There’s not much that I love in the world more than a good burger. But let’s do the math, here. A three day weekend in honor of Memorial Day, times three meals a day, equals…well, I don’t know what it equals. But if you mack burgers on Memorial Day weekend the way we mack burgers on Memorial Day weekend, you run the risk of burger burnout halfway through the holiday. Here is a little burger inspiration to get you through those rough patches:
1. Beer & Bison Burgers with Garlic Pub Cheese
“Because they are so lean, they tend to get a little dry, which is where our homemade pub cheese enters the picture. Eating a lower-fat burger justifies spooning what is essentially cream cheese on top, and as soon as the pub cheese hits the hot burger, it runs and drips in rivulets throughout the grassy, Earthy, protein-rich meat. It’s a delicious alternative to your basic burger, and is perfect for days with nothing to do but sit around the grill, drinking beer and thinking about America.”
2. Big Barbecue Burgers
“These burgers satisfy my barbecue sauce craving every time. You can cook them in a hot cast iron skillet on the stovetop, or if your climate allows, outside on the grill. Cooking them on the grill allows you to baste your burgers with barbecue sauce as you cook them, until you get several layers of sticky glaze baked into the nooks and crannies of the burger.”
3. Turkey Burger with Fried Pickles and Slaw
If your reaction to the phrase “Turkey Burger” is throw up your hands in despair and hurtle yourself through a wall Looney Toons-style so that you leave a hole in the shape of the outline of your body in the drywall, you and I have a lot in common. It wasn’t until Jillian showed me the way: Buy ground white and dark meat turkey with a fat content so high that it’s only marginally better for you than ground beef, and take care not to overwork the meet when forming your patties, instead merely breaking off a section of the ground meat and searing it quickly in a pan. The result is a turkey burger unlike any you’ve ever tried. Topping them with coleslaw and deep-fried pickles doesn’t hurt, either.
4. Lamb and Manchego Burgers with Fried Potato Chive Cakes
Ground beef is all fine and dandy, but sometimes you want a grilled burger with just a little more stank on it. That’s when I turn to ground lamb, here enrobed in a layer of melted manchego and topped with a deep-fried potato cake for some extra crunch. It looks like we’re going to get rained out this weekend here in the Northeast, but not to worry…this recipe works just as well in a pan on the stove.
5. New Mexico-Style Poblano Chile Barbecue Burger
“I’ve always wondered about the New Mexico phenomenon known as the “green chile cheeseburger.” In the original version, New Mexican Hatch green chiles are fire roasted and then roughly chopped into a kind of wet mash, put on top of the burger, and then covered in cheese to hold everything together. It’s the kind of regional twist on a burger that seems like it would be best experienced in the town that invented it, and so, rather than try and copy a burger we don’t really know anything about, our version is a bit of a reinvention that I believe holds true to the intent of the original.”
6. Signature Series Cheeseburger
This is it you guys. It’s everything I know about cheeseburger technology, every hare-brained theory that I treat as gospel, from grinding your own beef, selecting cheese, making your own ketchup and mustard, and baking your own buns. Go forth and multiply.
7. Eggs Florentine Burgers
“This burger will kill you. I suggest defending yourself with a knife and fork.“
8. Diner-Style Cheeseburger Sliders
There’s no doubt that I’m losing the semantic battle, here. The English language is evolving, and just as I must learn to eventually accept “supposibly,” and “butt naked,” so must I also accept the redefinition of the word “slider” to mean simply “tiny burger.” But, oh! Sliders are very specific things, things that have nothing to do with diameter. Here’s how to make ’em.