Amazing Menu

Chef Daria's Amazing Menu – Burgers

This week, we’ll look at regular beef burgers, other meat burgers like turkey and lamb, and veggie burgers. No dessert burgers, though.
As The Amazing Race – Three Families I Sorta Like and Some Crazies Edition heads into cattle country, what better focus for the food report than burgers? (Yes, there are recipes for veggie burgers, vegetarians – when have I ever failed to take care of you? Or at least tried to?) As the descendant of a Wyoming cowboy, the topic is near and dear to my heart. Or my DNA. This week, we’ll look at regular beef burgers, other meat burgers like turkey and lamb, and veggie burgers. No dessert burgers, though.

First, however, we have to discuss Ninja burgers. Because the managers/owners/whatever are Ninjas, they can’t really talk about what they do, though they think/know/hallucinate that they’re bigger than Mickey D’s. Here’s Ninja burger gear. If you feel you lack the proper clothing for cooking burgers, Ninja burger gear is an option, although in my opinion nothing beats the t-shirts from the TARflies store. Appropriately for TAR, Ninja burger franchises are located worldwide, and you should enter your zipcode to find out how many are near you. Not that they’ll tell you where they are. The burger recipe itself, like everything else having to do with Ninja burgers, is secret. And while the recipes presented don’t seem to reflect the menu, here are some attempts at recreating the Ninja burger – some with meat, and some veggie.

All Beef Burgers
I’m sparing you the really weird stuff, like burgers with blueberries in them.

Are you a loner? These yummy garlic and blue cheese burgers will make sure people avoid you, or at least your breath. If you prefer, onion burgers can accomplish the same thing.

Want more onions? Try beer burgers. (Yes, in keeping with the spirit of TAR8, I’ve lowered my standards. Why do you ask? Is it the dried onion soup in this recipe for beer burgers? Hey, that stuff is good!) The Elvis burger is named after an American icon, but I’m not sure how authentic it is. Maybe if the Race ever has Canadian racers, they’ll go to Cuba and have Cuban burgers. Or maybe not.

Where’s the Beef?
Do you want an alternative to beef for health reasons or because you just want a change? I’m including both types of recipes, but quite frankly, if you want a healthy meal, have a salad with some kind of protein tossed in, and let burgers be burgers. Like this salmon burger from a wellness site? Don’t make it unless you’ve got a thing for salmon and it sounds good to you. Is there a point to a chicken burger? This one sounds good, but in my opinion you could do just as well if not better by making a sauce and putting it over shredded chicken.

There are some good non-beef burgers, like turkey burgers with bacon. You can make tuna burgers, too, if you want to merge the burger concept with sushi spices. Into Greek food? Try these lamb burgers.

In honor of the Race being in the American west, we’ve include a recipe for caribou burgers, just in case you have some extra you need to cook real soon. Want more authenticity? Then make buffalo burgers.
The key to a good veggie burger, he learned, was this: it must be served hot. A tepid hamburger might still taste good; a tepid veggie burger is dreadful.
Veggie Burgers
When my SO was in Weight Watchers, he ate a lot of veggie burgers. The minor league baseball team we support sells delicious black bean burgers at its concession stands, for example. He is omnivorous, but the veggie burgers suited his weight-loss program better. The key to a good veggie burger, he learned, was this: it must be served hot. A tepid hamburger might still taste good; a tepid veggie burger is dreadful. So please keep this in mind when you make your own veggie burgers – make sure you and your guests are ready to eat them right away. They don’t take that much time to cook, so you do have some flexibility.

Here is a page full of veggie burger recipes that were supposedly in a contest. And there’s another site for various veggie burger and sandwich recipes.

More specifically, you can make black bean burgers, or tofu burgers, or veggie burgers with lots of vegetables and beans. Then again, lentil burgers look tasty. This recipe is supposedly for Consumer Reports’ veggie burgers. Would Consumer Reports rate this season of TAR as “not recommended”?

More
More? You want more? Okay, then. There’s ninja burgers, a place called cooks recipes, the Food Network, and Yahoo!. The always reliable recipesource, recipeland, Food Down Under, and allrecipes also have hundreds of burger recipes.

Next might not be next week, but it will be different – you’re all invited to dinner at my house! Bring your appetites and a bottle of red wine.