SOURCE: National Cattlemen's Beef Association

June 27, 2016 15:30 ET

Burgers Are a Favorite for Fourth of July

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Jun 27, 2016) - (Family Features) This Fourth of July holiday, families across the country will be gathering around the grill and at the picnic table to enjoy burgers, steaks and other cookout favorites in celebration of America's independence.

According to a Beef Checkoff survey, nearly two-thirds of consumers plan to grill or eat beef during the Independence Day weekend. Beef is the top pick for millennials, with more than 70 percent likely to consume this high-quality protein while celebrating America's birthday. And burgers are a popular choice for many Americans who plan to eat beef during the holiday festivities, as more than 80 percent of those surveyed plan to eat a burger, followed by steak (56 percent) and beef hot dogs (51.6 percent). When it comes to preparing for your celebration, be sure to check your grocer's weekly circulars and online ads for the best deals on burgers and steaks.

Here are some new twists on the classic burger to add some extra sparks to your Fourth of July meal. Try spicing up the menu with Western Burgers, combining savory ground beef with jalapeno pepper, onion and fresh cilantro. Or offer your guests the option to enjoy their burger patty on a salad -- all the goodness of a hearty burger mixed with your favorite farmers market finds such as fresh, crunchy cucumbers and chopped tomatoes. These summer-inspired recipes bring together burgers -- juicy and flavor-packed favorites -- and a timeless symbol of patriotism and family gatherings.

For more recipes and tips on hosting an outstanding Fourth of July feast, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

 
Western Burgers
Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 4
   
1 pound ground beef (93 percent lean or leaner)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons chopped onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves
1 tomato, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
   

Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium.

In large bowl, combine beef, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, salt and black pepper, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

Place patties on grid over, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 8-10 minutes (or 7-9 minutes on gas grill), turning occasionally, until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 F.

Place each burger on lettuce leaf. Evenly top with tomato, avocado and onion slices. Wrap lettuce leaves around burgers.

 
Burger on a Salad
Total time: 25-30 minutes
Servings: 4
   
4 leftover beef burgers (3 ounces each)
2 cups chopped, unpeeled English cucumber
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup reduced-fat Greek dressing, divided
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped Kalamata olives
   

Place burgers on microwave-safe plate. Cover; microwave 1 1/2-2 minutes on high until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 165 F. Let stand 1 minute.

In large bowl, combine cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and onion. Toss with 1/4 cup dressing.

Divide lettuce mixture evenly onto four plates. Top with burgers. Drizzle evenly with remaining dressing or serve on the side, as desired. Garnish with cheese and olives.

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