Dawn Fridas won first place with her Bacon Ranch Burger — a burger so good that the judges said they'd be repeat customers of a restaurant that served that burger. Bonnie Robinson won the red ribbon with her Surprise Super Burgers. And Michelle Russum took third with Juicy Grilled Burgers. Click on the above headline for the recipes.


    Participants in the “Build-a-Better Burger” competition, sponsored by the Culinary Department, at this year’s Delaware State Fair were given 2 pounds of hamburger and one hour to prepare and grill their recipes. Charcoal grills were set up outside the Dover Building and passerby watches as competitors flipped and temperature tested their burgers before serving them to the Judges.

    First place was awarded to Dawn Fridas with the judges agreeing that if they could find a restaurant that served burgers as good as Dawn’s Bacon Ranch Burger, they would become repeat customers. Dawn included dry ranch dressing mix and cooked and crumbled bacon with the beef and other seasoning ingredients in her succulent Blue Ribbon burger.

    Bonnie Robinson was awarded the second place Red Ribbon with her Surprise Super Burgers. Bonnie edged out her daughter Michelle Russum who placed third with Juicy Grilled Burgers. All three of the ribbon winners compete regularly in the competitions sponsored by the Culinary Department.

Blue Ribbon Winner: Bacon Ranch Burger
As prepared and entered by Dawn Fridas

Ingredients
2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons dry Ranch dressing mix
3 tablespoons horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons onion flakes
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
8 to 10 slices marbled Colby cheese
8 to 10 English muffins, toasted

Directions
    Mix first 6 ingredients gently with fork until well-blended. Form into 8 patties, being careful not to handle the meat too much. Grill to internal temperature (using meat thermometer) of 160 degrees, turning once. Serve with your favorite condiments on English muffins. Makes 8.

Second Place Winner: Surprise Super Burgers
As prepared and entered by Bonnie Robinson

Ingredients
2 pounds ground chuck
3/4 cup shredded cheese
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons Italian dressing
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions
    Preheat grill. Combine cheese, bread crumbs, parsley and milk. Mix and shape into 8 small patties. Set aside. In bowl mix together hamburger, onion, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion of beef around the cheese patty, covering cheese well. Cook on grill to internal temperature of 160-degrees. Serve with onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, pickles and assorted condiments.

Third Place Winner: Juicy Grilled Burgers
As prepared and entered by Michelle Russum

Ingredients
2 pounds ground chuck
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons V-8 juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Sliced cheese

Directions
    Preheat grill. Mix ingredients together and form into 8 burgers. Grill to internal temperature of 160-degrees and serve on soft Kaiser rolls with sliced tomatoes, sliced pickles, sliced onion, lettuce leaves and condiments.