom Burgers
Â½ cup dried porcini mushrooms or favorite wild mushrooms
1Â½ pounds ground chuck (or mix of favorite ground meats)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Â½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Â½ teaspoon granulated garlic
4 thick onion slices
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Favorite sliced cheese (optional)
4 hamburger buns or favorite rolls
Lettuce or shredded lettuce
Remove the meat from the refrigerator; set aside.
Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl, and pour hot water over them to rehydrate. Let stand about 20 minutes. Once they are rehydrated, drain and squeeze out the excess water and roughly chop .
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
In a mixing bowl, gently combine the mushrooms, ground chuck, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and garlic. You can use other favorite seasonings.
Shape the mixture into desired-size patties of equal size and thickness; make them at least 1-inch thick. Make an indentation in the center of the patty about Â½-inch deep, which will help the burger keep its shape and not create a dome.
Oil the grill grates. Place the onion slices on a platter and brush oil on each side. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Place the patties on the grill, and put the onion slices alongside. Grill the patties about 4 minutes per side, depending on desired degree of doneness. Flip them once; they should easily release from the grill. Cook on the other side about 4 minutes more. Flip the onion slices when you flip the burgers; they should have some nice grill marks and be slightly soft.
At this time, you can put the buns on the grill to lightly grill. Just before the burgers are done, add a slice of cheese if you like and close the lid so the cheese melts.
Let the burger rest several minutes before serving. Place the burger on the grilled buns; top with grilled onions, lettuce and condiments of choice.
Yield: Serves 4 (generously).
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 523 calories, 44 percent of calories from fat, 26 grams fat (10 grams saturated), 32 grams carbohydrates, 39 grams protein, 784 milligrams sodium, 110 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams fiber.