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“The Pickled Onions Make It” Burger

July 22, 2010
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About 4 weeks ago, Mark Bittman came up with a list of 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling.  I swear on the mother of all things holy, that man is a genius.  And the best part is that this isn’t the first 101-great-things-to-cook list that he’s come up with.  I wonder how long it takes him to come up with a list like that…

Anyhow, last Friday night Nate and I were perusing the list, trying to find something to make for dinner.  After much discussion, we settled on something from the burger category, and then we still couldn’t decide which burger, so we did what any other normal person would do: eeny meeny miny moe!  We settled on the “The pickled onions make it” burger, which was definitely a good choice.

I’d never pickled anything before, and pickled onions are now my new favorite condiment.  They are so good and so easy to make! 

The thing about Bittman’s list is that the “recipes” are actually more like guidelines or sparse suggestions rather than “add one tablespoon of this, half a teaspoon of that, and whisk in such-and-such” directions.  For me, this makes it more fun  because sometimes I feel constrained within a recipe, but here you have a chance to cook and add together flavors you know will go well together.  We fiddled around with the general idea provided in the list, and the final product was a burger that I wouldn’t hesitate to make the next time we have company.

We also followed Bittman’s suggestion for grilled artichokes, which we’ll have to redo a some other time (the downside of not have directions with specific cooking times…).  Apparently I didn’t parboil them for long enough, because after grilling the artichokes they were still a little raw, so we finished them in the microwave. 

We’ll be making our way through Mark Bittman’s list probably well into autumn.  Next up, we’ll have to give this one a try: “41. Bacon-wrapped hot dog. You know you want one.”  Why yes, I believe I do.

“The Pickled Onions Make it” Burger

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling)

The original recipe calls for ground lamb, which we don’t have in our supermarket.  And the idea of paying more for lamb to just grind it up and make a burger seems silly to me.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 carrot, grated
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
4 hamburger buns

Mix together the onion, vinegar and water.  Let sit while you make the burgers.  Mix the ground beef, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper and carrot.  Shape into 4 patties.  Grill for 3 minutes on each side, or until done.  Toast the buns on the grill.  Top burgers with pickled onions and whatever condiments you want!

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