Spanish Pork Burgers
From EatingWell: May/June 2008
This Spanish-themed burger is boldly flavored with sautéed onions (which keep it moist), paprika, garlic and green olives. The creamy mayonnaise spread is tangy with lemon and a hint of earthy saffron.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups thinly sliced Spanish onion
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Spanish green olives, such as Manzanilla
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons PimentÃ³n de la Vera, (see Shopping Tip) or Hungarian paprika
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of saffron, (see Ingredient Note)
- 1/4 cup shredded Manchego or Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
- 2 whole jarred Piquillo peppers, (see Shopping Tip) or jarred pimientos, halved lengthwise
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Set aside half the onion for topping; finely chop the other half.
- Preheat grill to medium.
- Place the chopped onion in a large bowl; add pork, olives, garlic, paprika, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice and saffron in a small bowl.
- Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 10 to 12 minutes total. Top with cheese and cook until it is melted, about 1 minute more.
- Assemble the burgers on toasted buns with the lemon-saffron mayonnaise, some of the reserved onions and a half a Piquillo (or pimiento) pepper.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the lemon-saffron mayonnaise (Step 4) for up to 5 days.
- Shopping Tip: Spain is known for its superb paprika called PimentÃ³n de la Vera, which has a smoky flavor, and for intensely flavored peppers called Piquillos. Look for these specialty ingredients in well-stocked supermarkets, gourmet-food shops or online at spanishtable.com or tienda.com.
- Ingredient Note: Literally the dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Each crocus produces only 3 stigma, requiring over 75,000 flowers for each pound of saffron. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. It's used sparingly to add golden yellow color and flavor to a wide variety of Middle Eastern, African and European-inspired foods. Find it in the specialty-herb section of large supermarkets, gourmet-food shops and tienda.com. Wrapped in foil and placed in a container with a tight-fitting lid, it will keep in a cool, dry place for several years.
- Tip: To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.
Per serving: 364 calories; 16 g fat (5 g sat, 3 g mono); 71 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 5 g fiber; 659 mg sodium; 209 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (31% daily value).
Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2
Exchanges: 2 starch, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat
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- Ease of Preparation
- Total Time
- 1 hour or less
- Main Ingredient
- May/June 2008