Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
(a.k.a “The best damn burgers you’ll ever have”) Once you taste these burgers, you’ll never order from a restaurant again. Once you serve these burgers, your friends and family will never want any other kind! Hamburgers are so easy to make, but there are a few secrets that make this the best burger ever.
Secret #1 – The Meat Use 20% fat ground chuck. I get my meat from Sweetbay, a local supermarket. They ground their own ground chuck from scraps of tenderloin, strip, chuck, etc. This makes such a difference – the meat is amazing! You can use 15% fat, but it won’t be as flavorful. There aren’t very many dishes or ingredients that I suggest throwing away your diet for (hamburgers are one, and coconut milk is another) but since we don’t have burgers that often, I vote for eating the full-on real thing.
Secret #2 – The Cheese My family is addicted to cheese. My 2 and 3 year old know the difference between “Kraft” cheese and the “-‘spensive cheese” Countless times when we have a cheese platter loaded with different cheeses from the Cheesemonger, apples, french bread and grapes, I try to swap the cheaper supermarket cheese and give that to the boys. Nope. They are definite cheese snobs. Which brings me back to what type of cheese to use. Sure, I could go to the supermarket and pick up a tub of Gorgonzola. But I believe the cheese that comes in plastic tubs end up tasting like the plastic tubs. Last week, a trip to Whole Foods yielded a creamy dreamy chunk of Castello Blue. It is a triple-cream blue with dark blue vein, rich and buttery. Usually, I choose a pungent, strong Gorgonzola, but I really wanted to try the Castello Blue that I had on hand. Break up the cheese into small chunks to stuff in the burgers.
Secret #3 There are times when I don’t have blue cheese on hand, or I have guests who don’t like blue cheese. OR, there are times when I really want to splurge and make the most luxurious burger in the world and include this secret ingredient WITH the blue cheese. The secret is herb-garlic-butter. Basically, I take softened butter, minced garlic and any herbs like basil or parsley. Mix it all together and refrigerate until hardened. Cut into small chunks and stuff into the burgers.
Secret #4 Take extra care to shape the burger. Grilling makes the burger shrink in diameter and puff up – so I try to make the burger as thin as possible. But here’s the catch – make sure that the ground beef covers whatever you use to stuff the burger with. If you leave unexposed areas, the stuffing just oozes out, and your $20 a pound blue cheese ends up dripping down between the grill grates. I also serve the burgers with carmelized onions & sauteed mushrooms. YUM!