Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hum-Burger Deluxe!

I came up with this recipe on a typical day, when I wanted to WoW!  the family and introduce an unfamiliar food item to the ones leery of diversity.  I chose a neutral medium like hamburgers to showcase the special ingredient for this particular day. Hamburgers are virtually fail safe and depending upon your cooking method, the fat can be all but eradicated, especially when using a Foreman type grill or grill pan.  A new recipe is just around the corner by changing out the bun, condiments, cheeses and veggies in no time.  Cheeseburgers are one of my favorites, no matter what time of year.  For those extremely conscious of their red meat intake, substitutions of lean ground turkey and chicken can be made.  .  Be careful to read the nutritional information on some of these blends, because they may harbor more fat than ground red meat, that's if the skin is ground along with the lean.  Typically for a good beefy tasting burger that's moist and flavorful, one would opt for ground chuck or ground round.  Regular ground beef is fine too, just make sure you aim for the 75-80/25-20 percent fat ratio for a more satisfying, economical purchase.  This burger is quite delicious with the implement of spinach instead of lettuce.  lettuce is about 95% water, while fresh tender spinach is loaded with essential B vitamins, calcium, fiber and Vitamins C and A, zinc, niacin and surprisingly enough, protein!
The special ingredient for these burgers is Spinach and Artichoke hummus, a delicious and nutritious creamy spread loaded with with protein, fiber and vitamins, revered in the Mediterranean, and now here in the U.S.
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 tbsp. onion powder, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt
6 Ciabatta buns
12 slices tomato
1 1/2 c. fresh julienne of spinach
1/2 c. mayonnaise, optional
6 slices American cheese
3/4 c.  prepared Spinach and Artichoke Hummus
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat grill pan.  Mix onion powder and Himalayan salt gingerly into ground chuck, careful not to overwork.
While grill pan heats, turn on broiler and place buns on a large cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with onion powder and drizzle with olive oil.  Toast til lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
Place burgers on grill and SPST.  Cook burgers until juices run clear and no pink remains, unless you care for medium to medium well.
*As a general rule of thumb, only eat ground meats medium well or less from a trusted butcher or market, where the product and quality is optimal.  Cook for about 5 minutes on Foreman type grill or 4 minutes per side on a flat grill pan.
Spread equal portions of mayo on bottom bun.  Add 1/4 c. Spinach and two slices of tomato.  Add
burger and slice of cheese.  Spread 2 tbsp. Spinach and Artichoke dip on top bun and drizzle with olive oil.  Serves 6.

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