Burger Time!

Summer is finally here which means its time to fire up the grill and get your burger on!  A basic beef burger is a BBQ favorite, but here at Taste & Technique we’ve discovered some twists on this quintessential American Summer Supper.

Bobby Flay’s Crunchburger
Serves 4

This is the “house” burger at Bobby’s Burger Palace and it’s been a big hit at our Kid’s Food Network Camps. It’s a basic burger with CRUNCH. The crunch factor comes from a big handful of potato chips layered between the burger and the bun. Oozing melted cheese becomes a part of the chips and those crunchy chips become a part of the burger – delicious!

1½ pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½  Tb. canola oil
8 slices American cheese, each ¼ inch thick
4 potato hamburger buns, split; toasted, if desired
4 handfuls of potato chips

Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a ¾-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.

Cook the burgers, using the oil and topping each one with 2 slices of cheese and a basting cover during the last minute of cooking. (See Bobby’s cheese melting tip)

Place the burgers on the bun. Pile on the potato chips, top with the bun tops, and serve immediately.

Melting Cheese on Burgers

Bobby Flay, the King of Burgers, explains his secret to perfectly melted cheese, every time.

“There is nothing I hate more than getting a cheeseburger with cheese that hasn’t been melted all the way. Getting the perfect melt is so easy to accomplish. Here’s my secret: I use a basting cover, an inexpensive aluminum dome that short-order cooks use in diners. It looks like the lid of a sauté pan, except that it is domed to fit over the burger. A basting cover allows just enough clearance, meaning the cheese doesn’t touch and stick to it but the cover can still hold in the heat to melt the cheese beautifully. If you don’t have a basting cover, a sturdy metal bowl will also do the trick. Alternatively, you can close the grill cover or you can even tent each burger with a square of aluminum foil.”

Kalbi Burger

In 2013 Middletown mom, Mimi Chang, landed a spot on the Rachel Ray show when won the Bobby Flay Burger Contest with her Korean spin on a burger.  Food Network Celebrities were so impressed with the flavors of this burger that it became a featured menu item at the Bobby Flay Burger Palace.  Mimi is a delightful and energetic home chef who has taught some fabulous classes at our studio!

For the burger:
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce 
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil 
Ground pepper 
1/2 cup chopped scallions 
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
12 ounces minced ground chuck 
12 ounces ground short rib 
For the slaw:
1 cup cabbage kimchee 
2 teaspoons sugar 
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil 
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds 

Combine sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and ground pepper. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add scallions, garlic and ginger into soy sauce mixture, stir. Combine this ‘marinade’ to the ground meats. Form meat into 6 patties. Let patties rest as you prepare the slaw. 

For the slaw, squeeze excess liquid out of kimchee. Take the wringed ball of kimchee and thinly slice it (so it looks like cole slaw). In a bowl, combine kimchee with the sugar, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Set aside. 

Grill patties about 5-6 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Top each burger with some kimchee slaw

Two Cheese Turkey Burgers with Sun Dried Tomatoes
4 large portions

This recipe from Chef Diana Albanese was featured in her “Easy Weeknight Dinner” class which gave students lots of ideas for how to quickly pull together a simple healthy family meal.

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion finely minced
½ cup diced sun dried tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup combined 2 types cheddar cheese, cut into ½” cubes
4 Kaiser Rolls or large hamburgers rolls

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12” non stick skillet over high heat.  Add onions and season with salt and pepper.  Sauté stirring frequently until onions begin to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and sun dried tomatoes and sauté until garlic begins to develop an aroma.  Remove from heat.  Divide onion mixture in half into one large bowl and one small one.  Rinse and dry skillet and set aside.

Add ground turkey to large bowl with onion sun dried tomato mixture, season with salt, pepper and wine.  Blend and shape mixture into 4 round balls.  Make a deep hole in each ball and insert one fourth of cheese.  Pinch holes closed and flatten into 1” thick patties.

Heat remaining oil in non stick skillet over medium heat.  Sear burgers for 1 minute on each side until browned.  Turn carefully with spatula.

Lower heat to medium low and cook burgers for 5 minutes per side.

Serve on buns, topping each with some of reserved onion-sun dried tomato mixture and add favorite condiments such as ketchup, tomatoes, lettuce and raw thinly sliced onions.

Pollo Reggiano Burgers
Here’s another recipe that has been very popular in our kid’s classes.  The ingredients may seem a bit sophisticated for children but when they are combined together they make for a great meal for everyone in the family.

1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce
1 1⁄2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds bone-in), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ounces prosciutto, chopped into medium dice
2 ounces sweet Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1⁄4 cup finely chopped roasted red bell pepper (see note)
1⁄4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon prepared sun dried tomato pesto
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

Combine all of the burger ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the chicken is the consistency of ground beef, about 8 pulses. Gently shape the mixture into 4 burgers about 3⁄4 inch thick and 4 inches across. The mixture will be a little loose.  Wash hands well.

Place a skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and let it get hot, about 2 minutes.  Arrange the burgers so they aren’t touching and cook , uncovered for 6 minutes. Turn and cook  5-6minutes more, until no longer pink in the center, or about 165°F.

Transfer burgers to the buns and top with the pesto.

Cuban Burgers by Three Guys from Miami
Serves 6-8
Like many things that came to Cuba by way of other cultures, the hamburger soon became a popular favorite. Finding the meat a little bland, some enterprising Cubans decided to “kick it up a notch.  Don’t even think about making this recipe without the secret sauce!! It is NOT the same without it!”

1 pound ground beef (80% lean)
¾ pound ground pork
4 garlic cloves minced
1/3 cup onion grated
2 tbsp. ketchup
¾ tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. sweet Spanish paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6-8 American style hamburger rolls
6-8 cups fried shoestring potatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
Glen’s Not so Secret Sauce

In a food processor pulse, meats, garlic, onion.  Blend in ketchup, cumin and paprika.  Shape mixture in round thin patties.

Place patties on a grill pan or sauté pan and cook until medium well but not overcooked. Squirt some secret sauce in the pan with the burgers and let cook for a minute more. Place patty in the bun.  Cover with some sliced onion.  Pile on the shoestring potatoes and squirt some more secret sauce on the potatoes.

Glen’s not so Secret Sauce:
1-6 oz. can tomato paste

1 ½ cups water
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.

We hope these recipes inspire you to get creative with your burger making this summer.   We’d love your feedback or if you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share please send them to us through the contact page of our site.