Brian's Photo Blog — Article 723
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Crafting Gourmet Burgers at Home
Monday 15 October 2018   —   Category: Cooking & Food
I’ve been making hamburgers ever since I learned how to cook ... for about four decades now. But it was only this year that I started putting together gourmet-​style burgers with an out of the ordinary combination of ingredients. You might go as far as to say that there has been a burger revolution in my kitchen! It’s been fun, delicious and satisfying.

A few articles ago I told you about the Mad Hawaiian ham­burg­er I had at Bo & Vine Burger Bar (pictured top right). It con­sist­ed of a 1/3 pound beef patty, 2 slices of grilled pineapple, fresh jalapeño cilantro slaw, a thin slice of grilled spam, sriracha, onion, Swiss cheese, ter­i­ya­ki glaze and mayo between the buns.

About a month later I made my own slightly different version at home. From the bottom up, it consisted of a whole wheat bun, my own homemade jalapeño salsa, a slice of barbecued prosciutto, a barbecued 1/3 lb ground beef patty sea­soned with Monkey Spit Wimpy Chimp and teriyaki sauce, Havarti cheese, a barbecued teriyaki pineapple ring, my own homemade kimchi, sriracha mayo, and the top half of the bun. It was big, unusual and scrumptious!

A couple of weeks before eating at Bo & Vine I made a killer gourmet burger at home consisting of mayonnaise on a toasted bun, dill relish, julienned onion, a 1/3 pound beef patty oozing with melt­ed Dubliner and P’tit Basque cheeses, a generous amount of my own homemade Dr Pepper BBQ sauce, and the other half of the bun.

It was accompanied by tater tots cooked in a waffle iron.
In June I received an e-mail from Bo & Vine about their special of the month. They wrote: “We’re so excited to share our first fried chicken limited edition! Straight outta the desert, The Sonoran features our housemade beer battered fried chicken, grilled cactus, honey bour­bon caramelized onion, smoked bacon, cotija, cilantro, chipotle aioli, and a lime wedge.” The accompanying photo from their e-mail is shown to the right.

I wasn’t very interested in a fried chick­en sandwich, but the other ingredients definitely had possibilities!
Inspired by The Sonoran, it wasn’t long until I invented my own South Of The Border burger. From the bottom up, it consisted of a whole wheat bun, my homemade corn salsa, a ground beef patty flavored with taco seasoning and dried cilantro, melted cotija cheese, a broiled jalapeño, julienned nopal cactus and onion sautéed in butter and tequila, chipotle mayo, and the top half of the bun.

I served it with a lime wedge and tortilla chips. Both my wife and I thought it was truly scrumptious — another winner and keeper!
The following month I was not inspired by Bo & Vine, but by some leftovers in the fridge. I combined them into what I call an Odds & Ends Burger: sautéed mushrooms, pepperoni, a quarter-pound beef patty, Til­lamook Pepper Jack cheese, my own homemade Red-Eye BBQ sauce, and homemade coleslaw, con­tained (for the most part) between a whole wheat bun.

Another delicious concoction in my homemade gour­met burger revolution!
Bo & Vine struck again! In their Sep­tem­ber e-mail they wrote: “Back by pop­u­lar demand (and with a new little kick), our Johnny Appleseed burger is not to be missed with 1/3 lb grass-fed beef, grilled granny smith apple, cinnamon whiskey caramelized onion, smoked bacon, crum­bled blue cheese, spring mix lettuce, and mayo. Foodie tip: Pair it with hard cider for a little extra sweet!”

In their photo (right), I wasn’t sure what the yellow stuff beneath the green apple slice was, so I asked them about it. They replied, “The yellow is actually sautéed green apple. Sometimes the color chang­es a bit when cooked.”
So apparently the green apple slice is uncooked Granny Smith and the yellow is a cooked slice. With that cleared up, I got to work crafting my own version.

On a buttered and toasted whole wheat bun spread with mayo I stacked a juicy ground beef patty, a slice of butter-​sautéed Granny Smith apple as well as a raw slice, both topped with cinnamon, cinnamon whiskey caramelized onion sautéed in butter, smoked bacon, Israeli Pastures of Eden sheep’s milk feta from Trader Joe’s, (instead of B&V’s blue cheese), and spring mix greens.
This unusual combination of ingredients was surprisingly good, although a little bland for my tastes — I should have put sriracha in the mayo. In the end, I don’t think that apple is my favorite burger topping.

While photographing these burgers and ingredients I took a total of 55 pictures. The best 15 have found a home in the Gourmet Chef Wannabe 2018 album.

My next article will take a look at my version of the Carl’s Jr Baby Back Rib Burger. I still have a list of burger ideas which I have not yet had time to im­ple­ment. Those juicy stories will be told in future articles as my homemade gourmet burger revolution continues!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 723
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