Chelsea Winter. Winner of Masterchef NZ in 2012, author of three cookbooks, and my go-to gal when I’m in a recipe funk. At My Table and Everyday Delicious are the most-used and most-recommended cookbooks in my kitchen, so I’m making it my mission to try every recipe. And of course, her new book, Homemade Happiness, is on my Christmas wish-list!
When I was growing up, hamburgers were a treat meal that dad cooked on the barbecue, while mum filled dish after dish with every possible topping imaginable. The burger was always a pattie made from mince, and there was never any deviation from this.
Fast-forward to burgers in our house, and so much has changed. The pattie might be made of any minced meat, or it might not be a pattie – or meat – at all. It might be a piece of pan-fried blue cod, or a mixture of chicken mince and Thai-style flavours, or a crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside falafel. The extras are just as varied, although I must say that a beef burger without beetroot just isn’t worth the effort.
Chelsea has a number of burger recipes that will take you out of any burger rut you might be in – and with the barbecue season upon us here in the southern hemisphere, what better time to get you inspired??
Cajun Chicken Burgers with Avocado and Mayo
Made with boneless chicken thighs, these burgers are slightly spicy and highly delicious, especially if they are charred a little on the barbecue. The homemade Cajun seasoning is so easy, made with ingredients you’re likely to have in your pantry already, and while it was spicy, the avocado and mayonnaise helped to cool the palate down. My children don’t like mayonnaise (whaaaaaaaaat??), but they still gobbled down the chicken and didn’t complain about the heat at all.
Barbecued Chicken Burgers
These burgers were very Greek in flavour, and the herby feta mayonnaise was delicious. To avoid over-dosing on dairy, I left out the cheese that Chelsea melts onto the buns, and to be honest, I don’t think it was missed. The rest of the ingredients were simple and full of flavour and crunch.
Fresh Salmon Burgers
The first time I made these, my patties fell apart because I hadn’t diced the salmon finely enough. The second time, I was much more vicious, and the patties held together beautifully. The flavour of these burgers is divine, and keeping the extras to a minimum ensures that the salmon is the (excuse the Masterchef-esque speak) hero of the dish. All three of my males loved these and fought over the extra patties.
Steak and Bacon Sandwiches with Smoky Mayo and Crispy Onion Rings
These burgers are not for the faint-hearted…they are what an old work colleague would have called a “heart-attack sandwich”. Despite the heaviness and manliness of the recipe, the combination of flavours was delicious. The smoky mayo (mayo + smoked paprika) was genius, and cut through a bit of the fattiness. The onion rings were a bit moreish, and I had to stop myself from sampling too many; they were super-easy (if a bit messy) to make.
Tandoori-Style Chicken Burgers
Yum. Another interesting option for a chicken burger, but one that my entire family loved. I have noted in the margin of the recipe to use less chilli powder next time, which probably means they were a bit spicy for my bublettes.
Chelsea’s Cheeseburgers with Secret Sauce
Apparently this is one of the public’s favourite Chelsea recipes, but I’m afraid I’m going to buck the trend and say we found them just okay. The burger patties were okay, and the secret sauce was okay, but I’m not rushing to make them again. I don’t know what it was, but none of us were big fans…you’ll have to try them for yourselves and see!
Lamb Burgers with Fresh Beetroot Relish
These delicious burgers got the big thumbs up from my beetroot-hating husband – he even took aaaaall the leftovers for his lunch the following day. The patties were full of flavour and really tender without being sloppy, and the beetroot relish…I could have eaten it by the spoonful!
Pulled Pork Burgers
From the moment I discovered pulled pork, I was hooked, and these wee beauties appealed from the moment I received Everyday Delicious. When I finally made them, I was not disappointed – they were awesome. They take a lot more effort than your average burger, but the effort is worth it. The tender pork combined with the zesty dressing was a mixture made in heaven; the crackling was a great textural element too.