Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gourmet Burgers

Burgers come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. I have two favorite places in New York City - the one and only Corner Bistro where you have to wait in line while drinking McSorely's (also another good place to go in NYC) beer, and The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian Hotel. Both of these places are worth going to for the experience alone. A quick note about the burgers at each place; Corner Bistro has bacon on their burgers, but the Burger Joint seems to have a tastier cooking method for their meat patty. Either way, try it out, get a burger, some fries and a beer, and embrace the grease!

My own burger recipe is a little different; not as greasy but still containing plenty of flavor! I kind of just made this up one night, but it proves to be a big hit with anybody I make it for.

Gourmet Burgers
Makes 4 Quarter Pound Burgers


1 lb of lean ground beef
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt if you have it!)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Buns or bread which will fit the meat nicely
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I use 1/2 fat)
1 tomato

This recipe is pretty simple. Combine the meat, onions, and spices together in a bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture into four pieces and shape into patties. Heat up a grill pan to medium heat and then put your patties on. I leave them on one side until I can see the juices start to run and the colors start to change around the edges. Once you have flipped them, put your cheese on top. I usually turn the flame down to low at this point and let the cheese slowly melt. I don't trust grocery store ground meat so I make sure it is cooked all the way through.

Once the burger patties are done, take them off the grill pan and let them sit for a minute. Put your buns or bread (I used a loaf of Italian bread cut into pieces) on to the grill pan and toast them under they are slightly brown.

Assemble the warm toasted bread, burger pattie with melted cheese, and if you want, sliced tomatoes.

I also sauteed some spinach to accompany my burgers. Very simply, I sauteed a few sliced cloves of garlic in olive oil with a few red pepper flakes. Once the garlic had softened I added one bag of baby spinach and started to stir. As soon as I could see the spinach starting to wilt, I turned off the stove and continued to stir. By turning off the stove, I ensured the spinach did not get overcooked which is so often the case!

All in all, this is a quick and easy meal, which people love to eat!

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