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Cookin' with Sal: Burger and brat (soup)
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Cookin’ with Sal

Cookin' with Sal: Burger and brat (soup)

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After nine days on the road, it’s hard to remember what happened when, but I always remember the food.

Two of the best tasting meals were from unexpected sources — a walk-up deli at a casino and a chain burger restaurant.

The deli featured a grilled, foot-long hot dog that was split down the middle, grilled to perfection and served on a toasty roll. After traveling and missing breakfast and lunch, it was the perfect mid-afternoon choice.

At the burger place, I went with a “Wisconsin butter burger,” and was not disappointed.

We had a couple of very high-end for us dinners that were over the top delicious, but these quick, relatively inexpensive kinds of meals made up the bulk of this or any trip.

As we roll into June with way above average temperatures and kids still in school (ugh!), dinner in the backyard wading pool doesn’t sound half bad.

Here are a couple of recipes you might want to try.

Wisconsin Butter-basted Burgers

1 pound lean ground beef (90 percent lean)

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms

2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons butter, divided

4 hamburger buns, split

Optional toppings: Tomato slices, lettuce leaves, dill pickle slices, ketchup, mustard and grilled onions

Sprinkle ground beef with seasoned salt and pepper. Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Add to the seasoned beef, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into four, 1/2-inch thick patties.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add burgers; cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, basting with butter, until a thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat; keep warm. Add bun tops to skillet, toast until golden brown.

Transfer burgers to bun bottoms. Top each with 1 teaspoon butter. Replace bun tops. Serve with toppings. Serves 4.

(Recipe from “Most Requested Recipes”)

Bratwurst Soup

1 pound uncooked bratwurst links, casings removed

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 medium carrot, chopped

2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) navy beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices, chopped

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups 2 percent milk, divided

12 slices American cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook and crumble the bratwurst with the onion and carrot over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes; drain.

Stir in beans, jalapeno, pepper and broth; bring to a boil. Whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup milk until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Gradually stir in remaining milk. Add cheese; cook and stir over low heat until melted. Serves 8.

(Recipe from “Most Requested Comfort Foods”)

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Community news editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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