California Seafood Burger

It has been getting pretty humid and hot in Virginia lately. This type of weather makes me want to make food that puts traditional summer meals on their heads and has crisp, cool flavors. I’m happy to share my Cali-Krab burgers I made for D with everyone here with my first guest blog. So ‘Hi’ everyone, R here. Hope you all enjoy!

These burgers take common west-coast ingredients and mixes things up for a great lunch that is filling without being heavy, and is different enough to be a hit at your next cookout.

I start with ground chicken (or turkey) and mix in some cracked black pepper, minced garlic, and hickory smoked sea salt, made into 6-8 oz patties. Sear the patties in a skillet (or grill over wood coals) with a medium heat. While they cook, you can prep the other ingredients.

Slice the tomatoes and avocado into 1/4 inch rings. Take a few seconds to pat the tomato down with a paper towel, it will pull the excess juice out and keep the bun from getting soggy. I used pre-made crab salad with shrimp. To make your own simply shred the crab meat, add mayo, shrimp, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and diced celery. Swiss or Loraine cheese works best for these burgers.

Toast butter kaiser roles to use as buns. Build the burger up with the tomato, then cheese, patty, avocado, and pile the crab salad on top. This is no small burger, so encourage your guests to grab some napkins.

The flavors complement each other well, but remain distinct. The Swiss pairs with the woodsmoke in the meat, the rich avocado complements the light and crisp crab salad. There isn’t much need for a side, due to the crab salad on the burger and they match really well with a light, summery beer or a quick sparkling lemonade. This fresh, playful take on a summer classic will have your guests RSVP-ing quickly for your next cookout.

2 Lbs ground chicken or turkey
1 large beefeater tomato
1 Lbs crab salad
1 large avocado
Thinly sliced Swiss cheese
Sea salt, black pepper, hickory smoked salt*, minced garlic

*Hickory smoked salt can be hard to come by. An easy alternative is to purchase ‘Liquid smoke’ and sprinkle it over coarse sea salt, allow it to dry fully before use.