Thursday, August 5, 2010

burgers and fries

There's nothing like a hot burger on a summer day...even if I forgot to buy buns (oops!).

I love hamburgers, but it can be difficult to justify calling them "healthy".  I mean, many people have you ever heard say, "I'm on a diet, so let's go get hamburgers."  It just doesn't happen!

It's a shame, really.

The problem with hamburgers is that their flavor comes from fat.  A good hamburger is one that is made from 80/20 meat (20 referring to the percentage of fat).  And good fries are generally...well...fried.  Oh, the tragedy...

Starting this week, I'm on a diet.  And, I have no intention at all of giving up my burgers and fries.  In fact, I'm going to embrace burgers and fries.  They are wonderful...and delicious.  And wonderful.  And delicious.

And I'm going to make them healthy.  We're going to make them healthy.

Lean meat may not have as much natural fatty flavor, but we can still use it to produce a flavorful and juicy burger by doctoring it up a bit.  For these particular burgers, I used 1 1/4 pounds of 93/7 meat, but you could use just about anything...even ground turkey!

Begin by pouring about 1/4 cup of water into a medium-sized bowl.  Then, raid your cabinet for every bit of flavor that intrigues you.  Seriously.  The trick is not so much having the same blend of spices that I came up with - it's about putting together what you like.

I like spice, so my flavor concoction was pretty spicy.  It included the following (give or take): 2 tablespoons of Worcester Sauce, 1 teaspoon of BBQ sauce, a few shakes of liquid smoke and Tabasco sauce, a half teaspoon of black pepper and red pepper flakes, and a teaspoon of chili powder, cumin, and Cajun seasoning.  Hmmmmm....we like spice.

Once you figure out your flavor combo, mix it together with the 1/4 cup of water until it's all blended.

Crumble your hamburger meat over the seasoning mixture...

...and then use your hands to massage it in.  Yep, I said massage.

Form your meat into patties and place them in a dish.

At this point, they are technically ready to go on the grill.  I, however, put them back in the refrigerator for an hour.  I like to give the meat a little time to marinate.  It just tastes better.  Trust me.

Letting your meat hang out in the refrigerator also gives you a chance to make some fries.

Peel some fresh potatoes and cut them into fries.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, arrange the fries in a single layer on top, and then spray the tops with cooking spray.  Season with salt, seasoned salt, or (my favorite) Cajun seasoning.  Pop in a 400 degree oven, using a spatula to move them around every once in a while so they don't stick.

The total cook time will depend on how crispy you like your fries.  I like mine cooked for 20 minutes.  My husband likes his cooked for 40 minutes.  Most days, we compromise at 30 minutes.

It's what makes our marriage work.

When you are ready for the hamburgers, grill away!  George Foreman or outdoor grill, it doesn't matter.

By the way, I'd like to add a propane grill to my Christmas list, please.  Thanks!

These burgers are excellent on their own or with crazy toppings like chipotle cheddar cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce.  You can see which route we chose.  It. Was. Delicious.  So what if I forgot the buns?

Spicy Marinated Burgers
1.25 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/4 cup water
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. each BBQ sauce, chili powder, cumin, Cajun seasoning
1/2 t. each black pepper and red pepper flakes
1/4 t. each Tabasco sauce and liquid smoke

Combine all ingredients but beef and mix together in a medium-sized bowl.  Crumble beef over the top of the mixture and then use your hands to thoroughly combine.  Shape into 5 patties and refrigerate for one hour.  Grill and serve with homemade fries (see above for directions).

Nutrition (1 patty calculated with 95/5 meat): 164 cal, 6g fat, 3g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 69mg cholesterol, 619mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugar, 24g protein, 5% vit. A, 2% vit. C, 2% calcium, 19% iron.

This post is linked to Foodie Friday, Potluck Monday, and I'm Lovin' It


  1. Okay, this post seriously made my mouth water!
    Looks amazing!


  2. And you can grill it indoors on hot summer or rainy days- BONUS!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh, I love gourmet, but I love a good hamburger. This looks wonderful. Those fries look so good too. They don't look baked. Yum, the bacon looks fab too,oh I'll take the whole plate!

  4. I can skip the burger, but I MUST have some of those fries. I don't know why I've never made them, they look so easy! Thanks for the recipe. :-)

  5. OH yeah...hamburger and fries..that's what I'm talking about :) :) :) Love it...especially with the bacon on top :) :) Have a great weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  6. Good ole American food cooked on a good ole American GF grill. What a wonderful country we live in!!


  7. Love burgers and fries! Just had them last night!

    I am hosting BSI this week (Blogger Secret Ingredient), which is Ground Turkey. More info. on my blog. Just submit a ground turkey recipe to me to be included in the round up!


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