Savor Summer At The Grill

Guest Contributor

Hey there friends! My name is Charlotte and I am a May, 2013 graduate of Hope College in Holland, Michigan where I double majored in Business and Communication. I am a total foodie, obsessed with watching the Food Network, browsing food blogs, exploring new restaurants, and experimenting with whatever unique recipes I can get my hands on. While my dream of being the next Food Network star ventures a bit from reality, cooking for family and friends appears to be the next best thing. I have recently moved to Charleston, SC (the city of my dreams) to begin work at a PR Agency dealing primarily with the food and travel industries! I am eager to learn as much as I can as I begin this next chapter of my life. Recipes that are quick, and involve simple, affordable ingredients are what I am all about. But most importantly, they have to be fricken delicious. While most college kids fear my favorite hobby, I have gathered a collection of recipes that even the least experienced cook can master. I challenge you to try the food on this blog, and guarantee you there will be no leftovers.


My blog, Salt and Preppy




I, a true food nerd at heart, will forever be in love with unique twists on burgers using crazy toppings and flavor combinations. While I love the mouthwatering burgers that grace Charleston’s amazing restaurant scene, I would argue that these six recipes below rival any burger found in this delicious city. 


From a Mexican inspired masterpiece adorned with avocado and queso fresco to a killer classic slathered with a sultry beer cheese sauce, these six burger recipes appeal to an array of appetites from carnivores to quinoa lovers. Inexpensive and incredibly simple to make, I challenge even the least experienced cook to fire up the grill and celebrate the end of summer with a backyard BBQ starring one of the below burgers:


Mexican Torta Turkey Burgers


Yields: 4 burgers



1 1/2 lbs ground turkey

4 burger buns

1 avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced thin

1/2 lime, juice

1 15 oz can refried black beans, or 1 cup baked beans

1/2 cup queso fresco cheese, crumbled

pickled jalapenos slices

shredded romaine lettuce



Form the ground turkey into 4 patties, pressing into the center of each one to make a 1/2-inch deep indentation. Season with salt and pepper, or your favorite grill seasoning if you desire. Grill, indentation-side up until cooked through, 5 minutes a side. Remove the burgers from the grill and let rest, at least 5 minutes. If using refried beans, warm in the microwave or on the stove top. If using baked beans, add to a food processor and pulse until smooth. In a small bowl, toss the sliced avocado with the lime juice, salt, and pepper. Toast burger buns and spread a layer of the refried beans or pureed baked beans onto the bottom of each bun. Top with burger patties, avocado, cheese, pickled jalapenos and lettuce. Cover with bun tops and enjoy!



BBQ Chicken Burgers w. Honey Slaw



Yields: 4 burgers



1 tablespoon butter

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 1/4 pounds ground chicken

1 tablespoon grill seasoning, I use McCormick

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 lemon, juice

3 tablespoons pickle relish

2 cups cabbage mix

4 burger buns 



In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the red onion, garlic, and tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add in sugar and remove from heat. Once cool, add mixture to a medium bowl with the Worcestershire, hot sauce, ground chicken, and grill seasoning, mixing to combine. Shape into 4 equal patties and place in fridge until ready to cook. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook burgers, 6 minutes a side. To make the slaw, combine the honey, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. Add the relish, cabbage mix, and sliced onions and season with salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Serve the burgers on toasted buns and top with the slaw.



Agave Salmon Burgers w. Chipotle Mayo



Yields: 4 Salmon Burgers



4 salmon fillets, skinned

4 tablespoons agave syrup

1 cup arugula, or spinach

4 bread rolls

1 chipotle in adobo sauce

1 tablespoon adobo sauce

1/2 cup cilantro

1 cup mayonnaise

1 lime, juice



Preheat a grill or frying pan over medium-high heat . Brush each salmon fillet with a tablespoon each of the agave syrup and season with salt and pepper. Cook until salmon is cooked through, 4 minutes a side. In the meantime make the chipotle mayo. Add pepper, sauce, cilantro, mayo, and lime juice to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Slather on toasted buns, top with arugula and salmon and serve.



Beer Cheese Burgers



Yields: 4 burgers


4 burger buns
1 Tomato, sliced thick
4 burgers


Cheese sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon horseradish
3/4 cup beer, dark
1 tablespoon worcestershire
 1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish




In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the flour and mustard powder, stirring frequently to prevent browning, 3 minutes. Add beer and worcestershire, bringing to a simmer. Then add half and half, whisking until thickened, 3 minutes. Stir in cheese and horseradish and keep warm over low heat. Spoon over burgers topped with thick tomato slices.



Buffalo Quinoa Sliders

Yields: 8 sliders

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked corn
4 scallions, white parts
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 slider buns
4 oz. white cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, corn, scallions, garlic, cilantro, cheese, panko, flour, salt, and pepper. Stir in the egg and buffalo sauce until combined. Using your hands, squeeze together and form into 8 patties. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 4 of the sliders and cook until crispy, 4 minutes per side. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook the remaining 4 patties. Place patties on buns and top with a slice of cheddar cheese and more wing sauce. Serve warm.
Greek Turkey Burgers w. Spinach & Feta

Yields: 4 burgers


For the patties:

1 lb ground turkey

1 egg, beaten

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 ounces feta, crumbled

2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

1 teaspoon salt


For the balsamic mayo:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients for the patties in a large bowl and shape into 4 equal size portions. Grill on a grill or skillet until cooked through, 5 minutes a side. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine the mayo and balsamic vinegar. Spoon on top of toasted buns, top with burger, slice of tomato, and more spinach and feta crumbles if you wish.