Hold Onto Summer

I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer. School's started and days are getting cooler (or at least, the evenings are), but something about lazy meals featuring grilled food and fresh produce makes letting go of summer difficult. But it's still technically summer, even if Labor Day has come and gone, so I say grab hold and enjoy:

This is how I'm doing it. Nothing says summer like burgers and this one's got a spicy kick. Beyond that, a pile of sweet potato fries with a drizzle of my favorite mustard makes this a very pretty plate. Bright colors on a dinner plate is also something I just associate with summer eating. We'll be digging into soups and stews soon, but right now … I'm firing up the grill and making sure my plates feature lots of fresh produce. It's my way of savoring what remains of the season.

The seasonings and sauces in the burger mix blend to make a salty, sweet, spicy mix. You could tweak them, but the balance here makes me pretty happy and I think most of the items listed are often just on hand in a typical kitchen. Now, in my home, we like it hot, so the bottle of sriracha sauce is on the table and everyone is encouraged to add more heat to their meals. The mayonnaise here has a nice bite, but I think it's pretty approachable, even for the faint of heart. If you really aren't okay with the sriracha (really?), you could find a milder sauce like Tiger Sauce. But really, just use a little less sriracha and let me know what you think. I think it's the perfect flavor for this particular dish and will have you finding excuses to make it again and again.

Spicy Asian Burgers

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 T. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 1-2 T. sriracha, plus additional for serving (if desired)
  • 2 T. dijon mustard
  • 8 oz. coarsely chopped red cabbage
  • 4 ciabatta rolls

Combine the first 9 ingredients (ground beef through egg) thoroughly to form the hamburger mixture. Form into 4 patties. Grill on a preheated grill until they are cooked to your liking. I enjoy them cooked medium-rare.

Combine the next 3 ingredients (mayonnaise through mustard) in a small bowl. To serve, top the burgers with a generous portion of chopped cabbage and place on rolls slathered generously with the spicy mayo. If desired, add more sriracha to the burgers prior to enjoying.

  • Yields: 4 burgers
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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