serendipitous reflections

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mini Cheeseburger Salad with Yellow Mustard Vinaigrette

This salad is quickly becoming our favorite. It is so yummy and easy. I use a cast iron grill skillet to grill the mini burgers. I have always put salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce in my hamburgers, but the onions keep the burgers moist and add so much flavor. We have used white cheddar, American, swiss, co-jack, and pepper jack cheese; they are all wonderful. But the key to this salad is the dressing. Man, oh man it is good. I'm not even a mustard lover, but this dressing has changed my mind. It's tangy, but not over powering, and it makes you feel like you are eating a big ol' cheeseburger.

Dean likes this salad so much, I always make extra for his lunch the next day. All the people at his work are so jealous when he pulls this out at lunch. It hits the spot!

Rachael Ray comes through again!! Thanks Rachael!

Mini Cheeseburger Salad with Yellow Mustard Vinaigrette
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin or ground turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped onion, eyeball it
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3/4 pound brick sharp Cheddar (recommended: Cabot brand or Cracker Barrel brand* )
3 large hearts romaine lettuce
1 cup sliced pickles, drained – choose from sweet, half-sour or dill varieties
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

3 tablespoons yellow mustard (recommended: French's brand)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons drained salad pimentos or, 1/4 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

* There are many flavors of sharp Cheddar out in today's markets to choose from, so go plain or go wild! Among the choices out there in sharp cheddars: 5-peppercorn, smoked, dill, garlic and herb, roasted garlic, horseradish, chipotle, habanero, jalapeno – on and on!

Preheat a grill pan or a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat or, preheat outdoor grill. Combine the meat with onion, Worcestershire and steak seasoning or salt and pepper. Form 2-inch meatballs, then flatten them into patties. Drizzle formed mini patties with extra-virgin olive oil to keep them from sticking to cooking surface.

Slice the brick of cheese into 1/4-inch pieces. Place patties into a preheated pan or grill pan or arrange on outdoor grill. Cook the mini burgers for 3 minutes on each side then add cheese to melt over patties. On outdoor grill, close the lid to melt cheese. In a skillet or on a grill pan, tent the mini cheeseburgers loosely with foil to melt cheese.

Coarsely chop romaine and combine with sliced pickles and halved cherry or grape tomatoes.
Whisk together the mustard and cider vinegar. Stream in the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the chopped chives and pimentos, stir to combine

Arrange mini cheeseburgers on salad and drizzle prepared yellow mustard over the completed dish
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