And the burger says: ahhhhhh!
Book Update: I watched Food Network Star instead of reading… Oh well! What is with Chad’s pants on that show? I didn’t know people made pants for men that were literally bright red. Except for maybe a costume? I’m sorry to see him go… Maybe he never had much of a chance since Bobby Flay is the Food Network’s BBQ man and Bobby Flat is judging the show, too! I’m assuming they choose their own clothes to be on the show with maybe some suggestions… I’m not sure. Stacey is who I am rooting for in the end. I also really like Nikki, too. Now, I want to go and try to make Stacey’s maple bacon cheesecake to go with the maple bacon ice cream I made last year.
Recipe Update: One of my favorite pizzas is the BBQ Chicken Pizza from California Pizza kitchen. BBQ sauce, mozzarella, smoked Gouda, chicken, red onion and cilantro top the pie with flavorful goodness. The BBQ sauce and smoked gouda really make the pizza taste great. So, here I put the smoked gouda on a burger with the BBQ sauce and voila! You have a dish that: 1. Looks great. 2. Tastes great. 3. Can be prepped mostly ahead of time for when guests arrive. 4. Is easy to put together
Smoked Gouda and Bacon Burger with Sweet BBQ Sauce
1 lb. yellow or white onions
1 Tb. olive, vegetable or grapeseed oil
1 lb. ground beef (80/20 or 85/15)
1 Tb. butter
4 burger buns
4 slices of smoked Gouda (I found some at Trader Joe’s and the local grocery store deli counter)
6 oz. bacon (I used applewood smoked and cut the bacon in half; thick cut preferred)
1/2 cup sweet BBQ sauce (I used Wildtree’s Cactus Pete’s Agave Nectar BBQ Sauce) or follow the recipe below
1. First, we need to caramelize the onions. You can do this the morning of or night before serving by stashing them in the fridge and warming them up later. I like to do this while cleaning bathrooms or something that requires me to be up and moving every 5 minutes. But, I clean my hands first.
2. Slice the onion thinly into rings. Heat a 12″ skillet on medium high with the oil. Once it starts to shimmer and get hot, add your onions. Let them get brown for a few minutes and stir. Turn the heat down to low/ or medium-low and stir the onions every 5 minutes or so for the next 30-45 minutes. Sometimes I add a 1/2 tsp. of sugar to help caramelize them. Add a tiny bit water if you think they are getting too dry. Some of the small pieces will get black and that’s okay. They are much smaller pieces and the remaining 95% get cooked perfectly this way. Store until later, or keep them out for serving with the burgers if serving immediately.
3. Fry your bacon in a skillet per the directions on the package or bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes on a foil-lined pan or wire rack on top of a foil lined pan. Lay on paper towels and keep out for serving.
3. Grill burgers on medium-high heat until desired doneness. We cooked ours to medium/medium-well.
4. One minute before removing the burgers off, put on the cheese. It doesn’t melt as much as American cheese, but get it nice and warm. Remove burgers.
5. Butter the burger buns and toast them on the grill on LOW until toasty brown.
6. Add BBQ sauce to both burger buns. Lay burger on the toasted bun. Top the burger with the caramelized onions and bacon. Put on your top bun, and you’re done!
You’ll feel all gourmet, but…. it’s not. Just everyday ingredients.
Sweet BBQ Sauce
2 Tb. vegetable oil
1 onion, thin slices
salt, to taste
2 Tb. butter
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
3 Tb. lemon juice
2 Tb. chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 Tb. unsulfured molasses
1. First, we will caramelize some onion again. Heat a large 12″ skillet to medium heat with the oil in it. When it is hot, add the onions. Reduce heat to LOW. Stir them once in a while until they are brown – about 20-30 minutes.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Again, keep it on low and simmer for 25 minutes – or until thickened up a bit.
3. Blend in a blender or food processor. Store up to 2 weeks in the fridge since you didn’t include any preservatives! Doh!
Sweet BBQ Sauce recipe from Food and Wine Magazine June 2012