Jan Risher -

Long ago, I lived way out west in Reno, Nevada. I moved out there, having never been and not knowing a soul who lived there. I ended up living there nearly five years, and will say that once I made the adjustment of being away from the South and figured out that just because people did things differently didn't mean they did them wrong, I was really happy living in the high desert. It always reminded me of the Wild West — anything was possible. From my experience there, if you had some ambition, dedication and a little bit of smarts, the sky was the limit.


I remain close to several of the dear friends I made out there, and this week, as my daughters and I were grocery shopping, I had a culinary flashback to a Reno, Nevada, Virginia Street restaurant called Famous Murphy's, that I understand has long since closed its doors. That's a shame because there was one dish on that restaurant's menu that would have kept me going back often. A Reno friend and I experimented for months trying to figure out the secret to Famous Murphy's mushroom teriyaki burgers. And, I'll give my friend Robin Stallard Heywood full credit in figuring out the secret ingredient. You will shudder to know that it is Karo Corn Syrup. Yep, the recipe for the best burgers I know  includes Karo Syrup. Clearly, I have no shame.

Actually, I think it was the shame of adding up just how many calories it took to create those delicious burgers that made me decide nearly a decade ago that I just couldn't make them anymore. However, Monday night, I decided it was time to revive Famous Murphy's long-standing delicacy and make the mushroom teriyaki burger again. I had to call my friend Robin to go over the recipe's details. She says she's never stopped making them. And once you taste, them you won't want to stop yourself. My daughters are both now mushroom teriyaki burger converts — and one of my daughters hates mushrooms.

I don't have measurements, but here's how you make them. Experiment some on your own to find your perfect blend, but the basic ingredients are essential — the mayo and red onion included.

Robin and Jan's take on Famous Murphy's Mushroom Teriyaki Burgers

Cook hamburger patties in a skillet.

Drain off all but about three tablespoons of grease (or all of it if you're feeling healthy...but this recipe doesn't beget health).

Saute three cups of mushrooms (or enough for the number of burgers you're serving) in the grease (or olive oil, if you prefer).

Once mushrooms have cooked about halfway...(and this is about to be shocking), pour one cup of pure karo syrup on the mushrooms in the skillet. Then add about three tablespoons of soy sauce. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken.

As it cooks, slightly toast the buns and slice a red onion paper thin.

Add the hamburger patties into the mushroom mixture to warm them properly.

When buns are just barely toasted, slather a thin, thin glaze of mayo on one bun. Put some slivers of red onion on it. On the other bun, place one of the patties and a generous amount of teriyaki goo and mushrooms. Eat the burgers as soon as they're cool enough to eat.

Thank me later.

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