By Mike Thayer
The burger, specifically the cheeseburger with all the classic toppings, is one of my favorite foods. It's a predictable choice, a typical choice, a go-to food for a lot of bachelors. I like burgers because they're relatively cheap and easy to prepare and I love to fire up the grill and nothing says summer quite like a grilled burger and a cold beer. The question is, can a guy eat burgers for lunch and dinner for seven days straight and not get bored with it?
Bored with a burger? NO WAY!
But there are those times when a spin on the classic is pretty darn tasty! Here are some burger recipes that kick things up a notch, starting with that classic:
The Classic Burger: So the key to my Classic burger is to include Cookies Flavor Enhancer in the meat. I like to use an 80/20 grind of ground beef, it's a perfect blend of meat/fat for the grill and mixing in the Cookies Flavor Enhancer gives it the edge when it comes to a depth of flavor when combined with the kiss of smoke from the grill.
The Idaho Burger: This recipe was ‘developed’ by my three young sons on a summer vacation trip to Idaho. It’s pretty much a classic bacon cheeseburger and BBQ sauce with a spin of mine (adding pork sausage), but my boys really thought they had come up with something new. I wasn’t about to spoil their creativity in their grilling moment of discovery.
The Meatloaf Burger: I know the burger purists out there might say this isn't really a burger, but let me tell you, it's another dose of YUM! Three meats = flavor, the breadcrumbs provide a nice little texture crunch because it crisps up on the grill, the ketchup glaze is scrumptious and the mac & cheese topper just kicks things up another notch. It's comfort food and a burger in one awesome package!
The Pizza Burger: The combination of burger and pizza, how can this NOT be good right? This is a stuffed burger and my favorite pizza toppings are pepperoni and mushrooms, so that's what I'm stuffing this burger with along with sauce and mozzarella cheese. That's what I love about stuffed burgers, the choices of what to put in your burger are almost endless!
The Juicy Lucy: The great thing about these burgers is playing with a variety of cheeses. Melted cheddar, swiss and or provolone are great too! Do combinations or specialty cheeses like pepperjack. Your choices are almost unlimited!
The Thanksgiving Burger: This is another stuffed burger recipe, a plate of Thanksgiving Day goodness all in one bite! The toasted bun was dressed with a brown butter & cranberry jelly, the turkey burger was seasoned with my signature rub and stuffed with loaded mashed potatoes and gravy and the green beans were Tempura battered and fried. It was another dose of YUM!
The Cajun Burger: This burger takes everything that is classic Cajun and delivers it in a big flavor fashion! It's a pork sausage and Andouille sausage patty kissed with some Cajun spice, there's a slice of melted muenster cheese and it's served on a garlic toasted bun dressed with a Cajun spice remoulade. It was another dose of YUM!
The Mediterranean Burger: It's lunch in the Mediterranean! This burger features ground lamb and melds together all the classic flavors of the Mediterranean. There's feta cheese, hummus, Kalamata olives and more in this great burger.
The California Burger: It's dinner in California! This burger features avacado and bacon jam! I've never had bacon jam before and after tasting it, I was like, "Where have you been all my life?" As Guy Fieri might say, you could put that stuff on a flip-flop and it would taste good.
The Mexican Burger: This burger features a mixture of ground beef and Mexican chorizo, which provides for a little heat. Topped with a little salsa and guacamole, this takes taco flavors up to a whole new level!
The Garlic Chicken Curry Burger: The taste of India featuring a mixture of ground chicken, garlic and curry. Add in a garlic/curry/ginger aioli, lettuce, tomato, red onion and cucumbers (nope, not pickles) and this burger delivers some excellent international flare!
The Breakfast Burger: This burger puts some beef into the morning meal and kicks the typical breakfast sandwich up a couple notches! The great thing about this burger, is it's an excellent use of leftover burgers from last night's dinner. And there's just something a little extra special with that golden yoke from the over easy egg running down the side of the sandwich....
The French Dip Burger: It's lunch in France! This burger is a spin on the classic French Dip sandwich, featuring onion and Au Jus. The combination of that seasoned ground beef, those savory onions and a great bun soaked in that Au Jus makes for a fantastic bite!
The Asian Burger: The Orient really shines with the flavors of General Tsao and a Ramen noodle bun. When you sink your teeth into it, it's kind of like a giant, beefy, egg roll bite!
Get the tongs out and have some fun with flavor!