We started with two foods that we liked—nachos and Thai stir fries. We took the ingredients from each and worked them into stuffed burgers: onions, Monterey jack, and olives in the Mexican burgers; peanuts, bean sprouts, and Thai sweet chili in the Thai burgers. They were both very good.
We used the bean sprouts as an accompaniment to the Thai burgers. We weren’t sure how the peanuts would work out. We chopped them very coarsely, just a cut or two on each nut and worked them right into the burger. They were a great addition and maybe made the burgers.
But consider this a method, a template, as you build your own stuffed burgers.
Merri Ann loves nachos, really loaded nachos with everything from olives to red onions. So we loaded up some burgers. Here’s how:
We started with lean ground beef. Unless we’re making stuffed burgers, we use 80 percent lean meat; leaner meat is too dry. With stuffed burgers use the leanest ground you can buy; the components add extra fat. Since we were going to load these up and didn’t want them crumbly, we set aside an egg to toss with the meat.
This combination makes terrific burgers.
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large egg, whisked with a fork
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
about 20 medium black olives, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
3/4 cup grated Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup salsa
Gently toss these ingredients together until mixed. Don’t handle more than necessary. Form nice flat burger patties with a hamburger press. Cook them until done, turning only once and without pressing the burgers with the spatula while cooking. Turning only once will trap more of the juices in the burger; pressing with the spatula forces the juices from the meat.
To assemble the burgers, we used the following:
Spread the bottom bun with bean dip and then cover with lettuce. Top with the burger patty. Smother the patty with guacamole and top with tomato slices.
I thought these were outstanding burgers but I’m biased. The real test was what others thought. Those of our crew who heard there were peanuts in the burgers were not excited. Those who tried them anyway loved them. (Don’t let the peanuts throw you; they add flavor and crunch that works wonderfully well.)
You can buy the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce from our site or at the store.
To make my Thai burgers, again we started with lean ground beef and mixed in the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, chopped nuts, and green onions.
For the Patty:
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup very coarsely chopped peanuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
For the Filling:
- Garlic and Herb Cheese (or your choice of cheese)
- Gently toss the beef with the chopped nuts, green onion, sauce, and seasonings.
- Divide the meat into 6-ounce portions and form them into balls. If using the burger press, split the balls in half and press a half into either side of the burger press.
- Use the insert to flatten the patties on either side of the burger press. It will also make an indent or pocket in the meat to place the cheese.
- Use the stuffed burger press to seal the edges of the patties together. You will have excess meat falling out the edges as you press. You can use this to further seal in the filling by pressing it into shape with your fingers.
- Cook burgers according to your liking and top with preferred condiments and toppings. Enjoy.
To assemble the burgers, we mixed some more Thai Sweet Chili Sauce with mayonnaise and spread it on the buns. (We used 1/4 cup chili sauce to 1/2 cup mayonnaise.) We topped the patty with bean sprouts.