Lesson #31: Low Carb Swedish Burgers

Low Carb Cooking 101

Tonight’s meal is both versatile and satisfying on a cool, damp autumn evening. Low carbers can serve their Swedish Burgers on lettuce leaves or just place them on the plate and eat them with a knife and fork, omitting the lettuce leaves. Non-low carbers can have their burgers on buns if they want to.

I love Sauteed Mushrooms as a side dish, and when I go to the trouble of making them I always make extras to use later as a topping for burgers, to slip into omelets, soups, or quiches, or to add to sauces. Sauteed Mushrooms can be refrigerated or frozen, and then thawed (in the microwave if I need them in a hurry).

The Greenie Beanies are simply cooked French-cut green beans, plain as plain can be. With the Swedish Burgers and the Sauteed Mushrooms, I don’t want another highly flavored vegetable.

Here’s this evening’s menu:

  • Swedish Burgers
  • Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Greenie Beanies

Here’s the shopping list for the meal: (You may very well already have some of these things on hand.)

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 pounds fresh mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • lettuce leaves (I like Romaine, but buy any kind you like.)
  • 1 large bag frozen French-cut green beans
  • 1 egg
  • sour cream
  • butter
  • 1 bag plain pork rinds
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • dry mustard
  • garlic powder
  • ground mace
  • salt
  • pepper

Here’s the game plan:

If the ground beef and pork are frozen, place them in the refrigerator the night before to thaw them.

About 45 minutes before you want to serve the meal, clean and slice the mushrooms. Set them aside. Chop the onion. Set it aside Wash the lettuce leaves, pat them dry, and then set them aside, too.

Combine the beaten egg, dairy sour cream, crushed plain pork rinds, chopped onion, dry mustard, ground mace, and salt. Set the mixture aside for 5 to 10 minutes.

Melt the butter for the mushrooms in the skillet and then proceed to cook them according to the recipe directions.

Add the ground beef and the ground pork to the sour cream mixture and combine the ingredients thoroughly. Form the meat mixture into 8 patties, then begin cooking according to the recipe directions.

Set the table and wash up any used dishes and utensils to simplify the cleanup later. Place lettuce leaves (or buns for the non-low carbers) on the dinner plates.

Once you have turned the burgers to brown the second side, begin cooking the green beans. Check the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are done, season them and remove them from the heat.

Check the burgers for doneness with an instant meat thermometer. When they are done, place them on the lettuce leaves or (gasp!) buns. Top the burgers with the remaining sour cream.

Remove the beans from the heat, add the butter, salt, and pepper. Place the beans and the mushrooms on the dinner plates with the burgers and sit down to a well-deserved, relaxing meal.

And, finally, here’s the recipes:

Swedish Burgers

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup dairy sour cream
  • 1 cup crushed plain pork rinds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • lettuce leaves

In bowl combine egg and 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Stir in bread crumbs, onion, mustard, mace, and salt. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to soften up the pork rinds. Add ground beef and ground pork; mix well. Shape into eight 1/2-inch thick patties. In large skillet brown slower on both sides. Cover; continue cooking over low heat for 15 minutes.

Check the burgers with an instant meat thermometer to insure that they are cooked all the way through. The internal temperature of the burgers should be at least 160 degrees.

To serve, place the patties on lettuce leaves and spread with the remaining sour cream.

Makes 8 patties.

***Note: Reheats well.

Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 2 pounds fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup butter (or more, if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • salt (to taste)

Clean and slice the mushrooms. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and toss them to coat them with the melted butter. Continue cooking, adding more butter a tablespoon at a time if necessary, and tossing the mushrooms occasionally, until the mushrooms are uniformly dark-colored and soft.

Add the garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce to the cooked mushrooms and toss them in the pan to distribute the garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce evenly throughout the mushrooms. Add a couple of shakes of salt. Taste a mushroom and correct the seasonings to your own personal taste.

Serves 6.

***Note: Leftover mushrooms can be either refrigerated or frozen for use later on burgers, in an omelet, or added to sauces.

Greeny Beanies

  • 4 cups frozen French-cut green beans
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)

Put the green beans in a large saucepan and add the water. Cook over high heat until the water begins to boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking until the green beans are crisp tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Turn off the burner.

Drain the beans thoroughly and then return them to the pan. Add the butter, salt, and pepper to suit your own taste and toss the beans to melt the butter and distribute the salt and pepper evenly.

Serve immediately, but if things get jammed up you can put the green beans in a microwave-proof bowl and reheat them for 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave.

Serves 4.

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