Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hamdoggers With Red Bell Pepper Sauce

A little twist on the basic burger with a homemade thousand island style sauce.

OK. I'd picked up some ground beef on Saturday and needed to either use it or freeze it, so I started thinking about what I wanted to do with it. I'd made both meatloaf and goulash in the last couple of weeks, so I didn't want those. Hmmm... hamburgers sounded good, but I had well over a pound of meat to work with and that was certainly more than I needed for two burgers. Plus, it had been raining all day and our grill isn't in a covered area.

I rummaged around in the fridge and perused the pantry and as I began taking stock of what I had to work with, it hit me. I could make burgers for dinner and use the rest of the ground beef to prepare a meatloaf to pop in the freezer for another day. Brilliant, right?

So, I gather up all of my ingredients and start prepping everything for the meatloaf and about half way through the mixing process, I realize that I've totally forgotten to take out enough plain ground beef to make the burgers. Yeah, well. All I'm gonna say about that, is that middle age can be a scary place.

Obviously, I couldn't remove any of the ingredients from the mixture, so I figured that I'd just have to make these burgers with the meatloaf mixture. That's when the hubbers came out to the kitchen and said "Oh, by the way, I tossed out what was left of the bread this morning. It looked like it might have been stale." Ummm, it looked like it might have been stale? "Yup". Did you smell it? "Nope." Was there mold on it? "Um, not that I could see." Well, did you take a piece out and really look at it? "Nope."  ???  MmmHmm, he's middle aged, too.

So... now I have another dilemma. What am I going to serve these meatloafy burger thingies on? Let's see... Crackers? No. Oreos? Unh- uh. One english muffin? Uh, negatory. And then I see them. Eureka! Small sub rolls. And there were exactly two of them. Now....

How, exactly, do I fit a round burger on an oblong torpedo roll? Well, I make the burger fit the roll! That's how. Kinda umm, hot dog shaped. Yup. They'll be... hot burgers? No. Hmmm, ham dogs? Noooo... Ha! Hamdoggers! Yeah. That's the name and I'm stickin' with it.

Hamdoggers With Red Bell Pepper Sauce
(makes 4 hamdoggers or 2 and a small meatloaf)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Lg Egg
  • 2 Tbls Ketchup
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Small torpedo/sub rolls
  • Lettuce for serving

Roughly chop the bell pepper and onion and place it in the bowl of your processor or in a blender. Pulse until the pieces are very finely minced. You can do this by hand, but make sure that you mince it as finely as possible.

In a large mixing bowl, combine a little over *half of the pepper and onion mixture, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup and seasonings with the ground beef, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. (*the rest of the pepper and onion mixture goes into the sauce. Recipe is below)

Divide the mixture into fourths and taking one fourth at a time in your hands, pat, roll and shape the mixture into log or hot dog shapes**.

If you're making only 2 of the hamdoggers, shape the remaining meat mixture into a small meatloaf, place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for several hours. When it's completely frozen, lift it off the paper and place it in a zip-top bag and then pop it back into the freezer. This will ensure that it keeps it's shape and will be ready to go in the oven at a later date.

Lightly brush a non-stick skillet with about a teaspoon of vegetable or light olive oil and cook the hamdoggers, over medium high heat, for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. You want to gently turn each one three more times, in order to maintain a hot dog or sausage shape.

**(Some ground meat brands have more moisture than others, so if you find that your mixture isn't staying together, just put it back in the bowl, add more bread crumbs {approx 1/4 cup} and combine it all thoroughly, until you get a mix that holds it's shape.)

Red Bell Pepper Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup or Chili Sauce
  • Minced Onion & Bell Pepper (left from the recipe above ~ approx 2 Tbls)
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk it together. Any leftover sauce will keep for several days, in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes a great salad dressing too!

The Rolls

Slice the rolls lengthwise, but not all the way through. Since most sub/torpedo rolls are rather thick, I scoop out some of the inside. It just makes more room for the meat and condiments. You can toast the rolls in a 325 degree oven, for about 8 to 10 minutes, if you want to.

The Assembly

Start building your hamdogger with a single leaf of romaine, some shredded or whole leaf iceberg, or a handful of baby spinach or arugula. Then add your hamdogger and a generous helping of the red bell pepper sauce and you're good to go!

You can kick it up a few more notches by adding other toppers, like sliced or chopped onion, pickled jalapeno slices, sauteed peppers and onions, or maybe pop it in the oven (before adding the sauce) with some oooey, gooey shredded cheese. Have fun with it! After all, it's already (at least in my hubby's opinion) a step above your basic burger and the possibilities are limited only by your own imagination and creativity. And we all know that bloggers and the people who read blogs are some of the most imaginative and creative people on earth!



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I'm sharing at these fabulous parties this week:

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch
Mix It Up Monday at Flour Me With Love
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Tasty Tuesday at 33 Shades of Green
Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just A Housewife
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef In Training
Tasty Tuesday at A Lettered Life
Terrific Tuesdays at Adventures of a DIY Mom
Tasteful Tuesdays at Nap Time Creations
Saturday Show & Tell at Cheerios and Lattes
Scrumptious Sunday at Addicted To Recipes


  1. I'm so glad that I'm following you! These look sooo good! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!


  2. This looks delicious! So nice to find your blog! Excited to explore more of your blog and try your recipes!

  3. Thanks for sharing with us for Tasty Tuesday! I love this idea! What a great way to change up the normal burger!

  4. Deeeelish! OMgggggggoodness.

    I wish I had this meal RIGHT NOW> x

  5. How did I miss this one! I'm pinning it and giving it a try. ~ Maureen

  6. Wish I could take bite! Looks delish! A perfect meal!

  7. I'm a little bit behind, but just look what you have waiting for me when I finally get a chance to stop by and visit! And I have everything I need to make this tonight!!! Truly, I pulled stuff out of drawers and back corners of the 'frig this morning, piled it all up, and was going to spend the day trying to figure out what to do with the ground beef, peppers, etc. Et, voila! Here it is!!! :)

  8. What a great idea! And that sauce looks amazing!! Stopping by from Scrumptious Sundays!

    I would love to invite you to share this at my weekly link party ~ Mom's Test Meal Mondays!



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