A couple of months ago I had the honor of attending the launch of the James Beard Foundations Blended Burger Project here in Minneapolis. The blended burger initiative aims to influence chefs to incorporate mushrooms into burger recipes, both for sustainability and health benefits. Makes perfect sense to me. And the coolest part is that this movement is being welcomed and respected to no end. From elite restaurants to classic burger joints, these blends are showing up on menus all around the world. And get this, schools throughout the country have incorporated blended burgers into their menus. Can you imagine? It’s time for change, friends, and I suppose we could start one household at a time.
And, well, my household gladly welcomes this change. Yes, I believe the sustainability and health benefits are ginormous. But you know what? On top of those things, a blended burger is by far, hands down, absolutely positively the most flavorful, perfectly juicy, unbelievable burger you will ever eat. I kid you not, just you wait.
First and foremost, there’s nothing to it. You literally add finely chopped, cooked mushrooms into your ground beef or turkey and thats the base. But I dare you to do a head to head taste test between an all beef burger and a blended burger. You wont believe your tastebuds.
I adore mushrooms, yet I do not cook with them often. My husband despises them…it’s the texture he just can’t get over. But a blended burger? He’ll pick one any day of the week, no qualms. He went to the project launch with me where we were able to try several different blended burger variations prepared by some amazing chefs and I think his life was changed at that very minute; he’s a total believer. From that moment on, I heard babe, when are you going to create your own blended burger? an average of 632 times per week. And now, after playing around with a couple of different versions in my kitchen, I present to you my most favorite burger in all the land: The Maverick Blended Burger
Now you see, back in my good old college days I was a bartender. Or should I say back in my good old bartending days I went to college….I worked far more than I studied. Man I loved that job, what could be better than standing behind a bar pouring drinks and shooting the breeze with folks of all walks of life? Blue Bricks was the name of the bar and oh boy, the memories. I spent my entire college career at that place and made some amazing friends along the way. And the fabulous owner, who is a very dear friend of mine, put together a menu that can seriously hold its own; bar food gone amazing. The Maverick Burger is a favorite on the menu: a burger, bacon, tomato and chive cream cheese. It doesn’t sound like much but man that thing will blow your mind.
So that is exactly where the inspiration for this burger came from. It’s a blended burger and a Maverick burger, well, blended. The most succulent, juicy, meaty, savory, amazing burger with tomato and scallion cream cheese lathered right on top. This burger gets me. We are like, meant to be.
You’ve got to give this a try you guys….it’s a game changer!
The Maverick Blended Burger
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
8 Ounces Baby Bella or Cremini Mushrooms
1/2 Small White Onion
6 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 Pound Ground Beef, preferably grass fed 80/20
Kosher Salt + Black Pepper
Place onion in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5 times. Add mushrooms and pulse until they are ground into very small pieces.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushroom/onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened and begin to turn golden. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Place the cream cheese and green onion in a small bowl and mash well with a fork, set aside.
Preheat outdoor grill over medium high-high heat. Place ground beef, mushrooms and onions in a large bowl and mix gently with your hands until combined. Form the mixture into 6 pattys and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Place on an oiled grill grate and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping once in between cooking, or until desired doneness. Place buns on the grill, cut side down, and cook until just beginning to char.
Spread cream cheese/green mixture on burger buns, top with tomato and a burger. Makes 6 burgers.