Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mini Hamburgers

Recently at dinnertime we went around the table to find out what each person would eat for dinner if they had to have the same thing every night. My husband would eat a bowl of cereal and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My daughter (age 3) would eat... candy. My son, on the other hand, would eat Hamburgers and French Fries. Every night! (Me? I would not be able to eat the same thing every night, so I didn't even answer.)

Here is a recipe for Mini Hamburgers that I put together last summer when my son requested hamburgers for his birthday party. It didn't make sense to me to serve a full-size hamburger to each preschooler at the party just for them to take two bites and run off to play some more.

I hunted around online and found various mini hamburger recipes that looked interesting, but I ended up taking just a bit from each recipe I read to create something that would work for me. I didn't want to spread raw beef on the rolls, nor deal with a bunch of tiny burgers on the grill, so I bake them in the oven, sort of like meatloaf!

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup panko (breadcrumbs)
  • 2 T parsley or other herbs, finely minced (above I used oregano because I need to let my parsley grow--I've been chopping it too much!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Whatever else you want to add that you might add to a meatloaf! (I might try some finely shredded hard cheese next)
  • Dinner Rolls (2-3 inches across) we've been using the 100% whole wheat dinner rolls from Trader Joe's.
  • Small cheddar cheese slices
First saute minced onion in a small skillet with some olive oil until translucent.

Have ready a rimmed baking sheet--I like to line mine with aluminum foil. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Gently mix everything together with your hand just until blended. Pick up a small amount of mixture (apprlixmately 1/3 cup) and gently shape into a patty 3-4 inches across and 1 inch thick. Try to handle the meat gingerly--don't compress the meat mixture or press it hard or you will have Mini Hockey Pucks to eat! I shape them with my thumb and index finger, like this:

Arrange on foil-lined baking sheet 1 inch apart and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. (Optional: place small cheese slices on top of patties for last few minutes of cooking.)

In the mean time, slice rolls and heat in oven alongside patties for 10 minutes. Remove both meat and rolls from oven and place one patty on each roll. For serving on a buffet, I like to stack the burgers vertically in a casserole dish and keep it warm on a heating tray. Serve with miniature toppings and condiments.

You can make these in advance by preparing the patties then refrigerating or freezing between layers of wax paper. This comes together quickly and easily when preparing them for a party!

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