Weeknight Cooking

Dinner Tonight: Burgers & Brownies, Hot Weather-Style

July 16, 2012

Did it ever seem strange to you that big, fat, juicy burgers are such a ubiquitous summertime food, seeing as it's often too hot for much more than a popsicle, let alone super-rich beef? Well, it did to me. Nothing against a good beefy burger -- it's an all-American classic, and I would never wish to replace. I'd just rather eat it in the dead of winter. Lucky for us, EmilyC's shrimp burgers are just burger-y enough to fit into the spirit of the whole "summer cookout" thing, without leaving you totally defeated the way a regular burger so often does. 

And for dessert? Brownie Bites! Because it's never too hot for chocolate -- though this time of year, just a bite will do. 

The Menu

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Shrimp Burgers with Roasted Garlic-Orange Aioli by EmilyC 

Chocolate Fantasy Brownie Bites by drbabs

Grocery List (for 4)

1 small bulb fennel
1 shallot
1 red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chives
1 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, finely chopped by hand
Hamburger buns for serving (EmilyC suggests brioche)
1 orange
Powdered espresso

We assume you have kosher salt, black pepper, olive oil, garlic, eggs, flour, butter, cocoa powder, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. If not, you'll need those too!

The Plan 

1a. Both of these recipes flow pretty smoothly (no hidden wait times, no surprises) so I would make them in the order you're going to eat them (you be the judge of that one). A nutritionist would probably want you to start with the shrimp burgers, but I'm no tattletale. 

1b. If you really want to multi-task, and eat dinner while the brownies cool, you could mix up the brownie batter after you've made the aioli and shrimp patties. The patties can handle a little rest in the fridge before you pan-fry or grill them, so that is a perfect brownie-batter window, if you're looking for one. 

2. Whatever order you go in, eat up and enjoy! The brownie recipe makes 26 (!!) so this dinner tonight is actually dinner tonight AND dessert tomorrow night, and the next night, and the next night and the next! Which is pretty sweet indeed. 


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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Miranda Rake
    Miranda Rake
  • AntoniaJames
  • drbabs
Miranda Rake

Written by: Miranda Rake

Miranda is a writer and editor in Portland, OR. She has a sweet, curious toddler, and is passionate about all of the usual things like farmers markets, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and swimming in the sea. She hates leaf blowers and writing in the third person. Until recently, she owned and operated a small jam company, as is typical for a Portland-based millennial like herself.


Miranda R. July 16, 2012
That sounds completely delicious!
AntoniaJames July 16, 2012
I stumbled on the brownie-to-cookie conversion out of sheer laziness when I had extra batter and didn't feel like scrubbing out, again, my non-stick (what WAS I thinking?!) mini-muffin tin at the time. I'd put that batter in the fridge out of habit and there wasn't an enormous amount of it, so I said, "What the heck! Let's see what happens." The cookies turned out so well -- rich, fudgy brownie flavor, soft and slightly chewy brownie texture, but in a convenient cookie form -- that I went forth with a full batch made into cookies the next time. And then a few weeks later, as I was leafing through my ancient "Joy of Cooking" looking for something I else, I happened upon a note by Ms. Rombauer that her butterscotch bars be converted to cookies by adding 2 tablespoons of flour, so I did that the third time I made these. It gives the cookies a more stable structure, without making them cake-y. We wrap them into little packets of 2 smallish cookies, which we keep them in the freezer. But they don't last long. ;o)
AntoniaJames July 16, 2012
Even better for a summer night -- this brownie batter makes excellent cookies which taste wonderful when frozen!! Just add 2 T. flour, and then chill the dough for at least an hour, or even longer for even better flavor. The dough comes together so effortlessly that you could put it together while making breakfast, refrigerate it, and then just plop the dough onto cookie sheets to bake while preparing your shrimp burgers. I can't make these often enough for this crowd. ;o)
drbabs July 17, 2012
AJ, thank you for the wonderful idea. I am baking these today for a friend's parents who just moved into my neighborhood, and for a party on Saturday night. And I'm going to use your cookie version.