Football, Tailgating and Mini Burgers

Chef Dave’s Kitchen

By Chef David Blackmon

Football season is back again and I am excited. I am a Chicago Native born and raised, I am a Bears fan, win or lose!!! I am a football fan. To me football is great because it also provides opportunities for tailgating. So when I think tailgating I think grilled sausages, brats and oh course burgers. Here are a couple of my mini burger recipes for my tailgate crews out there. Enjoy.

Mini Turkey Burgers

1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground turkey
8 small potato rolls, split in 1/2
2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Preheat a grill to 350 degrees F.

Combine the onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Line a jellyroll or sheet pan with parchment paper, and place the ground chuck in the middle of the pan. Cover the meat with a large sheet of plastic wrap. Roll meat with a rolling pin until it covers the surface of the pan; it should be very thin. Remove the plastic wrap, and sprinkle the meat with the seasoning mixture. Fold the meat in half, from side to side, using the parchment paper. Use a pizza wheel to cut the meat into 8 even squares. (This can be done in advance and placed in your cooler.)

Wrap the buns in foil and place on the grill for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the burgers on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

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Remove the buns off the grill. Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on each bun and top with the burger and any other condiments, as desired. Serve immediately.

Mini Shrimp Burgers

1 pound raw peeled and deveined small shrimp
1 celery stalk with green, leafy tops, coarsely chopped
1/2 small to medium yellow skinned onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
A handful parsley leaves
1 tablespoon all-purpose seafood seasoning, found near fish department (chef recommended: Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon hot sauce (chef recommended: Tabasco)
1 lemon, zested
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
12 to 15 soft mini dinner rolls, sliced

1/4 cup mayonnaise or reduced fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce or salsa or taco sauce
Butter or Boston lettuce leaves

Divide the shrimp in half. Put half the shrimp into a food processor and grind it up. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the whole shrimp to the bowl. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic and parsley to the processor and pulse-grind it into a fine chop. Add the vegetable mixture to the shrimp. Add half a palm full of crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, lemon zest, salt and pepper to the bowl, to season. Stir the shrimp mixture to combine. (This is to be done ahead and kept ice cold in the cooler.)

Cover grill grate with foil and place over medium coals. Using a food grade spray bottle, spray extra-virgin olive oil on foil. Use a 2 oz. metal scoop to scoop mounds of shrimp burger mixture onto the foil. Gently pat down to form patties. Place foil on grill grate and heat grill to 350degrees F. Spray foil with non stick food spray. Cook patties 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until they firm up and the shrimp turn whitish-pink.

Mix mayonnaise and chili sauce, salsa or taco sauce. Place burgers on dinner roll bottoms and top with lettuce. Slather the top of the roll with sauce and set in place.

burgerDavid Blackmon is the chef/owner of The Culinary Solution (Private Event Chefs for Hire). Questions? Or Comments. Email him: [email protected]


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