Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday Girl's Night - Burgers and Fries

Nothing says summer like a good burger, am I right? We've been making these "English Muffin" burgers for about two years. My Dad always used to have burgers on English muffins and, at first, I thought it was weird and just not right. And then I tried it. And I will never go back to a regular bun. I like my burgers on the small, slider-like size and the muffin is the perfect vessel for a small burger. It toasts easily and holds your condiments in the nooks and crannies. It's truly the only way to go.

As far as toppings go, I am pretty set on the "Classic Burger". I like to add grilled onion, bacon, American cheese, lettuce and mayo to my burger. It took me awhile to get turned on to the pre-packaged American cheese (Kraft Deli Deluxe). Tillamook cheddar was always the standard growing up and who likes pre-packaged stuff anyway? Well, it turns out, it's pretty good on a burger. And breakfast sandwiches. It melts nicely and has a great flavor, it doesn't overpower like sharp cheddar can do. I suppose you could add tomato, too, but I'm not a fan of tomatoes on burgers. Or ketchup. That's just me.

Last night Ashley and I made four burgers, two for each of us. Two we made "Classic-style" with the aforementioned toppings, and two we topped with grilled onion, lettuce, mayo and the goat cheese dipping sauce we made for the fries.

Now, let's talk about this goat cheese dipping sauce. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate more goat cheese into my life, and now I may never be the same. I had a goat cheese dipping sauce a few weeks ago at Foster Burger (recently named one of the top 10 best new burger spots in the country by Bon Appetit! magazine). I never knew such a thing existed, but boy, am I glad it does. The recipe follows, but we'll make some adjustments next time such as, no yellow onion. We'll also cut the recipe in half and use a little more cream to make it creamier. Other than that, it was pretty perfect last night. I mentioned to Ash that it would be good on just about anything. Like spread on a bagel or English muffin for breakfast and served with strawberries on the side. Yum.

To talk about the fries for a second, we use the frozen fast food-style fries. They take about 15 minutes in the oven and taste great. I season them with salt, cayenne and paprika and usually serve them with a garlic aioli. But I'll never go back to aioli after having the goat cheese sauce. You could go all out and make your own fries, but you know what? It's a mess and a lot of work and the result is never as good as say, McDonald's fries. I'll stick with my frozen ones, thank you very much.

One last note, we fired up our new propane grill for the first time last night! Yay!

Ground meat - any ground meat will do. We used ground sirloin, but Trey also like ground pork.
Yellow Onion
English muffins
Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese (pre-sliced)
Garlic Salt
Lemon Pepper
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
Worcestershire Sauce

Pre-heat your grill to medium-high.

Form small balls with the ground meat, just a little bigger than a golf ball.  Squash them down a little into a patty and make an indentation in the middle with your finger. Season with garlic salt, lemon pepper, Lawry's and put a few drops of the Worcestershire sauce in the indentation you made. Roll up into balls again, spreading the seasonings. Flatten back into patties.

I always cover my work surface with plastic wrap when I'm doing burgers. It makes clean up a snap.

Place your burgers on the grill, directly over heat, along with cut-up onion, and grill for about 5 minutes per side or until done. Take them off the grill, add the cheese and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon and start toasting your English muffins. Spread condiments on toasted English muffin, add onion, lettuce, bacon and burger patty. Enjoy!

Goat cheese dipping sauce (from the City Cook):
1 3.5 to 4.0 oz. log of goat cheese, about 2/3 cup when crumbled
3 tablespoons grated yellow onion or shallot
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 to 3 tablespoons of snipped chives (reserve a few pieces to sprinkle on top as a garnish when the sauce is finished)
4 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half; an alternative could be low fat plain yogurt

In a small bowl, crumble the goat cheese

Using the large holes on a box grater, grate about 3 tablespoons of a yellow onion. Add about 2 tablespoons to the crumbled cheese, saving the rest to gradually add later as you adjust the sauce's taste.

Add the salt and cream and with a fork, mix to combine. If you want the sauce more liquid, just add more cream or yogurt until you get the consistency you want.

Add the chives and combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning, including adding more grated onion, salt or chives to taste.

\When the sauce is ready to serve, sprinkle a few snipped chives on top as a garnish and so that others will know what flavors to expect.

This sauce keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for a day or two. However it tastes better if you let some of the chill come off of it before serving. Stir before serving as the sauce may separate a little while it chills.

Use as a dip for french fries, veggies or as a spread on your burgers. 

Bon appetit!

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