Burger Bliss

With summer well on its way (despite not officially beginning for another week), it's time to pay tribute to some summer favorites. Whether you are hosting a backyard cookout or heading to a neighborhood potluck, make sure you have some tried and true favorites on your side. This time around, we're talking burgers.

Burgers are definitely a summer staple, but they an easily become boring when you're turning to ground meat on a bun once a week or more. But you can give them new life by opting for a crispy seared exterior and toppings that will make your heart flutter. For me, that means mushrooms sautéed in miso butter (do you remember when I said you'd have extra and end up using it all over?) and tangy blue cheese. And, just because I'm in the mood for something delightfully decadent, I'm also suggesting pan-toasting ciabatta rolls for the crowning touch. If those rolls need a little miso butter too, who am I to argue?

Any number of amazing sides will round out a meal like this. Choose your favorites or stay tuned for a couple of my favorite summer entertaining salads. Add lemonade, iced tea, a frosty beer, or even a blended margarita and smile at how little time it's taken to put a gourmet burger on your table! Summer is going to be blissful.

Miso Mushroom-Blue Cheese Burger

  • 1 T. miso butter
  • 8 oz. sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (or, if you have it, venison)
  • 3 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half
  • 3 T. mayonnaise
  • 4 oz. crumbled blue cheese

Heat the miso butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are cooked through and a little browned at the edges. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Separate the ground meat into 3 equal parts and form generous patties. Using the same nonstick skillet you cooked the mushrooms in, sear the burgers on both sides over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook until you reach your desired doneness. Remove to a plate and place the ciabatta rolls, cut sides down, into the pan and toast briefly. If needed, add more miso butter to encourage a golden brown toasting.

Slather each roll with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Place a burger patty, a generous helping of sautéed mushrooms, and several tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese onto each roll. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 3 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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