My palate has gotten a lot more diverse in the last few years. It might be part of the aging process, or it might’ve been that I met a girl who wouldn’t let me eat the same chicken breast (burnt to a crisp on the George Foreman grill) & egg noodles for dinner every night. But despite any advances I’ve made, I still have a soft spot for my original culinary love: the cheeseburger.
Last Sunday, we had our brother/brother-in-law Eric over for a burger cookoff–we each made up our own recipes and got to grilling. We were like three little Bobby Flays running around the kitchen, except without the Archie haircut and the condescending attitude. I invented a sandwich called The Snack Aisle Burger, Caili created The Monte Cristo Burger, and Eric conjured up a burger called Funky Boy.
I never met a carb I didn’t like–so here are two of my key ingredients, Fritos and Cheez-Its. I used crushed Cheez-Its as bread crumbs in my beef patty. The Fritos would later add some crunch when the burger was ready to be served; it was also a garnish when plated.
Here’s the Snack Aisle Burger before I fully mixed in the seasonings and Cheez-Its. I used hamburger seasoning, a dash of salt and pepper, and a little seasoned salt.
Eric shows off his burger patty with the edge perfectly coated in his secret blend of seasonings.
Caili’s Monte Cristo burger makes its debut. She used ground turkey and then added swiss cheese, sliced ham and raspberry preserves. Rather than frying her bun, she used sweet Hawaiian rolls and dusted them with powdered sugar.
Eric’s Funky Boy burger lived up to its name with a mushroom-infused sauce and a perfect coating of swiss cheese. But what really put it over the top was the cheese crisp he made with pecorino romano. I would eat this burger every week if I could.
My Snack Aisle Burger brought together three of the supermarket’s best carb snacks: pretzels (in the form of a pretzel bun), Cheez-It breadcrumbs, and Fritos on top. The flavor was exactly what you imagine. The best part was that you could definitely taste the Cheez-Its in the burger itself.
Full from too many burgers, Eric, Caili and I show off our creative names. Luckily our expanding waistlines are not visible.
To top things off, milkshake mixologist Caili blended up some Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes. This may have been one of the top 10 things I’ve ever had in a glass.
So what did we learn?? Well first, stuffing your face is fun! (But as Ali G would say, “I already knew that, let me read some other things.”) The real lesson is that it’s hard to mess up a burger. So don’t hold back from creating a new burger recipe–if I can make something delicious out of Cheez-Its, I’m sure you can top it easily.
Notes on Recipes:
Snack Aisle Burger – Combine a half pound of ground chuck with salt, pepper, seasoned salt, hamburger seasoning and a handful of crushed Cheez-Its. Cook in a cast-iron skillet on medium/high heat (or grill it). Top with cheddar and add Fritos on top.
Monte Cristo Burger – Mix ground turkey with salt and pepper. Cook in a cast-iron skillet on medium/high heat (or grill it). Top with swiss cheese and raspberry preserves. Serve over a slice of ham on sweet Hawaiian rolls dusted with powdered sugar.
Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake (courtesy of the above-mentioned Bobby Flay)- Broil 8-10 large marshmallows on a baking sweet under golden brown. Turn marshmallows over and repeat. Remove marshmallows from oven and let them cool. In a blender, combine marshmallows with a 1/4 cup of milk and 11 ounces of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with more toasted marshmallows.