Simple Blended Burger: Bursting with Flavor and Crunch!

Simple Blended Burger: Bursting with Flavor and Crunch!

I came up with this recipe for the #BlendedBurgerContest of the Blended Burger Project sponsored by Bon Appétit and the Mushroom Council. While the recipe doesn’t include sourcing specifics, and, as submitted called for ingredients you can find at any grocery store, I did use all locally sourced foods from Wakefield Farmers Market (MA) farmers during my test process.

I used ground beef from Lilac Hedge Farm, the cabbage, carrots, and onions from Farmer Dave’s, and I did a test using tatsoi from Farmer Dave’s instead of regular cabbage (really great taste!) and also did a run with some wonderful shitake mushrooms from Fat Moon Mushrooms, (and would have used West River Creamery’s Cambridge Cheddar if I had not run out!)

Check out this great way to get lots of veggies into your burger!

You can watch my cooking demo by clicking HERE.


Ingredients:

Beef-Mushroom Patties with Cabbage and Carrot:

8 oz fresh white button mushrooms, diced
2 tablespoon olive or other oil, divided or just 1 tablespoon if grilling
2 ounces (1/2 cup packed) finely chopped cabbage
1 ounce (1/4 cup packed) carrot, grated then chopped a bit
1 ounce (1/4 cup somewhat packed) minced onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound 85% lean ground beef
6 ounces sliced sharp cheddar cheese, about 1.5 ounce per patty

Coleslaw:

6 ounces thinly sliced and chopped cabbage
1 ounce grated carrot
1/4 cup (2 oz) mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1/8 heaping teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)

To Serve:

4 good quality buns, toasted
1 or 2 tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup coleslaw on each burger (and more on the side if desired)
ketchup (optional)

Method:

Dry roast mushrooms: Heat a medium size frying pan over medium heat, add the diced mushrooms, and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced and getting dry, stirring and scraping pan as necessary.

Remove mushrooms from pan, add one tablespoon oil, let heat for a minute or so and then add the mix of cabbage, carrot, and onion. Cook for about 7 minutes over medium heat until tender.

Add cooked mushrooms back to pan, add salt and pepper, and stir while cooking for a minute or two to mix and release a bit more liquid.

Let mushroom veggie mix cool for at least 5 minutes, then mix into the ground beef.

Form four patties, flattening each to just over 1” or so. Be sure to smooth the edges.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same or a clean frying pan and cook over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes to get a nice crust on one side, flip, cook for 2-3 minutes, then add cheese to melt while the second side finishes to a nice crust. These also cook well on the grill.

Be sure to toast the buns while the burgers are cooking.

To make coleslaw, mixed together the sliced/chopped cabbage and grated carrot. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, then mix in the cabbage and carrots.

Once done, place burgers on bottom bun, and top burger with about 1/3 cup coleslaw, a few slices of tomato, and, if using, ketchup. Cover with the top of bun and enjoy!

Time Saver Tips: It will use an extra pan, but you can simultaneously cook the mushrooms in one pan and the veggie mix in another. Also, the coleslaw can be made while the mushrooms and veggies are on the stove, or while the burgers cook. Of course, you can also use your favorite pre-made coleslaw or a package of shredded cabbage and carrot to speed things along. Cooking the mushrooms in with the veggies is not recommended as the mixture will not hold together well and result in “burger bites” rather than whole patties.

Cooking In Season: This recipe calls for white button mushrooms and regular cabbage, along with carrot and onion, because they are available to most people in the USA year-round. However, for those who like to shop in season with their local farmers, the burger recipe was tested with tatsoi, available in abundance during the early summer, replacing the cabbage with 3 ounces instead of 2 for the burger mix. Just be sure to cook down well due to the extra moisture content. Tatsoi adds a unique and tasty flavor punch, as do different types of mushrooms.

Make Ahead: Once formed, you can cook right away or store the burgers in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for a few weeks. No need to defrost the latter before cooking. Freezing does soften the flavor and texture’s wow-factor a bit, but with the toppings, you’ll still get a great burger. On the plus side, if you serve with just ketchup to the veggie-wary; they just may not notice all the good-for-you ingredients IN the burger.

Fun Flavor Tip: For a bit of that “fast food burger with special sauce” effect, top either a fresh or previously frozen burger with a modest amount of coleslaw and a good dose of ketchup.
However you do it, you’ll be getting an extra nutritional bang for your burger.