Monday , 21 May 2018

Kyra’s Kitchen: The DIY Burger – Part 2

It has been a week since we examined the basic beef hamburger.  This week we will introduce some burgers that are NOT made from beef.  This will probably offend the purists amongst you but open your minds and your palates and try something new!


In England these are called Fish Cakes, but slapped between two halves of a bun they become burgers!  They are nutritious and low calorie.

1 15oz can salmon, drained – bones, and skin removed
1 egg
1 stalk celery diced
¼ cup grated Monterey jack cheese
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mix together the ingredients for the burgers.  Form into 6 patties.
Chill until ready to cook
Mix together the ingredients for the sauce and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, set the patties on an oiled cookie sheet and broil about 3” from heat for about 4 minutes. Then VERY carefully turn the burgers over and cook another 4 minutes.
Serve on buns with the sauce.


1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
2 teaspoons garam masala [available in Indian stores]*
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 green onions finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
*Note: If you are unable to locate the garam masala, substitute ½ teaspoon  curry powder or curry paste.

½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup Major Grey chutney  [or any mango chutney] 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
Pinch of salt

Combine the ingredients for the chicken burger and form into 4 patties.
Chill until ready to serve.
Combine the ingredients for the sauce and chill until ready to serve.

When ready to serve:
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
Cook the patties for about 6 minutes then carefully turn them over and cook another 6 minutes.
Serve on buns, layered with the sauce and some fresh lettuce.

Okay, NOW we are REALLY going to get adventurous….


1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small potato
1 teaspoon garlic [from a jar] 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 egg or 2 whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ teaspoon chili powder [optional]

Boil the potatoes until soft and allow to cool, then peel off the skin.
Mash the potato with the chickpeas and mix in the remaining ingredients.
Shape into 6 burgers.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non stick skillet and cook the burgers on one side for about 4 minutes, then carefully turn them over and cook another 4 minutes. 

Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, salsa and mayonnaise

4 Portabello mushrooms, peeled
1 teaspoon crushed garlic [from a jar] ½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped olives
4 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing

Scrape out the brown underside [gills] of the mushroom and remove the stems.
Set the mushrooms topside up on an oiled cookies sheet and broil for about 2 minutes.
Invert the mushrooms.
Blend together the rest of the ingredients.
Fill the mushroom cavities with filling and return to the broiler for another 4 minutes or until tender and bubbling.

Serve sandwiched between two halves of a bun with salad greens.

Other ideas
If you happen to have some meatloaf left over, you can slap slices between two halves of a bun and you have…  MEATLOAF BURGERS!

Purchase a package of ready-made meatballs and serve 4 meatballs on a long roll with barbecue sauce.

And remember you can use any kind of bun or even brown bread to sandwich the burgers.

Cook’s Hint:
All these burgers will benefit from a little sojourn in the refrigerator before cooking. It firms them up…!

About the Author
McKinney resident Kyra Effren is a contributing writer for’s “Food” section.  She is a retired food stylist and contributing writer for the “Food” section of Dallas Morning News. In 1975, Effren opened Cours de Cuisine Cooking School in Dallas and in 1978, she was awarded The Commanderie des Cordon Bleu in France for her contributions to French cooking.   She has edited multiple cookbooks and served as recipe tester for a number of cookbooks including both of the Mansion on Turtle Creek cookbooks by Dean Fearing and baking books by Nick Malgieri.

Kyra welcomes any and all reader comments and suggestions.  What would you like to have for dinner?

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