Time to start planning your upcoming holiday weekend menu!
I love holidays! Cooking burgers is one reason, grilling sliders is another. Look at how good this is, a perfectly composed slider getting a big assist from my best friend, BACON:
This post is going to celebrate burgers of all shapes and sizes, and share some great recipes for your grilling pleasure!
First, let’s get in the mood – bite down on something delicious, like the 5 Napkin burger from New York:
Now ponder the meaning of life, helped by these food philosophers:
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.
Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food – frequently there must be a beverage.
I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.
WHAT THE – ???!!???
What do you think of THIS? My daughter Jessica poses in front of the ad for the “Green Peas Pachislo Burger” in Tokyo…we don’t know what it was, and didn’t bother to find out, but love the ad!
A cheeseburger, when done right, is a thing of beauty. And Memorial Day weekend is a time for all Artists to rise up and create a masterpiece or two!
Here are some quotes that celebrate the almighty hamburger:
For our first date, I made Ryan Hamburger Helper, which is basically what I grew up on. I make my own version of it now, with macaroni and cheese and hamburger meat. And the kids – it’s their favorite dinner.
I want to keep fighting because it is the only thing that keeps me out of the hamburger joints. If I don’t fight, I’ll eat this planet.
NO Krispy Kreme Burgers Today!
Although Krispy Kreme burgers sound funny, this is NOT the weekend to celebrate crazy food…or even cheeseburger-related items like this flash drive…
And we certainly don’t need any of this…
NO Cheeseburgers In A Can!
Yes, I just might be obsessed with this thing…I want to taste it to know how far you can pervert a cheeseburger! Sold by a German outdoor supply company, this allows you to take a cheeseburger out for a hike, or an overnight camping trip. There is a pretty funny review on The Onion’s website – including some pretty good quotes about what this tastes like…for example:
• “Oh, auuugh. It’s awful. Have these people ever had hamburger before?”
• “Boy, that taste really stays in your mouth, doesn’t it?”
• “That was so bad.”
• “I think it’s more the soggy bun than the meat.”
• “No, it really is the meat that’s the problem. Oh God.”
• “It’s like the Salisbury steak in a cheap TV dinner.”
• “It tastes like Spam. Spam, but chewy. The texture’s about the same.”
• “I cannot swallow this. It will not go down.”
• “It tastes like beef-flavored something. Beef-flavored matter.”
• “When I first tasted it, it didn’t bother me, but it festered.” “Really? I gagged the second it hit my tongue.”
So the reviews are in, but I still want to try one! What else is there to say?
McDonald’s showcased another new burger recently:
This is what McDonald’s is selling in China – their “chinese burger”, the unique aspect of this being that it is topped with mashed potatoes. Again, this is going for a walk on the “crazy side of burgers”…not any more. Let’s get down to burgers you should make this holiday weekend!
SLIDERS, SLIDERS, SLIDERS!
On New Year’s Day, I made sliders from the 4 corners of the world. It inspired me to find the best international sliders to share with you.
The key to an international slider is what flavors the basic hamburger patty. I make sliders by using small dinner rolls, but there are many specialty stores that carry slider buns as well.
Your basic hamburger uses good quality ground beef with at least 15% fat content, to ensure lots of juicy flavor. I put minced onion in as well, and sometimes when I am feeling adventurous I use minced garlic. In fact, the Canadian slider below also uses garlic. Other than that, I like to use a fun salt – like pink hawaiian sea salt, and a fair amount of pepper. That’s it for me – upon this temple of meat flavor, these ten international sliders add unique ingredients that give them a special flavor…have fun!
The key to an Icelandic slider is the sauce – specifically, a hamburger sauce called hamborgarasósa. One Icelandic dictionary says it has water, egg yolk, tomato concentrate, mustard, vinegar, and spices in it. My thought: If you want to get carried away, add a chip of ice to this one and you are a true Reykjavik!
The Nut Burger!
The Nut Burger was made famous at Matt’s Place Drive-In in Butte, Montana. Matt’s Place Drive-In was established in 1930. The terrific website “A Hamburger Today”, tracked it down and their results are shown here. George Motz, who told them about it, took a photo for the website and here it is:
Here is what Motz said about the Nutburger: “like eating sundae topping on a burger. It’s coarsely ground peanuts mixed with mayo, topping a burger. It’s great!”
“No Meat” Nut Burgers!
If you don’t want a hamburger topped with nuts, make a vegetarian version with only nuts! Here you go:
1 medium onion
1 cup walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews or other nuts, preferably raw
1 cup (raw) rolled oats or cooked short-grain white or brown rice
2 tablespoons ketchup, miso, tomato paste, nut butter or tahini
1 teaspoon chili powder or any spice mix you like
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil, extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn.
1. Grind onion in food processor. Add nuts and oats, and pulse to chop, but not too finely. Add remaining ingredients except oil. Process briefly; don’t grind too finely. Add a little liquid — water, stock, soy sauce, wine, whatever — if necessary; mixture should be moist but not loose.
2. Let mixture rest a few minutes, then shape it into 4 burgers. (Burger mixture or shaped burgers can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.) Put oil in nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet and turn to medium. When oil is hot, add burgers to skillet. Cook about 5 minutes, undisturbed, until browned, then turn with spatula. Lower heat a bit and cook 3 or 4 minutes more, until firm.
Spanish Sliders – Hamburguesa!
Spanish flavors take this to a whole new level – olive tapenade gets spread on top of the cooked slider…you can find recipes for making it, or you can buy it in a jar, but it includes black olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice – cook the burger first with Manchego cheese (a sheep’s milk cheese from the La Mancha region in Spain) and Jamón Iberico, (Iberico ham – prosciutto-like ham that comes from Spanish black pigs). Take a bite and you will wake up in Barcelona…
Korean Barbecue Sliders
When I was in Seoul, we ate every night at a korean BBQ, where you grill your own meats and seafoods on the round grill embedded in your table, then wrap the grilled food around lettuce or thinly sliced pickled vegetables. Taking that as an inspiration, Korean sliders are best when you add pickled cucumbers, a splash of rice vinegar and kimchi.
The All-American Bacon-Cheeseburger Slider!
What can you say? Build it this way and you are golden:
Cheese – melted and dripping
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Mayonaise, mayonaise, mayonaise!
See that? DO NOT DEVIATE – this is perfection.
Japanese Wasabi-Avocado Slider!
I read about this over the holidays and I made one…it was delicious! It is very simple: a slider patty topped with sliced avocado, and a heavy dose of wasabi mayonaise. Trader Joe’s sells it, or buy some great mayo and wasabi and mix it together to the strength you can handle…this is delicious with a Sapporo!
The Sriracha Burger!
This is a GREAT idea…the recipe is from the terrific “Serious Eats” website!
3 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck, 80/20)
1/4 cup soy sauce
10 tablespoons Sriracha
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 slices thick-cut bacon
2 large sweet onions
3/4 cup blue cheese dressing
8 sesame seed buns
8 thick slices Swiss cheese
1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced
Arugula or romaine lettuce
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, soy sauce, 5 tablespoons of the Sriracha, and the pepper. Do not overmix. Form the mixture into 8 patties, and set aside, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered, in the refrigerator.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium high heat.
In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon, turning as necessary. While the bacon is cooking, peel and quarter the onions. Cut each section into 1/4-inch slices. Once the bacon is cooked through and slightly crispy, remove the slices from the pan, cut each in half crosswise, and drain onto paper towels, reserving the remaining bacon fat in the pan. Cook the sliced onions in the bacon fat over medium-low heat until they caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes.
Grill the burgers, turning once, 4 to 41/2 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer registers 130° to 135°F for medium-rare.
While the burgers are cooking, in a small bowl, combine the blue cheese dressing with the remaining 5 tablespoons Sriracha. Lightly toast the buns on the grill during the last minute of cooking time.
To assemble, spread the blue cheese mixture on both halves of each hamburger bun. Stack a burger patty, Swiss cheese slice, bacon, caramelized onions, tomato slice, and a small handful of arugula between each hamburger bun.
I uncovered these two years ago in Melbourne. They add a slice of beetroot – OK, we call it beet, they call it beetroot – add a slice underneath the burger. It adds a great, slightly sweet and nutty flavor to the taste. Look at how beautiful that big chunk looks on the burger above…Everything else is the same – add cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce if you like – and if you want to go totally Aussie, add a fried egg on top….the best!
Ok, now back to just a little bit of crazy to finish this off…
The Scottish Deep-Fried Cheeseburger!!
Thanks to FXcuisine.com, there is a great writeup with pictures of the entire process of making a Scottish deep-fried cheeseburger – including the revelation that the burgers are cooked in the same deep fat fryer that cooks fries AND FISH!
FXcuisine is François-Xavier (FX), a French-speaking Swiss native living on the shores of Lake Geneva. He is passionate about gastronomy and cooking and created his website to share my adventures with Internet users the world over.
Go to his site to get more detail on how this burger is made, but a brief overview: take frozen hamburger that has been infused with cheese. Batter it, deep fry it, eat it. Done and done. Here it is again:
THE CHEESEBURGER SUB!
From The White House Sub shop in Atlantic City, I got this delicious cheeseburger sub – it’s a cheeseburger on a sub sandwich roll…easy to do and a fun change of pace!
My brother-in-law Jeff Oram took some “beefforyourfreezer.com” ground beef and made the masterpiece you see above you! And below, these are Jeff’s latest masterworks – a Kimchi Slider on the left, and on the right a slider with Broccoli Slaw!
The Doty Angus Cattle Company is where we get all of our beef now, so go to “Beefforyourfreezer.com” and order the best tasting beef there is! So don’t forget, make great burgers of all shapes and sizes this weekend, and DON’T FORGET THE BACON!