This version of the classic Hot Brown sandwich takes out the one head-scratching element: the turkey. I mean, it's not like the turkey taste bad, per se. I quite like the turkey in there. But still, it has always felt odd to me to combine what is regarded as one of the healthier meat choices with what has the potential to be the greatest calorific splurge of a sandwich ever created. Replacing the turkey with a grilled juicy hamburger patty realizes that potential.
'Toppings' on Serious Eats
There's not really much to making a perfect Surf N' Turf burger. All you need is some impeccably good beef and lobster and absolutely perfect execution. Easy, right? Here's how.
Onions and beef go together like baths and bubbles, like Wallace and Gromit, like hitchhikers and towels, like...you get the picture. They belong together, long for each other's company. A burger without onions is still a burger, but tuck a few slices of raw sweet onion underneath or spread a pile of deeply browned caramelized onions on top and you've got yourself something that is suddenly more than a sum of its parts. Nowhere is this fact more well-known than in Oklahoma, home of the Onion Burger, a burger that is nearly as much onion as it is meat. Today we're gonna talk about how to make your own at home.
The Burger Lab's Toppings Week 2013: Hot and Smoky Cheeseburgers with Bacon and Pickled Cherry Pepper Relish
It took the Shake Shack years before it introduced a second burger on its menu aside from its signature Shackburger. When it hit the boards, the Smoke Shack was a near instant hit (we sure loved it). It took the signature well-seared Shake Shack patty and paired it with crisp bacon and a sweet-hot pickled pepper relish. It's a flavor combination worth repeating as often as possible, so I decided to take my own spin on it to the backyard burger.
The frita is a classic regional American burger created by Cuban immigrants in South Florida. While the standard is a thin, griddled patty with a spiced ketchup-based sauce, my take on it is a slightly larger version designed for the backyard grill with a boldly seasoned pork and beef patty, a creamier sauce, and more vegetables. The crisp shoestring potatoes that are the hallmark of a traditional frita remain the same.
I've been on a Greek yogurt sauce kick recently. It's something that I tend to slip into when the summer comes and I'm looking for something that's cooling, easy to make, and darn tasty to boot. That it goes on just about anything—as a dip for raw vegetables or pita, as a sauce for roasted meats, as a dressing for hearty salads, a rub for grilled corn, and yes, as a sauce for burgers—makes it all the more easy to slip into the trap of making a batch each week and applying it willy-nillilly. It's a trap I really don't mind falling into.
As a burger lover and a pizza lover, I've always liked the idea of some sort of burger-pizza hybrid, but it never really works according to plan. As our Home Slice Adam can tell you, designing a good hamburger pizza is no easy feat (I've yet to see a successful one anywhere, and pizza burgers rarely fare well either. This one, which is not quite a pizza burger, does a little better, I think.
We all know how seductive a plate of poutine can be, right? You know, that Canadian late-night dish of fresh fries smothered with squeaky cheese curds and hot, meaty gravy? After a few beers it beckons to you, seduces you. A cheese-clad goddess enrobed in gravy, ready to nip your hangover in the bud. Heck, even without the beer goggles poutine is a pretty tough mistress to turn away. So what happens when your poutine employs her crafty wiles on an unsuspecting burger? The Poutine Burger emerges.
What's that? You're too darn busy to make your own pizza? Even if it's The World's Easiest No-Knead No-Stretch Pan Pizza? Or the perfect-for-a-large-crowd, almost-100%-hands-off Party-Sized Square Pie? I get it. There's a time and a place for frozen pizza, and perhaps that time is Sunday and that place is your living room.
How would you classify your style when it comes to making pizza at home? Are you ever experimenting, sticking to the classics or some homespun favorites, cleaning out the fridge, or taking cues from the season or a favorite pizzeria?
Everyone's got a favorite set of pizza toppings, and mine just happens to be black olives and pineapple. Try before you judge.
My uncle had a bumper crop of tomatoes and hot banana peppers this year and decided to send'em all on up to New York from Pennsylvania via my-sister-express. What do you do with a peck of peppers? Why, you pickle'em of course.
The other week I agreed to host a pizza party at my place and planned on banging out a dozen or so pies from my modified KettlePizza grill insert (read the post to see how we modified it for perfect pie-making), and did what I normally do: made a big ol' pile of dough, left it fermenting in the kitchen, then headed out to grab ingredients. By the end of the night I was thinking, when is too much too much for toppings? Are you a when!-screamer or are you a more-the-merrier type pie eater?
Pluck those zucchini blossoms from your garden (or from the booth at your local farmers market), for they make a stellar pizza topping. Nicoletta Executive Chef, Ben Lee, shows you how to work the tender, yellow-orange blossoms onto your pies at home in today's Top This.
It's time for another round of The Food Lab. Got a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Email Kenji here, and he'll do his best to answer your queries in a future post. Become a fan of The Food Lab on...
The flavors of bacon, grilled onions, and barbecue sauce have got to be classic for a reason. And it's not just because someone had the bright idea that salty bacon and plenty of sweet, smoky sauce can rescue even a mediocre hamburger. No, it's because when each of the elements is perfect—the burger juicy and medium rare with a smoky char from the grill, the bacon thick cut, crisp, and lacquered in tangy sauce, the onion softened to a sweet, sweet tenderness—it's a flavor combination that's tough to beat. Thing is, we rarely ever receive a perfect barbecue bacon cheeseburger. Here's how to do it.
The combination of grilled beef in a sweet and salty marinade and kimchi is about as classic as it gets. Think: kalbi or bulgogi. Even the combination of marinated beef, kimchi, and cheese is not unprecedented. Just take a look at the Korean taco craze. Koreans will take slices of American cheese and melt them into their kimchi jjigae. I had an awesome bulgogi hoagie at Broadway Cafe in Ann Arbor last year. Even the Serious Eats book has a recipe for kimchi quesadillas. So to put kimchi on a burger seems only natural.
A fat patty of grilled beef draped with a melty, oozy slice of pepper jack cheese, topped with roasted green chilis, and a handful of pickled jalapeños, served on a hearty bun with a generous swipe of chipotle mayonnaise. This is the burger that bites back.
In this edition of Home Slice, I get all fancy with aligot, a French version of mashed potatoes with TWO TYPES OF CHEESE all melted in. C'est magnifique! And, oh, AVEC BACON!