Burgers and Grilled Asparagus

Summer, grilling and all that is fine.   I think we spend 80% of our time cooking on the grill in the summer, for several reasons.  First, its just so nice to grill and its so easy and after a long day at work, with the kids, etc., etc., all you want to do is easy.  Makes for a great cleanup too, no pots or pans.  But the main reason I have been grilling more this year, than every before is I have no GAS STOVE!  Yes, I live in a part of a community that has NO GAS LINE - well it does, but they wanted 10k to bring the gas line to my house.  I said no.  It was a sad day.  So, I/we jumped at the chance to have a pretty decent gas grill this year and I promised myself that within 3 years, I would have an AWESOME gas grill.  Cheaper than bringing the gas line to the house, but satisfies the need to cook over a flame!  Zippideedodah!

Today's recipes - Grilled burgers, a tad different than you are used to, but oh so good.  Everybody will love helping out to make their own, as well.   And since we are trying to eat fewer carbs, grilled asparagus. 

Cheese Stuffed Burgers

2 pounds of ground beef (the leaner the better - your burgers wont shrink and what you loose in fat of the beef, you gain in the bacon wrapped around the burger)

1 lb of hickory smoked bacon (I use a double smoked and thicker slab of bacon.  Peppered thick sliced bacon also works well for this)

2-3 cups shredded cheese - your favorite kind (if you want spicy, try a pepper-jack, or smoky - try a smoked cheddar.  Just

Divide the beef into 6 equal portions.  Shape into a ball and then flatten out onto a hard surface. Sprinkle each patty with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Fill the center of the flattened patty.  You can also add sauted mushrooms, onions, jalapenos, as well.  Fold the patty over and around the center mixture, creating a ball.  Make sure all the ingredients in the center are amply covered with the ground beef.  Once you have a nice tight ball, carefully shape into a thick hamburger patty.  Season the patty again with salt and pepper and wrap in single layer, covering the entire surface of the patty.  

Fire your grill up to a nice medium flame.  Place the burgers on the grill and take care not to let the bacon burn on the outside of the burger.   When nice and crip, flip over to the other side and do the same.  It should take about 5--7 minutes per side.  Toward the end of the grill time, I close the lid for a few minutes.  It helps to hold the heat in to cook the burgers through.  I like my burgers medium to medium rare, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.


Grilled Asparagus

1 bunch of thick-stemmed asparagus
1/2 lb of smoky bacon (or peppered bacon is good too)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and trim the asparagus.  Damp excess water off with a paper towel.  Late out flat on a cutting board or sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  (I sometimes use crushed red pepper, for a bit of a kick).  Take 4-5 stalks and wrap together with a peice of bacon, making sure to cover as much area of the asparagus as possible.  Continue until all asparagus are bunched and wrapped. 

Place on the top rack of the grill, while your burgers are cooking.  Turn the bunches as needed, so that all sides of the bacon and asparagus are evenly cooked.   It should take the same amount of time to cook the bacon as it does to grill the burgers.