Thursday, May 24, 2007

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!


      Ipshi said...

      Yippee im the first to comment!! First of all thanks for commenting on my post, it was so amazing seeing ur comment there i actually checked to see if it was the same joey!!

      secondly "the whole lot is eyes-rolling-backward-into-head good!" i so know that feeling. i love trying out different kinds of food and ur blog makes cooking look so simple that i hav had to try something myself and this burger recipe is so gonna b made!!

      thanks for everything!! u rock!!

      Meeta said...

      Joey - these look so delicious. Before we had Soeren we loved apartment life too. We lived in a wonderful apartment in the middle of Leipzig city. Now that Soeren is here iI have to say having a house with a backyard is worth gold! Funny how things change.

      What does not change though is that these burgers are looking too good and when you come to visit me ;-) I hope you will enjoy making these for me on our outdoor grill! LOL!

      Freya and Paul said...

      Delicious burgers! I love the mushroom topping! Thanks for entering and good luck!

      MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

      That photo and this recipe are gold! Joey that is one fabulous burger. I may be a very bad girl and just leave the bun off and pretend it's steak. That is a jaw dropper.

      canDIshhh said...

      Looks good! I LOVE Mushrooms and caramelized Onions! What a good combo! :)

      ChichaJo said...

      Hi Ipshi! You are too sweet :) Your's was a very interesting post! I'm so glad you enjoyed this can be very simple and still yield great rewards :) Thank you for "listening" to my cooking prattle ;)

      Hi Meeta! I can imagine wanting a nice backyard once I have kids...they will have a place to play and expend their energies...maybe helping tend my vegetable patch! :) I'll be happy to grill these in your backyard!

      Hi Freya and Paul! Thank you! :) Great event...I had fun!

      Hi Tanna! Thanks a lot! Buns are certainly optional ;)

      Thanks Candishhh! Aren't mushrooms and caramelized onions the best? :) I agree!

      Franco said...


      I am mad about burgers. Just made a couple following a recipe by Michael Schlow.

      One notable difference from yours, the onions are deep fried and made crisp.


      M.Tan said...

      Burgers! And if you checkout NYTimes online, Mark Bitman wrote an article about what makes a perfect burger. I love onions with my meat!

      valentinA said...

      GOodness me Joey, I've no doubt how heavenly this burger must taste. The photo really speaks for itself!!!

      Anonymous said...

      The guards in your building must love you! What an excellent way to use leftovers. :)

      The burger looks delicious, caramelized onions kick it into the uber delicious stratosphere!

      Ari (Baking and Books)

      Patricia Scarpin said...

      Wow, I guess João would freak out with this burger - it's huge, Joey!

      ChichaJo said...

      Hi Franco! Sounds great...will try crisping the onions too :)

      Hi M! I love onions with can't imagine how many we go through here! Thanks for the heads up on the NYT article...will look for it :)

      Hi Valentina! Thanks! :)

      Hi Ari! I sure hope so! It's the least I can do for all the times they've helped me lug my groceries from the parking...heehee :)

      Hi Patricia! Hehe :) The toppings make it look bigger then it is ;)

      Little Foodie said...

      That is surely going to be at the top of the Big Burger Ballyhoo!

      Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

      Woaw, that's a killer burger! Your picture looks really awesome. The mushroom and onion filling is a great idea!


      I just wanted to let you know that I am organizing an event:

      I hope that you'll find the time to participate!

      Please spread the word!!!

      Kind Regards,


      Midge said...

      Hi, Joey! That burger looks postively delish. Caramelized onions and grilled mushrooms make a fab burger topper on their own. Sometimes, though, I up the ante by drizzling bleu cheese dressing or letting a slice of mozzarella melt over the burger before munching. Soooo nice!

      K & S said...

      Gosh that looks really good! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

      ChichaJo said...

      Hi Little Foodie! Thanks! :)

      Hi Rosa! Thank you...I really do love that filling :) Sunday brunch is always a treat to I will do that soon and share this with you :)

      Thanks Midge! I like to have this with gorgonzola cheese (melt it on the patty) and bbq sauce :) The combination is nearly lethal :)

      Hi K&S! Thank you too :)

      sher said...

      WOW! Pardon me while I swoon over that picture!

      annie said...

      i'd absolutely have to throw a tomato on that bad boy and then dig in.

      don't tease -- write about the next event asap!

      - anne, intern
      and burger fanatic

      Gattina said...

      Joey, I'm with you... this burger and about apartment living! My friend was lucky enough, only in the first year when he moved into his apartment, was allowed bbq on his balcony, then it's banned.

      ChichaJo said...

      Hi Sher! Thanks! :)

      Hi Annie! Thanks for dropping by and for your nice comment :) Next one's up :)

      Hi Gattina! I hope your friend enjoyed his one year of barbecues! :)

      Deborah Dowd said...

      Gorgeous burger! There is nothing like a burger in the summer to make you want to fire up he grill!

      ChichaJo said...

      Hi Deborah! Thanks! I agree...I just wish we had an actual grill to fire up! Until then we will just have to do with our contact grill :)