Happy July 4th!
July 4th is the biggest celebration in the US – and millions of us are on vacation for the entire week – so there is a LOT of great food being devoured!
240+ years in, America is still a work in progress, and more than ever, we all share the same planet so here’s to mutual respect and shared goals – and of course, burgers!
I love this holiday! We declared independence and fought for the right to govern ourselves. For an All-American celebration like this – what beats a burger?
This post is going to celebrate burgers of all shapes and sizes, and share some great recipes for your grilling pleasure – with no shortage of BACON!
Yes, it’s one of America’s most popular burgers – the Shake Shack bacon cheeseburger!
Shake Shacks are opening everywhere now it seems, and here is the reason why:
The burgers are big and beautiful – you can ready my entire review right here:
And there’s no better time than to try and replicate America’s greatest burgers!
Time To Be Inspired!
Why are burgers America’s greatest food? Well, a great burger picture answers that question, but also, remember the words of one of our country’s most beloved Chefs:
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
That’s right, this is the kind of food that says “I LOVE AMERICA!”
A cheeseburger, when done right, is a thing of beauty. When done with doughnut buns, as you see above, it’s a thing of PERFECT BEAUTY. And what do you do when something is perfect? You double it!
Now THAT is a thing of beauty! And since the Memorial Day weekend is a time for families and friends to gather, I call on all Artists to rise up and create a masterpiece or two – like this!
So, to celebrate the 4th, here are 4 great burgers!
To begin, here is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE SLIDER!
I am happy to get this celebration started by showing you what, to me, is the greatest taste imaginable…
MY “FRENCH FRY ‘N’ TARTAR” BACON CHEESEBURGER!
I love burgers. And bacon. AND TARTAR TOO. So why not take care of all of my vices in one big bite?
It’s so easy to be so happy: cook up a burger (i add diced onion and garlic to mine) and just before you finish cooking it, lay a few cooked french fries on top, then top with tartar sauce…finally, lay down a piece of cheese….i use both sharp cheddar AND Mozzarella….once it melts you are ready to bite down hard!
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – and you will never knock it again! OK, I understand that some of you don’t want to mix your burgers with spuds, so if that’s the case, here are some other fun recipes to try!
SLIDERS, SLIDERS, SLIDERS!
I like sliders because you can try more variations due to their smaller size. The key to a great slider is what holds it all together. That’s why I use sweet Hawaiian dinner rolls…they are the perfect size AND they add a nice bit of flavor, which you need when you are piling your mini-bun high like this:
The Ingredients For A Perfect Patty!
Now, time to get down to basics. A great hamburger uses good quality ground beef with at least 15% fat content, to ensure lots of juicy flavor. I put minced onion and garlic in mine, to provide a bit of sassy crunch. Other than that, I like to use a fun salt – like pink hawaiian sea salt, and a fair amount of pepper.
Let’s get cooking!
The All-American Bacon-Cheeseburger!
What can you say? Here is the all-american classic! Build it this way and you are golden – your ingredients are easy:
Sweet Hawaiian bun, Cheese – melted and dripping
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Tomato, Pickle, then Mayonaise, Mayonaise, Mayonaise!
Ketchup and mustard if you MUST
If you do it right, it will look like THIS (you can shift things around in terms of order, but it needs to end up like this):
See that? DO NOT DEVIATE – this is perfection.
But what if you have a “spicy tooth?” Well, we have an answer for you as well:
The Sriracha Burger!
This is a GREAT idea…the recipe is from the terrific “Serious Eats” website, and it takes advantage of one of America’s most popular new condiments!
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
This great looking Sriracha burger pic came from “cookingwithcristen.com” which is also a great site for recipes!
This is easy and fun: just combine the ground beef, soy sauce, 5 tablespoons of the Sriracha, and the pepper – make your patties.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium high heat.
Cook your bacon – once the bacon is cooked, remove the slices and drain onto paper towels, reserving the remaining bacon fat in the pan. Cook 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.
Bam! Spicy good times for all!
Our next stop on this burger journey take you to a very unique and gooey place:
The “Bacon Mac’n’ Cheeseburger!”
That’s right, make a bacon cheeseburger and load it up with mac’n’cheese as your topping!
As you can see, simple and so so delicious – especially when served with tater tots on the side!
If you don’t want to make sliders, and are around some of the America’s greatest burger joints, just pop in and grab already made…
This is from Plan Check in Los Angeles, and yes, that is “ketchup leather” on that burger…see the whole recipe here:
July 4th is the day Americans celebrate a new way of governing – so we will see lots and lots of BBQ pictures, fireworks, and all around celebrations across the country…
Happy 4th of July!