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girls' night

Elizabeth Karmel's Recipes for an Unbeatable Backyard Bash

Author, chef, and bona fide barbecue expert Elizabeth Karmel graciously gave us two recipes from her book Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ (Wiley, $25). Check out her full party plan here, and find even more chick-friendly grilling tips on her site,

Build-Your-Own Burger Bar
Serves 6

1 lb. ground sirloin
1 lb. ground chuck
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Colman's dry mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
Softened butter

Rye bread

Sliced Swiss cheese
Sliced cheddar cheese
Sliced provolone cheese
Blue cheese sliced from a wedge
Sautéed onions
Sautéed mushrooms
Cooked bacon
Fire-roasted peppers
Sliced onions
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced Granny Smith apples
Pickle relish
Dill pickles
Bread and butter pickles
Pickled tomatoes
Hot and sweet pickled peppers
Yellow mustard
Dijon mustard
Course-grain mustard
Hoisin sauce
Barbecue sauce
Steak sauce

1. Build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill.

2. Being careful not to overwork the meat, season it with the Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix until just combined. Gently shape the meat into 6 burgers of equal size and thickness (about 3/4 inch thick). Make an imprint in the center of each patty with your thumb. Spread the top and bottom of each patty with a thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle salt on the tops.

3. Place the burgers on the cooking grate over direct medium heat, cover, and grill for 4 minutes. Turn and continue grilling until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, 4 to 6 more minutes. If making cheeseburgers, top each burger with the guest's choice of cheese after you turn it.

4. Meanwhile, butter both sides of the rolls or bread and grill them over direct medium heat until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Serve buffet style, and let your guests build their own burgers.

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.



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