Taste global destinations through beef
Summer is a great time for family vacations. Some of my family’s favorite memories come from exploring culture through food while away from home. We often try to recreate that same meal when we return to hopefully transport our minds and taste buds back to that moment in time.
If you are not able to get away for a summer break you can always create a themed destination in your own backyard and vicariously slip away. This particular time of the year is perfect for a backyard destination dinner because there is a plethora of fresh produce and herbs available for endless flavorful cuisine combinations – not to mention sunshine!
Beefitswhatsfordinner.com is a great recipe resource to transport your taste buds to various locations around the world. There are a variety of recipes that range from easy and simple to more challenging for the experienced cook. On the home page of the website, search for the type of cuisine you are looking for and recipe options will appear.
Here is a great recipe to try if you don’t happen to have a specific cuisine in mind. This Around the World Mini Burger is a fun recipe the entire family can help with because it was designed with the young cook in mind. It uses a standard burger recipe yet offers a variety of toppings that will take your burger to a whole new level. You could simply pick one unique topping or provide a variety of toppings for people to choose. Add a few theme props along with specifically selected background music and you have yourself a fun, family, destination-themed party where you’re visiting the world vicariously through your taste buds.
For more information about beef and other recipes visit www.sdbeef.org or contact Holly Swee, RD, LN, Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council at 605-224-4722.
Around The World Mini Burger
• Total Recipe Time: 35 minutes
• Makes 4 servings
1 pound Ground Beef (95% lean)
1 slice white bread
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
12 whole wheat dinner rolls
Toppings: Mexican, Moroccan, Italian or Asian (recipes follow)
Always wash your hands before beginning to prepare a recipe. GATHER all your cooking supplies (see list below). Make sure you have all the ingredients.
Choose a topping and make it as directed below. Set it aside while making the burgers.
Tear the bread slice into pieces. Adult help may be needed: Place pieces in a food processor or blender container. Cover; process until the bread becomes crumbs. Measure 1/4 cup bread crumbs; set aside.
Place the egg white in a large bowl. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork. Add the Ground Beef, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to the bowl. MIX lightly but not too much with 2 forks until everything is combined.
Divide the beef mixture into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into mini patties about 1/2-inch thick; set aside. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water.
Adult help may be needed: With a serrated knife and cutting board, carefully cut each dinner roll in half to form a top and bottom. Set aside.
Adult help needed: Using a barbecue spatula, place the patties on a grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once. Careful! Watch for flare-ups on grill! Wear barbecue mitts when turning the burgers. The burgers are done when an instant-read food thermometer inserted horizontally into center reads 160°F. Carefully remove the burgers to a clean plate.
Adult help needed: Carefully place the dinner rolls, cut sides down, on the grid. Grill, uncovered, 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Serve the mini burgers with desired topping on the toasted rolls.
Mexican Topping: Adult help may be needed: With a sharp knife and cutting board, cut a washed lime in half. Squeeze the juice from the lime using a citrus juicer or reamer. Measure 1 tablespoon juice; pour into another small bowl. Add 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin; stir with a spoon until blended. Spread the yogurt mixture evenly over the cut sides of the toasted dinner rolls with a table knife. Place the cooked burgers on the roll bottoms. Top the burgers with 1/4 cup prepared salsa, 1/4 cup prepared guacamole and 1/4 cup shredded jalapeño pepper cheese, dividing evenly. Close the sandwiches with the roll tops.
Moroccan Topping: Adult help may be needed: With a cutting board and sharp knife, cut a washed cucumber into 24 very thin slices. Cut 4 washed plum tomatoes into 6 slices each. Spread 1/2 cup prepared hummus over the cut sides of the toasted dinner rolls with a table knife, dividing evenly. Place 2 cucumber and 2 tomato slices on top of hummus. Top with the burgers and close the sandwiches with the roll tops.
Italian Topping: Adult help may be needed: With a cutting board and sharp knife, chop enough of a washed medium tomato to measure 1 cup. Crush 1 small, peeled garlic clove in a garlic press. Stack several washed basil leaves and roll up the leaves, starting at a long side, forming a tight cylinder. Carefully cut the cylinder crosswise into very thin slices. Measure 1/4 cup of the basil. Combine the tomato, garlic, basil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper into a small bowl with a spoon; set aside. Carefully cut one 3-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella cheese into 12 slices. Place 1 mozzarella slice on each toasted dinner roll bottom. Top with the burgers and tomato mixture, dividing evenly. Close the sandwiches with the roll tops.
Asian Topping: Adult help may be needed: Stack 3 to 4 washed Romaine lettuce leaves on a cutting board. Roll up the leaves, starting at a long side, forming a tight cylinder. With a sharp knife and cutting board, carefully cut the cylinder crosswise into very thin slices. Measure 3/4 cup shredded lettuce. Combine 1/2 cup prepared plum sauce and 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard in a small bowl with a spoon. With a table knife, spread the plum sauce mixture evenly over the cut sides of the toasted dinner roll bottoms with a table knife. Top with 3/4 cup preshredded carrots and lettuce, dividing evenly. Top with the burgers. Close the sandwiches with the roll tops.
*Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program