When it starts to warm up outside I like to challenge myself to find creative ways to enjoy some of my favorite dishes…but lighter. I’m not much of a red meat eater anyway because some of the things they do to beef, quite frankly, scares the hell out of me. I indulge occasionally but I usually end up regretting it because I feel so heavy and lethargic.
So one area where I really try to keep things fresh is The Burger. I honestly can’t say I miss traditional beef burgers but I do love a variety of other burgers. Most of the time I’ll take a boneless skinless chicken or turkey breast and throw it in the food processor with scallions or onions, herbs and spices and make my own lean mean burger. But that gets old and now that it’s finally starting to warm up I’d like to be able to have burgers more often and on the grill.
My second favorite burger alternative is the salmon burger because salmon has a lot of substance like beef, making it the perfect choice for a burger. But again I wanted to challenge myself and find a burger that the hubs would eat. He almost never eats meat; smoked salmon a few mornings a week and that’s about it. But I knew if I presented him with a perfect combination burger he wouldn’t be able to resist…mostly because this was kind of his idea!
Initially I was going to do a simple shrimp burger but I thought that’d be too boring. So I decided that for my animal protein I’d use salmon and shrimp, but I LOVE mushrooms and I thought a few crimini would add the perfect earthiness to take my burger to the next level. Then came the herbs and spices; garlic, fresh rosemary and chives along with seasoning staples like Himalayan sea salt and fresh black pepper.
Before I tell you what ingredients you’ll need, let’s talk equipment. I recommend you use a food processor to break up and blend the meat initially. I hope you’re not squeamish because eventually you’ll have to roll up those sleeves and use your hands to blend properly without over-mixing.
Makes: 2 to 4 burgers
- ½ Salmon filet (about 3 oz.)
- 1 sprig Rosemary, chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves, pressed
- 6 Crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp. Organic olive oil
- Burger buns – you choose!
- 9 Medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 3 tbsp. Chives, chopped
- ½ tbsp. Hot sauce
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. Ginger, chopped
- 1 Red onion, halved & sliced
- ½ tbsp. Cayenne pepper
- Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add chopped mushrooms and cook for about 7 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, stirring regularly.
- Cook 5 additional minutes then add onion.
- Cook until onion starts to caramelize and mushrooms start to crisp around the edges and add chives.
- Remove from heat.
- Add salmon, garlic, ginger, hot sauce, cayenne and shrimp into the bowl of a food processor, pulsing until blended but not smooth. You don’t want a paté here.
- When everything is blended dump it into a medium mixing bowl.
- Season with salt, pepper, rosemary and cayenne pepper.
- Mix with your hands until blended and from patties for burgers or sliders.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a skillet until it begins to shimmer and then add burgers. Cook about 4 minutes on each side until done and golden brown on the outside.
- Toast buns and garnish with mustard, ketchup, horseradish, blue cheese, tomatoes, pickles and whatever else makes a burger special to you.
Eat with: A pale ale or pilsner. But since it was so hot…I washed it down with iced tea.