Mmm… Ultimate Burger Experience!
A few things in life are as satisfying as a big, juicy, American burger!
Burgers are quintessentially American. They go along with American Pie, BBQ and Hot Dogs. Imagine watching “Grease” without the diner scenes, where they are chowing down on cheeseburgers and milk shakes. It’s not the same. It’s just the American way to have burgers as a part of our lives. In fact, I don’t know anyone who does not like burgers and frankly I wouldn’t trust anyone who chose to dislike them. It seems unnatural. And I choose not to associate with such types.
A few summers ago we invested in hub’s and my dream-grill: a gigantic and powerful Weber monster! It’s glorious, shiny and most importantly heats up in a heartbeat. Perfect for grilling the ultimate burger.
Unfortunately, I live in Chicago. The land of the never-ending and unpredictable weather. On one such a Saturday night hubs and I were craving burgers. As we walked out of the grocery store, my munchkin’s giggles were overshadowed by the crash of thunder that rolled through the sky. I dashed her to the car and just managed to close my door before the HAIL started. Not just rain. HAIL! Unless I preferred being in an abusive relationship with the weather, our BBQ was cancelled. And we were NOT happy.
We decided to do the next best thing and head on over to an upscale dive bar complete with an adorable outside patio and a huge selection of freshly ground and gourmet burgers. This would be the kind of place that would be featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. Hubs and I both ordered stuffed burgers. His… oozing with mushrooms and onions, mine… with herbed cream cheese bubbling on a pretzel roll. Munchkin chewed on my fries and grilled chicken breast… apparently judging by the lack of bites in the chicken breast, she was not impressed. I am not going to lie; my burger experience was not what I expected it to be. My mission was clear. Create a gourmet stuffed burger that did the palate proud. And I did!
I seared it in a cast iron pan and threw it into the oven to finish off to a perfect medium. Once I removed it from the oven I added on nice sharp cheddar, placed a few tablespoons of water into the pan and closed it with a lid.
***I learned this from a burger master. The steam makes the cheese melt perfectly and makes our burger even juicier! ***
I cut it open and just watched the perfect ooze factor happen. Tender meat + oozey cheese + crispy bacon = Ultimate Burger Experience satisfaction.
16 homemade burger patties (1/4 to 1/2 pound each)
8 Brioche buns
8 slices thick smoked bacon, cooked and crispy
½ a cup of whipped cream cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced on micro planer
2 tablespoons of chopped chives
¼ cup shredded cheddar
8 slices of sharp cheddar
1 cup of baby arugula
Sriracha to taste
salt and pepper to taste
- Combine cream cheese, shredded cheddar, garlic, chives, and desired amount of sriracha.
- Unwrap the burger patties; you will need 2 per burger.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling on top of one burger patty and then place the other patty directly on top. Carefully smashing the sides together, so that they create one large patty.
- Sear on a grill or stovetop in a thick-bottomed pan. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 7 minutes on one side and then flip to the other side and cook for another 6 minutes. This will give you a nice medium. Don’t forget to add the cheese slices and let it melt for about 30 seconds.
- Place on top of the bottom portion of the brioche bun, add burger patty, bacon strips and garnish with arugula.
- Serve immediately and invite guests to cut it down the middle to reveal the oozing cheese.
For a step by step tutorial and more pictures go to www.girlandthekitchen.com.