Summer’s here, time to cook some burgers

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By Bob Fortunato

Summer is here and it is time to enjoy burgers on a grill.

Think of all the famous burgers you have had in your life like the Ollie Burger, Kaelins Cheeseburger, The Whiz Burger or Ralphs’ Hamburger. Maybe you have seen the burgers on “Diners, Drive ins and Dives.” Remember the taste of those great burgers and fries places such as drive-ins, pool halls, small restaurants in small towns? How many teenagers grew up like me thinking a square meal was a cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake? Well you can cook your own special burger this summer. Think of the flavor of a fresh grilled burger with lettuce, slice of tomato and a slice of onion. You can dress it anyway you like it, how about pickles or slaw?

I suggest that you get your beef or lamb from the Farmers Market in La Grange or a good butcher like Butchers Best in Prospect. If you are looking for buffalo meat try Woodland Farms off Highway 42. Cook up some pasta salad, potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw, grilled veggies or a tossed salad you will have a feast. Choose any meat that you like such as pork, beef, turkey, lamb or buffalo. Almost any bun will work and add any cheese you like. Do you like mustard, catsup, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, or A1 they all work. Try something different as a topping like salsa, guacamole or ranch dressing. Here are a few ideas to spice up your burgers as you grill this summer, (yes you can cook burgers in a pan or in the oven.)

Beef or Buffalo Burger

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or buffalo, three tbs. catsup or BBQ sauce, one tbs dried onion or two tbs. finely chopped onion.

Options: two tbs. chopped green chilies or chopped mushrooms, chopped parsley. Mix and grill.

Lamb Burger

1 1/2 lbs. ground lamb, one tbs. mustard or ranch dressing, two tbs. chopped fresh mint, 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese. Optional 1/2 tsp. ground garlic. Mix and grill.

Tips for cooking burgers:: handle as little as possible, mashing or kneading will make them tough. When cooking do press down or squeeze the juice out. Cook three to five minutes one side, flip and cook two minutes and add cheese to burger. You may use a meat thermometer.