Lay down your forks and pick up these creative burgers, sandwiches, sliders and wraps.
Grand Prize Winner
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO ADD DATES TO THESE DELICIOUSLY UNIQUE BURGERS?
I really love bacon-wrapped and cheese-stuffed dates. I thought this burger version of that appetizer would work together beautifully and it did! I knew that adding dates to these juicy burgers would help add a sweet surprise to every bite and give a little bit of caramelization to the burger while cooking.
WHAT OTHER SPRING RECIPES ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MAKING?
I love the seasonal change of foods, and when spring arrives I am all about fresh produce. Cucumber salads are a favorite in our house because cucumbers are so versatile. Combine them with fresh radishes, watermelon, basil and a light dressing to make a delicious chilled salad on a warm day, or julienne the cukes and add them into shrimp spring rolls for a showstopping appetizer.
HAVE YOU ENTERED A COOKING CONTEST BEFORE?
I had never entered a cooking contest before this, and frankly I am still in shock that I won the grand prize. I had to keep checking my email to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I love, love, love Taste of Home magazine, and when I saw that there was a contest for sandwiches, burgers and sliders I thought, Why not enter my burger and see what happens? I’m so glad I did! I hope everyone enjoys it.
Bacon & Date Goat Cheese Burgers
If you can’t find maple bacon, you can process 1¹â‚‚ tablespoons of maple syrup with the spinach-goat cheese mixture in the food processor.
—Michelle Anglin, Livingston, MT
Prep: 30 min. • Grill: 10 min.
Makes: 6 servings
2 3/4 cups fresh baby spinach, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) pistachios, shelled
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
1 pkg. (5.3 oz.) fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef 1 pkg. (8 oz.) pitted dates, chopped
6 brioche hamburger buns, split
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 lb. maple-flavored bacon strips, cooked
1. Place 2 cups spinach, pistachios, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse until chopped. Add goat cheese; process until blended. Continue processing while gradually adding oil in a steady stream to reach a spreadable consistency. Refrigerate until serving.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine beef and dates, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into six 1/2-in.-thick patties. Place burgers on an oiled grill rack or in a greased 15x10x1-in. pan. Grill, covered, over medium heat or broil 4-5 in. from the heat until a thermometer reads 160°, 4-5 minutes per side. Grill buns, cut sides down, over medium heat until toasted.
3. Top bun bottoms with remaining spinach, burgers, red onion and bacon. Spread 4 tsp. goat cheese mixture over cut side of each bun top; place on burger. Cover and refrigerate remaining goat cheese mixture; save for another use. 1 burger: 804 cal., 45g fat (11g sat. fat), 118mg chol., 788mg sod., 67g carb. (34g sugars, 9g fiber), 39g pro.
Steak Sandwiches with Quick-Pickled Vegetables
This recipe is a Cambodian version of the classic Vietnamese dish banh mi, with pickled vegetables, cucumber, Sriracha mayo and marinated beef.
—Hudson Stiver, Bowen Island, BC
Prep: 30 min. + marinating
Cook: 15 min. + standing
Makes: 6 servings
1 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh carrots
1 small daikon radish, thinly sliced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 beef top sirloin steak (1 1/4 lbs.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 French bread baguette
(101/2 oz.), halved lengthwise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Sriracha chili sauce
1/2 cup thinly sliced English cucumber Fresh cilantro leaves
1. In a large bowl, whisk white vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add the carrots and radish. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine the brown sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Add beef and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once. Drain beef, discarding the marinade.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook steak until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°; mediumwell, 145°), 7-10 minutes per side. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
3. Meanwhile, broil baguette cut sides up, 3-4 in. from heat, until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Drain carrots and radish, reserving 1 1/2 tsp. vinegar marinade. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce and the reserved vinegar marinade; spread half over cut sides of baguette. Top with the steak, pickled vegetables, cucumber and cilantro; replace top. Cut crosswise into 6 slices. Serve with remaining mayonnaise mixture. 1 sandwich: 430 cal., 20g fat (4g sat. fat), 40mg chol., 888mg sod., 37g carb. (9g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g pro.
Santorini Lamb Sliders
I love lamb burgers, so I created a crowd-friendly slider version. It’s best to make the tzatziki sauce a day or two in advance to allow the flavors to mingle for extra zip.
—Cristina Certano, Colorado Springs, CO
Prep: 30 min. + chilling
Grill: 10 min. Makes: 10 servings
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded peeled cucumber
1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 lb. ground lamb
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. pepper, divided
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dill weed
10 mini buns or mini ciabatta buns
10 Bibb lettuce leaves
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
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