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Spanish Pork Burgers

May/June 2008

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (21 votes)

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.



READER'S COMMENT:
"Great flavors and a nice change from turkey burgers. I will definitely make this again!! "
Spanish Pork Burgers

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 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 Pimentón 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

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. Preheat grill to medium.
  3. 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.
  4. Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice and saffron in a small bowl.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Pimentón 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.

Nutrition

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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