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Bold burger recipes

By Jim Romanoff
For The Associated Press
The tangy, homemade pickled onion rings are great with the pungent Gorgonzola or Stilton cheese on this boldly flavored burger. If you like, an extra-sharp cheddar makes a good stand-in for blue cheese. Serve with steak fries and fresh tomato and cucumber salad.Blue Cheeseburger with Fried Pickled Onions
Start to finish: 1 hour
Servings: 4
For the onions:
1 1/2 C. white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 bay leaves
2 C. water
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced into rings
1/2 C. Wondra flour (also called instant flour)
1 tsp. ground dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. vegetable oil
For the burgers:
1 1/2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Vegetable oil
Salt, to taste
1/2 C. crumbled Stilton or Gorgonzola blue cheese
4 seeded hamburger buns
To prepare the french fried onions, in a medium saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in second medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the onions and blanch for 1 minute. Transfer to a colander to drain, then add the onions to the vinegar mixture and simmer for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and let cool in the pickling liquid for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the Wondra flour, dry mustard and salt.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high.
In small batches, shake the onions to remove excess liquid and dredge them through the flour mixture so they are completely coated. Fry the onions in the hot oil, turning them once, until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the onions from burning. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
To prepare the burgers, heat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal fire.
In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly mix the ground beef and pepper. Shape into 4 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick.
To oil the grill grates, coat a folded paper towel with oil, hold it with tongs and rub it over the grates.
Grill the burgers, with the grill covered, until well browned on the underside, 4 to 5 minutes. With a metal spatula, carefully flip the burgers. Grill for another 3 minutes.
Top each burger with blue cheese crumbles. Grill 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the burger registers 160 degrees at the thickest part.
Meanwhile, toast the buns at the edge of the grill. Season the burgers with salt, top with the onions and serve the on the toasted buns.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 743 calories; 320 calories from fat; 36 g fat (14 g saturated; 2 g trans fats); 125 mg cholesterol; 65 g carbohydrate; 43 g protein; 3 g fiber; 906 mg sodium.This burger, created by Bobby Flay, is topped with chimichurri sauce, a zesty sauce of parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil that is used to garnish grilled meats in Argentina. Slices of red onion and slightly salty Spanish manchego cheese give the burger a strong, savory finish.Argentine Burger
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
Servings: 4
For the chimichurri sauce:
2 C. packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. smoked sweet Spanish paprika
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
For the burgers:
1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
4 slices manchego cheese (4 to 6 ounces)
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
1/2 medium red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
To make the chimichurri, in a food processor, combine the parsley, oregano and garlic. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add the paprika, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. The sauce can be made 8 hours in advance, tightly covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Heat a gas grill to high or burn coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
Divide the meat into 4 portions. Form each portion into a 3/4-inch patty and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
Brush the burgers with the oil. Grill the burgers, with the grill covered, until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes more for medium rare, or until cooked to desired doneness.
Add the cheese to the tops of the burgers during the last minute of cooking. Serve immediately, on the buns topped with a large dollop of the chimichurri sauce and sliced onions.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 869 calories; 575 calories from fat; 64 g fat (21 g saturated; 2 g trans fats); 145 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 41 g protein; 3 g fiber; 1,307 mg sodium.(Recipe from “Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries and Shakes,” by Bobby Flay, 2009, Clarkson Potter)
Using garlic butter to baste the burgers as you grill them and the buns before you toast them is a simple way to improve upon the classic burger. If you like, add fresh herbs or Worcestershire sauce to the butter to boost the flavor even more. This recipe is also from Flay.Garlic Butter Burger
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
Servings: 4
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 cloves garlic
1/2 small shallot, chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck
4 hamburger buns, split
1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
In a food processor, combine the butter, garlic, shallot and parsley. Process until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the butter mixture to a bowl, then cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. The butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before using.
Heat a gas grill to high or burn coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
Divide the meat into 4 portions. Loosely form each portion into a 3/4-inch patty and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
Brush the cut sides of each bun with about 1/2 tablespoon of the butter.
Brush the burgers with the oil. Grill the burgers, brushing them every 30 seconds with the remaining garlic butter, until golden brown and slightly charred on the bottoms, about 3 minutes.
Flip the burgers and cook until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, about 4 minutes more for medium rare, or until cooked to desired doneness. Meanwhile, toast the buns. When the burgers are done, serve immediately on the buns.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 760 calories; 521 calories from fat; 58 g fat (25 g saturated; 3 g trans fats); 165 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrate; 34 g protein; 1 g fiber; 563 mg sodium.

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