by Rebecca Bent with Tom Steele
from Burgers: 50 Recipes Celebrating an American Classic
(Clarkson Potter, 2004)
Mini-burgers make perfect party food: Guests can hold them in one hand. Because mini-burger buns are not easily purchased, I place a piece of white bread, crusts trimmed, in heated nonstick waffle iron, then press down long enough to toast it and leave waffle indentations in the bread.
One slice of bread provides buns for about four mini-burgers.—Rebecca Bent
3 pieces sliced white sandwich bread, crusts removed
9 ounces ground beef (a little over 1/2 pound)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus 12 sprigs, for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil (to season skillet), optional
12 thin slices Cheddar cheese, about 2 inches square (optional)
1. Heat an electric nonstick waffle iron to medium.
2. Place a slice of trimmed bread in the center of the hot waffle iron and press down hard to toast and perforate the bread for 1 minute, or until the bread’s waffle design has browned nicely. When toasted, cut each slice into square pieces about 1 inch by 1 inch. You should have enough bread for about 12 mini-burgers.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, salt, and chopped parsley, and mix well with your hands. Remove a heaping tablespoon of the mixture‹a little less than 1 ounce‹and roll it into a ball. Flatten it slightly into a patty no thicker than 1 inch. The 9 ounces of beef should make about 12 mini-burgers.
4. Warm a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Slick the skillet with the olive oil. Or, if using a grill, cook the mini-burgers on a sheet of aluminum foil perforated several times with a fork to allow the juices to drip away. Cook the burgers no longer than 1 minute per side for medium-rare. Top each burger with the optional cheese as soon as you flip the burger. Serve each burger between 2 slices of waffled bread, with a sprig of parsley on top (see Note).
Note: Try topping with other flavors such as fresh herbs, a dab of ketchup, a sliver of roasted bell pepper, or a pinch of ground spice. There are endless possibilities to add more flavor and color to these versatile minis.
Recipe © 2004 Rebecca Gareis-Bent. All rights reserved.