Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Spin on an American Classic

So who doesn't love a good burger?  I'm a huge advocate of grilled, juicy, meaty goodness between two perfectly toasted buns, topped with an array of delicious toppings that could cure nearly any craving.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I'm extremely fussy about my burgers.  What most major chain restaurants serve is something I have lovingly coined, a meat patty... NOT a burger.  A true burger is a menagerie of spices, flavorings and binders intermingling with the ground meat to form a perfectly round disk that just begs for those charred grill marks.  Slapping some ground beef on a grill that came out of a preformed "burger" package just isn't going to cut it. 

While I believe the sky is the limit for proper ways to season your ground beef (or bison, or lamb...), there are a few staples I always include.  For one pound of meat, add one fresh egg and 1/3 of a cup of panko breadcrumbs for texture and richness.  The crumbs will soak in the spices and flavorings and distribute them throughout the burger more evenly than seasoning the meat alone.  The next non-negotiable in burger assemblage is Worcestershire sauce.  I'm an advocate of Lea & Perrins brand personally.  Finally, sea salt and cracked black pepper round out our staples. 

Beyond that, I've added roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, olive tapenade, fresh herbs, crushed Doritos (yes, you read correct) and pretty much whatever I had kicking around my pantry that I though could taste good with beef... and let's be honest, what doesn't taste good with beef?

Now if you're looking to dress up your basic burger to give it a new twist, think about stuffing your toppings inside.  Think of the upsides... your cheese melts evenly during the cooking process, cooking time is reduced and you save the mess of toppings oozing out of your bun while you're trying to eat it.  Seems like a good enough argument for me.  My most recent creation: The Caprese Burger.  A classic Italian mozzarella, tomato and basil salad stuffed into the middle of a perfectly grilled burger.  The sky really is the limit here thought.  Use your imagination and see where it takes you!

Spread your beef mixture out  to roughly 1/2 inch thick & 5 inches in diameter

Place your choice of fillings in the center and fold the sides over to evenly cover

Stuffed and ready to grill

No comments:

Post a Comment