I got this idea from one of my favorite cookbooks, Desperation Dinners, by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. Like me, they never have hamburger buns on hand, so they came up with this quick way to fix ground beef.
I’m not a big fan of buns anyway (except on really, really cute guys).
Do not double these recipes unless you have two skillets to cook them in.
Variation I – with mushrooms
1 lb beef
1/2 C bread crumbs
1/4 C milk
1 t onion powder
1 t seasoned salt
Mix above ingredients and make 4 patties.
In large skillet, begin sauteeing the four burgers in oil. Add 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, covered. When the juices begin to rise, turn the burgers over. Cook another 4-7 minutes. Remove burgers to a plate.
For the gravy, shake 2 t flour with 1-1/2 C milk. Pour into skillet and cook until thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve over the burgers.
Variation II – Italian
Make the burgers, substituting a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a teaspoon of garlic salt for the onion powder and seasoned salt. Put them in the pan and cook for 5 minutes on one side and 4-7 on the other. When you remove them to a plate, pour a can of diced Italian tomatoes into the skillet. Bring it to a boil and simmer until reduced. Serve over the burgers and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Variation III – Mexican
Make the burgers, substituting a teaspoon of chili powder, a half teaspoon of cumin, and a teaspoon of garlic salt for the seasoned salt. Put them in the pan and cook as above. Remove to a plate and stir about 12 oz of salsa into the drippings. Heat it gently, spoon it over the burgers, and top with grated cheddar or jack cheese.
Variation IV – Middle Eastern
Make a half recipe of the Kufta bi Taheena (you can use a whole egg) and form the meat into four burgers. Cook as above and remove to a plate. Make a half recipe of the sauce, adding about 1/4 C of water to get a thinner consistency. Pour this into the skillet with the drippings and heat it gently. Serve over the burgers.