The Hamburger Goes Topless!


Over the years our taste for food changes. I remember growing up being forced to eat vegetables, covering with an inch coating of seasonings so I wouldn’t have to taste them directly. Let alone touch my tongue!

Same goes with meat. I was and still am a big fish eater. More so than steak or any red meat. Don’t misunderstand me. I love a well-prepared steak! Hamburgers? I believe there is an art to grilling the perfect hamburger. Sure we can throw them on the outdoor grille and let the meat soak up the charcoal flavoring and we call it a day. Not so fast grill master. There is a thousand recipes for the perfect hamburger and in our lifetime we are lucky to try five of them.

Growing up, my hamburger consisted of meat, bread and ketchup. Vegetables? Hell no! I had to eat them in plain site, I sure wasn’t going to hide them under a bun! Till this day, I do not understand why someone would go to great lengths to grill the perfect burger then hide the sensational flavor with a vast stack of veggies. You really want to know how to savor the perfect grilled burger? Eat it plain. You dressed your patty for the Academy Awards, so why not treat him like the star you made him?

Now back to cooking. I had to build up the story okay? Not all hamburger meat is the same. I prefer lean beef. But don’t get it so lean that cooks dry. Trust me, this happens. You’ve got to have just a little fat in there. Buying beef so pink will yield a burger then size of a silver dollar. Don’t short change yourself.

Make your patties what ever size you desire. Mine are usually about six to seven inches in diameter. This particular burger I dressed him out in a coating of Worcestershire sauce (Yes again, learn to cook with it!) red crushed pepper, garlic powder (not garlic salt), a bit of mesquite seasoning (one of the best I found and it was at Costco!) and cilantro.

Using my trusty grill pan (Hey it’s been over 100 degrees here for the past 6 weeks, I’m not cooking outside!) on a medium heat (5-6 setting on electric stove), spray the pan with a non-fat spray and place the burgers on the pan. 3-4 will fit nicely.

Cooking time will depend on you. I prefer well-done as I’m not a fan of pink hamburger meat. It’s not recommended anyway. As you see in the photo, mine is well-done. See how juicy it is? Far from dry. Your cooking time will be under 10 minutes.

I love cheese and Feta has become one of my all-time favorites. The robust flavor of Feta has the right amount of punch without being too powerful. Blends well with seasonings too. So top your burger with Feta! Or blue cheese crumbles!

As you see there is no bun in sight. Heck no! He’s too pretty to be wearing a bun this time around. I wanted to savor each bite and I did. I was the last one to finish. My youngest son inhaled his before I even had taken my first bite! Doesn’t bother me that he inhaled it! He’s eating and that makes this Dad happy!

Finish off your burger with a nice Caesar salad, some veggies for a well-balanced meal. Your cooking time should be around 10 minutes. Another quick healthy meal!

So the next time it rains and you’re in the mood to grill. Don’t fret. Grab your pan, some burgers and have an indoor gathering. The aroma in your kitchen will make you feel as if you were out on the back patio!


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