We’re going to let you in on a little secret: burgers don’t need to be made out of ground meat. It’s true! Of course, we’re all familiar with beef burgers and turkey burgers, but you can really form a patty out of anything and grill it. If you’re at that point in the summer where you’re really feeling seafood instead of your land-dwelling proteins but still want a burger, these super spicy yet satisfying jerk shrimp burgers will be the surprise hit of the summer.
The base of these sliders is, of course, shrimp. But this favorite, quick-cooking shellfish is totally jazzed up by a jerk sauce. For the uninitiated, jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica, and the base is a spicy dry rub or marinade, fittingly called jerk spice. This recipe calls for a homemade jerk seasoning composed of traditional ingredients including (but not limited to): allspice, garlic, thyme, onions, ginger, vinegar, scallions, nutmeg and cinnamon. Oh, and a few scotch bonnet peppers. For heat, of course. This jerk seasoning will stay good in your fridge for six to eight weeks.
After making that, it’s time to form your fishy patties by chopping up 1/2 pound of shrimp finely, though be sure to leave some little chunks so you can get some good bites of shrimp. Combine the shrimp with the jerk seasoning, breadcrumbs and egg to help bind it all together, then form your patties. This recipe is intended to make bite-sized sliders, but you can certainly make larger patties.
Cook the burgers in a cast-iron skillet on the stove or over the grill. Then, add on potato roll slider buns and top with lettuce, muenster and colby jack cheese and tomato to cut some of the heat. After that, all that’s left is to enjoy.
This recipe is by Kari Heron.
Step 1: Put 1/4 cup allspice berries and 1 tablespoon black peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind.
Step 2: In a small bowl, add the ground allspice and pepper along with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and mix to combine.
Step 3: Pour 1/2 cup oil in a blender or food processor along with 5 chopped onions, 12 cloves garlic, 8 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 to 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, 3 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon chopped ginger and pulse until puréed. Add the dry spice mix and pulse until incorporated.
Step 4: Add 4 cups chopped scallions and pulse. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Step 1: First, cut 1/2 pound shrimp into small pieces by hand with a cleaver or chef‘s knife. Cut some pieces very small but leave some chunky bits throughout. This will allow you actually to taste that you are eating shrimp.
Step 2: Put the shrimp in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning, 1 egg and 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Mix to combine.
Step 3: Form patties in a mini burger or slider press, or by hand.
Step 4: Preheat a cast iron skillet or plancha on a grill or stovetop. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the hot pan and melt. Add patties and sear until golden brown for about 2 minutes. Flip, adding sliced cheese to browned sides. Cook for another 2 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the pan.
Step 5: Serve on buttered and toasted potato slider buns with lettuce, cheese and a thick slice of tomato. Allow those who like more spice to sprinkle with more scotch bonnets prior to eating.