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Burgers and pickles

A mouth-watering burger adorned by a few pickles is a popular summertime food. (Cathie Campbell/For The Madera Tribune)


Hamburgers and pickles go together so well that most of us want pickles on our burgers. And most also want slices of red onion, lettuce, tomato, etc.

Back in March, there was actually a National Hamburger and Pickle Day. Well, we’re way past March, but it should be fun to combine both pickles and burgers in one column.

We all have our treasured favorite places to buy a tasty burger, but if you feel like making your own, and maybe even trying your hand at making some delicious pickles, here are a few recipes to get you started.

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far and managing to stay cool. Remember to stay well hydrated! Bread and butter pickles Start this recipe the day before, as the cucumbers and onions need to drain overnight. 3 pounds crisp pickling cucumbers, sliced 1/4 inch thick 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced 1/4 cup kosher or sea salt 2 cups white vinegar 1/2 cup water 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons mustard seeds 1 teaspoon celery seeds 1 teaspoon turmeric

  1. Place the cucumbers and onions in a colander resting in a large bowl or in the sink. Toss with the salt and let stand for 1 to 2 hours. This process will allow the cucumber slices to release a lot of their water content.

  2. Rinse the cucumbers and onions and then place in a single layer on a couple of sheet pans lined with paper towels. Cover with another layer of paper towels and let dry overnight.

  3. The next day, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and turmeric in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil.

  4. Fill sterilized canning jars with the cucumbers and onions, leaving about 1/2-inch space from the top of the jars. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions to fill the jars. Seal the jars according to manufacturer’s directions.

  5. Allow the filled jars to sit for several days before opening to allow the flavors to fully develop. The pickles taste best when served chilled. Makes 4 to 5 cups pickles.

Dill pickles 3 3/4 cups water 3 3/4 cups white or cider vinegar 6 tablespoons pickling salt 2 1/4 pounds 4-inch pickling cucumbers (about 36 cucumbers) 6 to 8 tablespoons dill seed (I prefer to use fresh dill. Add 2 to 3 heads to each jar. I also like a few garlic cloves added.) 1 tablespoon mustard seeds 6 sterilized pint canning jars with lids and bands

  1. Make the pickling brine by mixing water, vinegar and pickling salt in a saucepan. Heat until the mixture comes to a boil.

  2. To prepare cucumbers: Wash the cucumbers thoroughly. Cut off the stems and cut a 1/4-inch slice from each end.

  3. Place five to six cucumbers into each pint canning jar. Leave 1/2 inch of headroom between the cucumbers and the top of the jar. Place 3 to 4 teaspoons of the dill seed (or 2 to 3 fresh dill heads) and 1/2 teaspoon of the mustard seed in each jar. Add garlic cloves, if desired.

  4. Using a funnel, ladle the brine carefully into each jar, filling it to within 1/2 inch of the top. Remove the funnel. Wipe the edge of the jar with a clean, damp paper towel. Place the seal and lid in place and tighten. Repeat with the remaining jars.

  5. Make sure the jars do not touch each other. Cover the canner. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the canning bath and allow to cool.

  6. Let the sealed jars stand at room temperature for one week. They can then be stored up to one year in a cool, dark place. Once the sealed jars are opened, store them in the refrigerator. Makes 6 pints.

Portabella burgers Portabella, portobello, doesn’t matter in this recipe. 2 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed, gills removed 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and divided 1 cup minced broccoli (fresh only) 1/2 cup red onion, minced 3 extra-large eggs, beaten 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons panko crumbs (use gluten free if you like) 1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (there is a version that is anchovy free) 2 tablespoons minced garlic 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Extra-virgin olive oil

  1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of black beans and mash with a masher (chunks are fine). Add in the mushrooms, remaining black beans, broccoli, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce and steak seasoning. Mix until well blended but do not over mix. Gently mix in the eggs, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Set mixture aside.

  2. Place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer (about a minute or two), using dampened hands (the mixture will stick to you if you don’t), scoop a 1/2 cup of mixture into the palm of your hand and gently shape into a burger all the while pressing together. The mixture should hold a burger shape. If it doesn’t add just a tablespoon more of bread crumbs.

  3. Place in the oil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side. Serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce, Makes 8 to 10 burgers.

Pub burgers Grill Mates Worcestershire Pub Seasoning blend Grill Mates Montreal Steak Sauce 1 pound or a little more ground chuck 4 slices sharp Cheddar cheese 8 slices cooked bacon 4 hamburger buns 1 sweet onion, sliced 2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Loosely form 1/4-pound burger patties and generously apply Grill Mates Worcestershire Pub Burger seasoning.

  2. In a skillet, add olive oil and sliced onion and cook until nicely caramelized (about 30 minutes). Cook bacon until crisp.

  3. Grill burgers and when almost finished melt cheese over tops and apply bacon. Add caramelized onion slices on top of bacon and cheese, then pour steak sauce over the tops of burgers and place each burger on a soft bun. Makes 4 burgers.

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