Most summer grilling is done for large groups and as such is not too fancy – burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and the occasional kabob. For this recipe I’ve borrowed a tip from my good friend Jim Honniball – a way to dress up a simple hamburger.
Everybody should have a friend like Jim. He can swim a mile, bike thirty, and still have the energy to cook up a batch of his legendary hamburgers for his friends.
Jim learned to cook from his mom and loves nothing more than to see everyone’s delighted faces as they bite into something delicious he’s prepared.
Especially satisfying after a hard day of body-boarding and surfing are his hamburgers which are seasoned with fresh rosemary from the garden and A1 sauce.
At the time of this writing I did not have a grill, so to simulate the high heat grilling environment I went to Williams-Sonoma and bought a heavy-duty cast iron grill pan for the task.
They also sell calphalon pans (for about 5 times the price) but the calphalon simply cannot hold the high heat that cast iron can to match the heat of a real grill.
Eventually the heat will warp the calphalon. The brand I picked up was “Lodge” for about $22. They also carry Le Creuset for somewhat more.
Jim’s Famous Hamburger Recipe
Safety tip: Try to get your hamburger meat from a butcher who grinds their own. That way you know where the meat came from. Bacteria love raw hamburger, so once you have some in your fridge, eat it up quickly—no more than a day or two at the most after you've bought it or defrosted it.
- 1 lb hamburger meat
- 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary leaves (not the stem)
- 2 Tbsp A1 sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste (perhaps half a teaspoon of each)
- Tomatoes, sliced
- Onions, sliced
- Avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- Mayonaise, ketchup, mustard
1 Make the burger mixture: Mix the rosemary and A1 sauce into the hamburger meat, distributing evenly. Add salt and fresh ground pepper.
2 Form the hamburger patties. If the meat is low-fat, you may want to add some olive oil to the mixture, or after the patties are made (but before cooked), rub some oil over them.
3 Grill the hamburger patties: Place on a hot grill or grill pan. If you are indoors with a grill pan, be sure to use your stove fan. If on grill pan, lower the heat to medium high.
Grill on one side until you can see the juice begin to run at the surface. Flip over and grill on the other side, again until you can see some juice coming through.
4 Grill the buns: If you wish, grill the buns on remaining grill surface. Onions can be either served fresh with the hamburger or sautéed a little in olive oil.
5 Serve burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado, mayo, ketchup, and or mustard. (For the low-carb version skip the bun.)
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