burger night

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Continuing with last week’s recipes, today’s post is about a summertime, All-American dinner. Burgers, pasta salad, and sweet corn!

Here in Iowa, we are pretty proud of our sweet corn. Oh man, is it GOOD! I get my sweet corn from a local farmer, Marvin (IC locals, his sweet corn can be found at New Pi). I swear there is no better sweet corn–anywhere. Marvin’s sweet corn is so darn sweet that no butter or salt is required, just a quick drop in a pot of boiling water is all it needs.

A burger should pack a punch of flavor. So, for this meal, instead of making the typical hamburger with ketchup, mustard, and pickles, the flavors have been turned up by topping the burgers with homemade guacamole, thick slices of tomato, rings of red onion, a slice of melty Colby-Jack pepper cheese, and topping it off with a toasted bun. And while grilling burgers is definitely a summertime must, I think the perfect hamburger is made on the stove. Here’s how to make a burger with the flavors turned up:

How to Make the Perfect Burger

1. At the meat counter, select all natural, lean (95%) beef (if you can, try to only purchase beef, along with other meats, that has been humanely raised). Usually around 1/4 pound per person is good, or 1/3 pound if you want a bigger burger.

2. At home, coat the bottom of a cast-iron skillet or other pan with canola oil.

3. Mold the meat into round patties, trying to work the meat as little as possible. Season each side of the meat with salt and pepper. By only using salt and pepper for the seasoning, you will be able to really taste the meat.

4. Place burgers on the pan, and press your thumb into the middle of each burger, creating a small indentation. This helps the burgers to not puff up in the center.

5. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Allow the burgers to cook on this side until the hole in the center completely fills with juice from the meat. Then, flip the burgers. Continue to cook the burgers for about 4 minutes. If using cheese, place on slice on each burger with about 2 minutes left to cook. Once finished, allow the burgers to rest for a few minutes before eating.

To toast buns: Spray each bun with a little cooking spray or melted butter. Place in the oven under the broiler until buns are golden brown and toasty.

Guacamole: Mash up one avocado with salt and pepper.

How to Cut an Avocado: Slice an avocado in half, pulling apart if needed. Stick the pit in the middle with a knife, and twist to pull out. Discard pit. Next, slice the flesh by making a crisscross pattern. This helps the flesh come out more easily. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and discard skin.

Assembling the Burger: Spread guac on the bottom of a bun and top with a few rings of red onion. Place the burger on top, and polish off the with a thick slice of tomato and the top of the toasted bun.

Look at those beauties!

The other components to burger night = pasta salad & sweet corn:

Pasta Salad

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, once boiling, add one box of pasta (this will allow for quite a bit of leftovers). Cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes.

2. Chop:

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jar or can of black olives
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese, or cheese of your choice (into small cubes)
  • 1/3 of a red onion
  • Any other veggies, such as cucumbers

3. Once pasta is done, combine with the fixings, along with 1/3 cup of Italian salad dressing. Tossing the pasta right away with the cheese will cause the cheese to melt, which is delicious, but if you’d prefer the cheese to remain in cubes, once the past is done, run it over with cold water or allow it to sit until it becomes cool.

Sweet Corn

1. Bring a large, wide pot of water to a boil.

2. Add sweet corn.

3. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, or until you can tell the corn has become a brighter yellow color.

A fun and flavorful summertime dinner!

Have you ever tried (making) a bean or oat burger?

I love black bean burgers, although I have never tried to make them myself. Maybe for next burger night?

Have a great day!

Abby

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