Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Burger

Save for my yen to have an herb and vegetable garden, I adore apartment living. I love how easy it is to maintain. I love the freedom of it, albeit this may all be in my head, but I feel it is so easy to just lock the one door and, whoosh, we’re off! I also enjoy that security is “built-in”, in the form of our friendly guards at the lobby (who help us with our leftovers to boot!). I like that I can run from my sauté pan to my computer in two seconds. And, this probably sounds very strange to some, I like having my neighbors close by (to understand this, you would need to understand what an absolute scaredy-cat I am), especially when one of them makes a really yummy fish roe spread.

One thing that we miss is grilling, outdoor, charcoal grilling to be exact. Open air barbecues…the smoky taste you get only from charcoal or wood…piling everything from juicy steaks to fresh veggies on a hot grill…a beer in one hand, heavy duty tongs in the other. I can slip into a sarong with a couple of cold beers on hand, while C wields the tongs, but a charcoal grill where we live now will still remain a dream.

Until we escape to mum-in-law’s egg farm for the weekend, we have to content ourselves with our trusty grill pan and contact grill – true friends of flat-bound grill lovers. Thanks to these two bits of genius we can enjoy grilled burgers and steaks and veggies (and anything else we can manage to trap between the plates of the all-powerful contact grill!). And I can enjoy joining events like Paul’s Big Burger Ballyhoo.

Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Burger

Burger patties as per this recipe (use the meatball recipe just shape as patties...I use the same recipe for my burgers and meatballs). Use 2-3 patties for this preparation and freeze the rest (or alternately, increase the topping below).

Topping good for 2-3 burgers:
  • 4 large button mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 small white onions, sliced
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Hamburger buns
    • - Sauté onions on low heat until golden and caramelized.
      - While that’s going on, sauté mushrooms, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until just done, then set aside.
      - Toss thyme sprig in with the onions and continue cooking.
      - Make sure you patties and grill are ready.
      - When onions are soft and golden, add balsamic vinegar. Cook for 2-3 minutes more then set aside.
      - Grill the burger patties. Do not overcook!
      - Grill hamburger buns.
      - Place burger in bun, top with caramelized onions, then mushrooms.
      - The topping with be enough for 2-3 hamburgers. If you have more, serve it on the side.

      The combination of the thyme-scented onions and the mushrooms go so well with burgers I feel. I could be horribly biased though because I happen to love caramelized onions and mushrooms, so feel free to debate (C, for example, had the mushrooms on the side and used jalapeños instead).

      If you want turn this into the Ultimate mushroom & caramelized onion burger, spread some of your favorite barbecue sauce on the bottom bun-half, and melt some gorgonzola cheese on your burger patty before topping with the onions and mushrooms – the whole lot is eyes-rolling-backward-into-head good!

      back to school Paul’s Big Burger Ballyhoo is hosted by Paul, one half of the brilliant team that is Writing at the Kitchen Table. An interesting point – Paul will cook and sample all the entries! Go Paul!!! My hat’s off to you :)

      Next up: what we had with our burgers…happens to be an entry to yet another event…stay tuned!