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A Better Burger Bash

There’s nothing better than getting a group of friends together to grill up a bunch of burgers. Here are a few ideas to spark your inner chef. Get creative with a typical ground sirloin burger by using unusual ingredients and flavors. Or you can change it up with turkey burgers or crab cake burgers. Add a few easy-to-assemble or store-bought side dishes, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for your next get-together.

Stuffed Pesto Turkey Bacon Burgers
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
PREP: 10 MIN., GRILL: 12 MIN.

1 lb. lean ground white-meat turkey
¼ cup bottled basil pesto sauce (or choose your favorite)
4 oz. feta cheese
a dash (or more) of hot sauce like Tabasco™
12 precooked bacon slices
4 toasted Italian rolls
Shredded spinach leaves
Tomato slices
  1. Make 8 thin turkey burger patties.
  2. Combine next 3 ingredients in a large bowl until just blended.
  3. Spread cheese and pesto mixture on 4 of the turkey burger patties
  4. Top each with a remaining turkey burger patty and press edges together to seal in stuffing
  5. Wrap pre-cooked bacon slices in a single layer tin foil
  6. Grill turkey burgers and foil-wrapped bacon on a covered grill over medium-high heat (350° to 400°). Grill for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done.
  7. Place turkey burgers on Italian roll and top evenly with spinach, tomato, and bacon slices, and cover with roll tops.
Make it a meal with easy side dishes and dessert:
  • Greek Salad
    Pre-packaged spinach salad topped with black olives, crumbled feta, chopped red onion, pine nuts, and dressed with bottled Greek dressing
  • Balsamic Berries
    Wash and top a pint of strawberries. Marinate them in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in refrigerator 1 – 4 hours. Serve with ready-made whipped cream topping; over vanilla ice cream; or in the traditional style with sour cream.

Black and Blue Burgers
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
PREP 10 MIN., GRILL: 12 MIN.

1 1⁄2 lb. ground sirloin
2 Tbsp. stone ground mustard
1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasonings
4 oz. blue or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
4 Tbsp. (or to taste) ground peppercorn mix - preferably black, green and pink, though black peppercorns will do
Toppings: romaine lettuce, tomato slices
  1. Combine ground sirloin, mustard, blue cheese, and Italian seasonings; shape into 4 patties.
  2. Press burgers in peppercorns to coat
  3. Grill on a covered grill over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until no longer pink in center.
  4. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato.
Make it a meal with easy side dishes and dessert:
  • Blue cheese potato chips
    Spread a bag of thick cut kettle style salt-and-vinegar potato chips on a piece of stick-resistant tin foil and top with crumbled blue cheese to taste. Heat on the grill until blue cheese bubbles. Add chopped garlic for a pungent twist.
  • Watermelon with a squeeze of lime.
    For an adults-only treat, drizzle with lemon vodka and a dash of salt.

Island Fever Crab Cake Burgers
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
PREP: 10 MIN., GRILL: 20 - 30 MIN.

4 frozen crab cakes
4 thick slices of Maui or Vidalia onions
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 oz. of brie, rind removed
4 Tbsp. Earth & Vine™ Kiwi Pineapple Jalapeno Fruit Spread or other tropical fruit spread
4 oz. pre-packaged angel-hair coleslaw
2 tsp. (or more to taste) favorite bottle poppy seed dressing
4 Hawaiian rolls
  1. Place crab cakes on stick-resistant tin foil and grill over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) with grill lid closed for 10 – 12 minutes on each side.
  2. Brush Vidalia or Maui onions with EVOO and grill on grates, covered with stick-resistant tin foil for 3 -4 minutes, each side.
  3. Remove rind from brie (this is easiest if the brie has been placed in the freeze for 30 minutes or an hour in advance)
  4. Mix angel-hair coleslaw with poppy seed dressing and top bottom half of each Hawaiian roll with 1 ounce.
  5. Spread 1 ounce of Tropical Fruit Spread on inside top of each Hawaiian roll
  6. Place 1 ounce of brie on each crab cake during the last minute of cooking to soften and begin to melt.
  7. Place a brie-covered crab cake on top of each coleslaw-topped Hawaiian Roll and cover with roll tops.
Make it a meal with easy sides and dessert:
  • Quick Candied Island Yams
    Mash a can of yams (in syrup, but with most of the syrup poured off) with a really ripe banana, a small can of pineapple (drained), and brown sugar to taste. If it’s adults only, add a splash or more of Amaretto. Pour mixture into a glass ovenproof casserole dish, topped with dried coconut, and heat on grill along side crab cakes. Alternately, pop it into a microwave for 3-4 minutes, 1 minute at a time until heated through (time varies depending on microwave). If you must, you can also top with tiny marshmallows.
  • Grilled pineapple packets
    Brush pineapple with EVOO and a spoonful of the tropical jam used for the crab cakes. Grill pineapple on stick-resistant foil until pineapple is tender and the juices are caramelizing. Top with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar (or other coarse sugar) and, if you have it handy, candied ginger.


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