Burger Queen

Celebrity Chefs, Heroes
on May 17, 2011

When Sally Sampson started creating burger recipes for Recipe of the Week: Burgers, she didn't have years of cookout experience to draw from. Sampson grew up in New York City eating burgers doused with ketchup that her mother fried in a cast-iron skillet sprinkled with salt.

But once she got the go-ahead to write the burger book, Sampson bought the biggest charcoal grill she could find and buckled down to making burgers. Using ideas from burgers she'd eaten and dishes that could be turned into burgers, she created 52 recipes—one for each week of the year.

In addition to meat, fish and poultry burgers, the book includes vegetarian burgers. To season them, Sampson uses everything from caramelized garlic to espresso beans. For a chunky topping, she's even come up with a recipe for homemade tomato ketchup with brown sugar and sweet spices.

"You can do anything with a burger," she says, "they're the perfect canvas."

—By Jean Kressy