Triple Smoke Burger

Memorial Day is just around the corner. The unofficial kickoff to summer is the day when a lot of people break out their grill for the first time. And you can bet that there will be a lot of burgers on those backyard menus.

I’ve been grilling outdoors for a couple of months with the early spring and mild weather we’ve had. We’ve eaten everything from pheasant to elk to salmon. And yes, burgers.

I’m always looking for new burger recipes, so that’s why my eyes lit up after coming across an email from the folks at epicurious.com. The Internet missive said to keep Editor-in-Chief Tanya Steel on your radar because she has “top recipes, tips and tricks for flame-kissed fare and light, summery bits that will dazzle your palate” at the website.

Included are an all-grill menu for effortless summer entertaining, an entire menu of recipes, drink ideas and a step-by-step timeline for the perfect grill session. And there’s my favorite, top 21 burger recipes.

The burger recipes aren’t just for meat lovers, either. They include beef, turkey, cheese, veggie, and more. Here’s one that caught my eye.

Triple Smoke Burger
½ cup mayonnaise
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced chipotle in adobo, including some sauce, divided
8 bacon slices
1½ pounds ground beef chuck (not lean)
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 large red onion, cut into 4 ½ -inch thick rounds, each stuck with a wooden pick to keep it together
1 firm-ripe avocado, quartered lengthwise, peeled, and cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch thick slices
Olive oil for brushing on onion and avocado
4 hamburger buns, grilled or toasted
Lettuce, cilantro sprigs (optional)
In a food processor or blender, purée mayonnaise, mustard, and 1 tablespoon chipotle; transfer to a bowl.
Cook bacon in batches in a skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain.
Gently mix beef with 1 tablespoon chipotle, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt until combined. Form into 4 (4-inch) patties.
Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium heat for gas).
Meanwhile, brush both sides of onion rounds and avocado slices with olive oil.
Oil grill rack then grill onion rounds, turning over once, until slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes total. Discard wooden picks.
Grill avocado slices, turning once, until grill marks appear, about 30 seconds on each side.
Grill patties, covered only if using a gas grill, until they reach 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 5 to 6 minutes on each side.
Put sauce on buns and make burgers with lettuce, avocado, bacon, onion, and cilantro.
Yield: Serves 4.

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