Super Juicy Grilled Burgers with Blue Cheese and Avocado
Here are a couple of great ideas for your next backyard cookout complete with Creamy Red Potato Salad and a super-refreshing glass of Watermelon Mint Lemonade.
There are two things you need for super juicy, flavorful grilled burgers: Fat and seasonings. For the best tasting burgers, choose ground meat with a higher fat content. For example, pick regular ground beef instead of ground chuck, ground round or ground sirloin. If the package labeling doesn’t clearly indicate what you are buying, don’t be afraid to ask the person behind the meat counter to point you in the right direction.
On its own, ground beef doesn’t have much flavor, so it is important to add additional seasoning. For this recipe, a combination of sweet Italian pork sausage, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic and fresh rosemary are used to pack a lot of flavor into each bite. As an added bonus, the Worcestershire sauce and onion increase the juiciness of the burger without adding a lot of extra fat.
This recipe doesn’t specifically call for bacon, but it is a wonderful addition to the blue cheese and avocado.
Optional toppings for your Burger:
- tomato slices
- blue cheese
- sliced avocado
- 2 lbs. regular ground beef
- 1 lb. sweet Italian pork sausage
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup white onion, very finely minced or grated
- 4 cloves garlic, very finely minced or grated
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, stems removed and leaves finely minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Clean grill grates and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Add all ingredients to a large glass bowl and combine thoroughly. Make sure both types of meat and all seasonings are completely incorporated throughout the mixture.
Divide meat mixture into 8 equal parts and shape each part into 3/4 inch thick patties.
Place patties on a lined tray and use your thumb to create an indent in the middle to keep them from puffing up while cooking.
Cook patties over direct, high heat on your grill for 8 – 10 minutes. Final cooking time will depend on desired level of doneness and how thick you make each patty.
If topping with soft, sliced cheese, add slices about one minute before cooking is complete. If using a harder, chunky cheese, such as blue cheese, move burgers to indirect heat 2-3 minutes before they are done. Top with blue cheese and close lid to allow cheese to melt completely.
Serve on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, slices of avocado and bacon, if desired – or top with your favorite condiments, instead.
SERVE YOUR JUICY BURGERS WITH –
Creamy Red Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs
Nothing says “picnic” like potato salad. Fresh herbs add a lot of flavor to this creamy version that comes together in just a few minutes. For best results, make this dish a day in advance so the flavors have a chance to fully magically mingle.
- 3 pounds red potatoes, washed, dried, and cut into quarters
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 medium shallot, outer skin removed and finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Place cut potatoes in a large microwave-safe dish and add 2 T. water. Cover and microwave for 2-3 minutes or until fork tender. (Cooking time will vary by microwave, so check after 2 minutes. Potatoes should be tender enough to split with a fork, but still firm).
Remove potatoes from dish and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet to dry. Blot gently with a paper towel, if needed.
In a small glass bowl, add mayonnaise, yogurt, shallot, mustard and fresh herbs. Stir to combine thoroughly. Add potatoes to a separate bowl and gradually add mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat. (Don’t add all of the mayonnaise mixture at once in case you decide you want less on your potato salad). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.
And Also Serve with –
Watermelon Mint Lemonade
This watermelon mint lemonade is super easy to make and is so refreshing on a hot summer day. This is one of those recipes you’ll want to tinker around with to find the right flavor combination for your tastes. For example, the amount of water you need to add will vary depending on how juicy the watermelon is and how strong you want the flavor to be.
Directions for a mint-infused simple syrup are included. The watermelon adds a lot of sweetness, however, so you may not wish to sweeten it further. It really depends on how sweet or tart you want the final results to be.
If you are serving this recipe outside on a warm day, make extra so you can freeze some into ice cubes or an ice ring (if serving in a punch bowl). Using ice cubes made of the beverage you are serving rather than plain water will prevent watered-down drinks as the day or evening progresses.
For an adults-only variation, add some citrus-flavored vodka before serving.
- Mint Simple Syrup optional
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves stems removed and crushed
- 6 cups fresh watermelon rinds removed and cut into chunks
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice 6-8 medium lemons
- 1/2 cup cold water (plus more, if needed)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves tightly packed with stems removed
- fresh mint sprigs for garnish
- lemon slices for garnish
To make the simple syrup, add the sugar, water and crushed mint leaves to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.
Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard mint leaves. Cool completely before using.
Add watermelon chunks, lemon juice and 1/2 cup cold water to a blender and blend until liquefied. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any larger particles. Taste and add more water, if needed. Sweeten with mint-infused simple syrup, if desired.
Bruise 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves with fingers to release oils and add to the bottom of a large glass pitcher or jar. If serving immediately, add ice cubes to the container and pour the watermelon mixture over top. Add fresh lemon slices to the container for garnish.
To serve, pour over ice and add a sprig of fresh mint and a lemon slice for garnish.