The Howie burger

The Howie burger. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times / June 30, 2012)

"Grilling in the summer is a pastime for all to enjoy. Anyone can do it, and it's a great way to bring friends and family together with a simple, easy meal. As long as I can remember, we were a 'grilling family.' My Uncle Howie was on the forefront — it was a passion of his. I have fond memories of him even out in the rain standing his post at the grill. He would create some great meals — all simple and clean in nature, and yet you would think there were 15 ingredients in each item. The Howie Burger was by far his best invention; he had a great love of Dijon mustard and onions. So I took it a step further and made a gastrique of red onions and a homemade recipe for Dijonnaise. The Howie Burger is sweet, tart, tangy, and it appeals to many different palates. It's also appealing because of the ease in making it and the explosion of flavor. The red onions are what does it. Slow cooked in red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, they take on the complex flavor of the vinegar and finish with a subtle sweetness. The Gruyere cheese is the perfect accompaniment, as it can stand up to the Dijonnaise and red onions. Howie may no longer be with us in the backyard at the barbecue, but I'll always remember him for his famous burger and want to share it with as many people as I can."

— Paul Lindsay, Pasadena

Howie burger

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: From Paul Lindsay of Pasadena.

Howie red onions

1 pound red onions

1 quart red wine vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Cut the red onions into one-eighth-inch-thick slices. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, making sure everything is dissolved

3. In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot, combine the onions and vinegar mixture. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half and the onions are softened, light pink to purple in color and slightly translucent, about 30 minutes. Pour the mixture into a shallow glass baking dish and cool before using. This makes about 2 cups of Howie red onions.


1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper