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Member since: Sat Nov 20, 2004, 02:55 PM
Number of posts: 8,976

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How to cook a gourmet cheeseburger like a food trailer....

The secret to a tasty hamburger is this-fat content. Most of the flavor in any meat comes from the fat and the bone. More fat=more flavor. 90-95% lean beef=don't bother. At the Mustang Grille we used a 73/27 1/4 pound patty and I would recommend nothing leaner than 75/25. We cooked on a propane flat top set to 350-375 degrees-the higher temp at the lunchtime rush to handle the temp drop caused by cooking large amounts of refrigerated meats in a short period of time. Now whether you cook in a frying pan or on a grill you will need one item you probably are not familiar with and this is a dome. A dome is nothing more than a properly sized pot cover with a good heatproof knob on the lid.
The cooking procedure is simple-cook the patty long enough on the first side that it will be ready to serve with a single flip-just less than 1/2 done. After the flip the second side is cooked as long. The burger will then be flipped a second and final time, cheese and other toppings added and then it is covered with a dome-at the Grille our domes would cover four patties at a time. The dome circulates all the heat from below over the toppings and melts the cheese in about 45 seconds and your burger is ready for the roll. The advantage is outside winds make melting cheese times highly variable and even indoors it speeds melting allowing you to cook a burger to desired doneness and not to overcook while melting cheese.
Now I'll talk toppings and we will discuss two and each set will require prep cooking and I'll mention name brands.
Portabello and swiss burger-pretty straight forward. For the mushrooms I select for large heads with minimal stems which will be removed and saved for other uses or discarded. The heads are sliced to 1/4 inch and sauteed in butter. We used disposable foil pans and held them in our sandwich prep fridge. Any sandwich sliced swiss cheese will work but if you can find it Sargento Aged Swiss is superior. Cook burger as described while warming portos top after the second flip with mushrooms and cheese and dome checking at 30 and 45 seconds.
Apple Cider cured Bacon and Blue cheese-my favorite. The bacon brand is Carrando and is marked apple cider cured-not applewood smoked. Now you may have to substitute if you can't find it but the search is worth doing. Prepping bacon is nothing more than cooking it about 80-85% as done as you like yours. If your pan is large enough cook whole slices and after draining and cooling you can cut it in half with scissors and again stack in a foil pan-line this one with paper towels- and refrigerate. Prep note-because this particular bacon is cured in cider there is a large amount of surface sugars and it needs to be cooked at a slightly lower temperature than you find normal and has a tendency to carmelize and then burn black and ruined if you don't watch. OK-now the blue cheese trick-if you order a blue cheese burger you normally get one of two things-either a pretty much standard burger drowned in a vinegar based salad dressing or a standard burger with pure blue cheese past which you will never taste the beef or bacon. This doesn't have to happen-just decide you will use the blue cheese like a spice or (light) condiment. It goes like this-have on hand crumbled blue cheese-and quality counts here-and sliced american cheese. The burger is cooked as above while the bacon heats on the coolest part of your pan or grille. After second flip the burger gets 3-4 half slices of bacon and between 1 1/2 tsp and 1 tbs of blue cheese sprinkled on the bacon and topped with a slice of american cheese. Dome as above add to bun and dress as desired. This burger is special with a full cheesy cover with discreet blue highlights and a special sweet tang to the bacon.
So there you have it. You can take this post one of two ways-you can realize this long post is because Cat is drinking on a Saturday night and blow it off or you can wonder if I learned anything selling dogs and burgers for six years. But I think you could learn something...
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