Archive for July, 2009

BBQ Burgers and Eggplant


I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! We spent the 4th out of town and we had a great time. We set off some fireworks and of course I manned the grill for burgers, brats, and hot dogs for a family event.

Tonight was a great, clear evening that could not be ignored so we decided to take advantage of the outdoors and grilled  some burgers at home.

We buy 97% fat free beef so I add a little adhesive to my beef when I make the patties. For those not familiar with grilling, 97% beef comes out very dry if cooked on it’s own. Unfortunately for healthy living, fat is where the flavor is. This beef comes with very little fat, so I add some flavor and spice to mine.

Be sure to preheat your grill to a three tier heat, which is simply creating three areas of varying heat to move food around during the cooking process to manage the temperature of the food. I have a gas grill with three burners so I have the left one set to high, the middle one set to medium, and the right one set to low. When I want to cook quickly, I use the left side of the grill. When things are just about done I move them to the right side of the grill. I also cook thinner or the least thick items on the right side.

Here’s a version of the burger recipe I got from my Dad, which is very easy.

  • 2 pounds 97% Ground Beef (thawed)
  • 1/2 Cup Barbecue Sauce (Your favorite)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cajun Style Rub (We’ll get to that later)

Also you will need these ingredients while grilling:

  • 4 slices of Cheese ( I used Swiss today)
  • Barbecue Sauce to coat with while grilling ( I use the same one as above)
  • Some Onion slices for the topping

Add the meat to a bowl. Add the barbecue sauce and the rub. Mix together. It’s at this point in the recipe that you can make three or fours patties while mixing in any additional ingredients, such as cheese, mushrooms, or vegetables. Be sure to place them in the middle of the patties for equal flavor and distribution. I made simple burgers this evening so I did not add anything else at this point.


We love to grill vegetables and my favorite are eggplant. I also keep this simple. I cut the eggplant into medium sized slices, spray them with Pam Olive Oil, and then usually apply a Cajun rub (I promise we’ll get to it).

Grab your food, beer, and utensils then head out to the grill!



Brush some barbecue sauce to the top of the burger once you begin grilling and then to the other side of the burger on the final flip. I usually cook my burgers around 10 minutes, 5 minutes on each side. It’s done but there is still some juice on the inside of the meat.

I also cook the eggplant on low for 10 minutes so everything comes off the grill at the same time.

Add some cheese on top, cook the onion to soften, and then take everything off! Pretty simple and tasty!!


Cajun Rub

I try to make new rubs all the time and sometimes they don’t pan out. I mix together all the unsuccessful rubs and the rubs that are successful but only have a little left into a container and use the “leftover” rub on meals we eat at home. Sometimes the “leftover” rub is great but can’t be recreated because I can’t ever guess the ratio of the spices in every rub. Most of the time the “leftover” rub is a differing paprika based Cajun type rub. This one is close to the rub I used tonight.

2 Tablespoons Paprika
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Cayenne
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning


    Happy grilling!



    Read Full Post »