Monday, August 16, 2010

Bison Burgers with Gorgonzola, Olive & Spinach Pasta Salad

While vacationing at a cabin in Bemidji, Minnesota over the 4th of July with Brady and his family, I had one of the best burgers.  The resorts burger patty was made with bison, wild rice, and portabello mushroom and then topped with caramelized onions and gorgonzola cheese- so good!

If you haven't tried bison, I would highly recommend it.  Bison meat (otherwise known as buffalo meat) not only tastes good, it's nutritious! Bison is high in protein, zinc, iron and lower in fat and calories than grilled chicken breasts. Bison meat may be difficult to find in some grocery stores but most butcher shops should carry it. We bought ours at Whole Foods (Brady and I contemplated frantically running around the store like they do on Top Chef but then opted for a beer in the bar area prior to shopping instead- yes our Whole Foods has a bar!)  Whole Foods usually isn't the most economical place to shop but the bison meat was surprising inexpensive at $5.99/Ib. 

Bison Burger with Wild Rice

Prep Time: 45 minutes 
Serves 4

1 pound ground bison (buffalo)
1/2 cup cooked wild rice- I would suggest a quick cook version such as Uncle Bens
1/2 cup diced portabella mushroom
2 T. barbecue sauce
1 T. paprika
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted
1 yellow onion, sliced
crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Heat a small skillet with a tsp of olive oil or butter. Saute sliced onion over medium heat for about twenty minutes or until caramelized.  You may want to add a tsp of sugar to help the onions caramelize.  Meanwhile, cook the wild rice as the box instructs.  Once the rice has cooled, place meat, rice, portabello, barbecue sauce, paprika, mustard, garlic, pepper and salt in a large bowl.  Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated.  Form into 4 equal patties, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

Heat grill to medium.  Spray grill with cooking spray to avoid sticking.  Grill the burgers until desired doneness- I would recommend 5-6 minutes per side. 

While burgers are on the grill slightly toast the hamburger buns on a separate portion of the grill or in the oven.  To assemble the burgers top each patty with caramelized onions and a few crumbles of gorganzola cheese.

Gorgonzola, Olive & Spinach Pasta Salad
 ** Brady found this recipe on an unknown blog so I can't give credit where credit is due- sorry!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

1/2 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
15 pimento stuffed green olives, halved- we used more because we both love olives
1-2 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
3 T. olive oil
3 cups dry, whole wheat pasta, cooked and rinsed to cool
Black pepper to taste

In a medium-sized bowl combine the spinach, olives, cheese and olive oil.  Stir to break up the cheese so it is evenly distributed.  Add the drained pasta to bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle with black pepper.


K said...

Trader Joe has great frozen patties too for cheap! Sounds great, I'll try soon just minus the cheese, :(.

Brady said...

When griling the bison, be careful not to overcook the patties. They will not "look" like they are done like traditional hamburgers even though they will be completely cooked.