Anyone who has eaten at the Hominy Grill in Charleston, S.C., knows that owners Robert Stehling and Nunally Kersh do great things with Southern food.
This is a recipe born of necessity, chef Stehling says, although it has an appeal that's easy to appreciate. It calls for leftover corn bread and cooked shrimp, whose sweetnesses complement each other. The texture and zip of the burgers is up to you, depending on how you prep them and how much hot pepper sauce goes into the mix.
Serve these on warm, soft hamburger buns with a quick cucumber salsa on the side, or atop an entree-size salad, or with eggs and grits.
Yield: Makes 8 burgers
- 1 rib celery
- 4 to 6 stems flat-leaf parsley
- 2 to 3 scallions (root ends trimmed)
- 1 large lemon
- 1 pound cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp (thoroughly defrosted, if using frozen)
- 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 cup packed cornbread crumbs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
Line a large plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Cut the celery into 1/4-inch (or smaller) dice to yield 3 tablespoons and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the following ingredients to the bowl as you work: Finely chop the parsley to yield 2 tablespoons. Cut the white and light-green scallion parts crosswise into thin slices to yield at least 2 tablespoons. Finely grate the zest of the lemon to yield 1 1/2 teaspoons; reserve the lemon for another use. Finely chop the shrimp (discarding the tails); this can be done by hand, or half of the shrimp can be processed briefly in a food processor to vary the texture of the burgers.
Add the mayonnaise and cornbread crumbs, stirring to combine. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste; mix well. Add the egg and stir until well incorporated; the mixture should barely hold together as you form eight 4-inch burgers.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add 4 of the burgers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom, then use 2 spatulas to carefully turn them over and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until evenly browned. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate; cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep them warm. Repeat with the remaining 4 burgers.
Serve on soft, warm hamburger buns or on top of lightly dressed salad greens.
Adapted from the owners' self-published "Hominy Grill Recipes" booklet (2008).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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