OK my beautiful vegetarian friends, you are going to want to skip this post. It’s all about making your own hamburgers with your own hands….not something you’re probably going to enjoy.
So begins our first foodie club challenge: homemade burgers! I chose Rachael Ray’s Big Spicy Mac with a fakeout Big Mac Sauce and my sides were Sunny Anderson’s Sweet Potato and Celery Root Fries and I made pesto mushrooms with Tyler Florence’s pesto recipe. Altogether the ingredients I had to buy came to $30.58, most of which was spent on the pesto mushrooms because pine nuts and Parmesan are so expensive!
I used my mandolin with the matchstick setting and carefully cut out the celery and sweet potato fries. Sunny says to put them in the oven at 450F for 40 minutes. Well it was a good thing I checked on them after about 15, most of them had already burned! Thankfully Tyler’s pesto turned out perfectly. I cooked the mushrooms and tossed them with the pesto and they were delicious.
I didn’t have to buy any spices for the burgers, I had them all already but I skipped the coriander, not a huge fan. I did divide this recipe in half: combine just over 1 lb of extra lean ground sirloin, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tbsp cumin, 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce and 1 tbsp grill seasoning.
Sorry, ground beef is never pretty, LOL. With my hands I carefully folded in the spices, the trick to good burgers is to handle the meat as little as possible. No problem! Using my hand I scored the meat into four sections which I then shaped into four burgers.
I got my seasoned cast iron grill pan screaming hot and lay my hamburgers down for four minutes on each side. RR says only two minutes a side but there was no way I was going to risk them not being cooked. You can cook these in a frying pan but my grill pain sears them with those yummy char marks. Once you flip the burger top it was the cheese, I used a low fat cheese and it worked great. I cut up some pickles and put them on the whole wheat buns with some baby greens for additional nutritional content. My Big Mac Sauce (which ends up being thousand island dressing) was great and I used only low fat ingredients so this is the most healthy version of a one-layer Big Mac I could make:
I tell you, I didn’t feel for a second like I was missing out! My husband agreed, they were fantastic hamburgers. The ingredients for this dish came to a total of $15.58 and that includes the jar of pickles which means each hamburger cost me $3.90 Canadian. That is actually quite close to the cost of a Big Mac here. I made it myself in less than 25 minutes and I saved on the calories big time.
I wish you much success with the burger challenge. If you have any questions or need support of any kind, please leave a comment here and I will do my best to help you out. You can do this!