Friday, July 25, 2008

Making lemonade with a second place burger

I took second place in Marx Foods' Burger Recipe Contest this week. There were 119 recipes, so I'm pretty proud of beating 98.3 percent of my competition. Can't say I'm not disappointed, though. The winner was awarded 10 pounds of super high quality/trendy burger meat. I'm not, however, very adventurous with my meat choices. Should I have won, I would have picked a 10 pound box of Kobe beef burgers. I could have picked kanagroo or llama, too, among other things. Check out their selection, it's really wild.

I really, really wanted those burgers. I can even taste them if I think about it hard enough. Can you believe I was a vegetarian for seven years? Once Morgan started lacing my food with bacon it all went downhill.

My Stuffed Caprese Sirloin Burgers with Roasted Garlic Aioli were taken down by Hoisin Ginger Burgers with Lime Pickled Onions. Lime pickled onions?? Really?? OK, I guess they sound kind of good. Pair something with a lime and I'll eat it, but I'll never be down with gruyere cheese.

Here's my non-award winning recipe:

Stuffed Caprese Sirloin Burgers with Roasted Garlic Aioli

Burgers (makes six)

3 pounds ground sirloin (80:20 meat-to-fat ratio)
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. each, chopped fresh oregano and basil (buy a full bunch of basil and reserve at least 12 remaining full leaves to top the burgers -- two for each burger)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
3 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
2 medium-sized Campari tomatoes, sliced
Olive oil, for brushing


6 Focaccia burger buns

Roasted Garlic Aioli

1 large head garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pasteurized egg yolks
1 raw clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil


Making the burgers:

Combine all burger ingredients except cheese and tomato slices in large bowl.
Mix thoroughly, then shape into 6 thin patties.
Put 1/2 ounce mozzarella on three patties.
Top with remaining patties and press edges to tightly seal.
If a bit misshapen, gently flatten until patties are about 4 1/2 inches in diameter.
Refrigerate, covered, until cold, about one hour.

Making the aioli:

To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 300 F.
Cut a thin slice off the very top of the head to expose the cloves.
Set the garlic head in a shallow baking dish and pour the oil slowly over and into the head.
Season with the salt and pepper.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1-3/4 hours, until the garlic is very soft and tender.
Don’t rush; older garlic may take longer.
Drain and reserve the oil, and set the garlic aside.
After the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the pulp into a food processor or blender and add the egg yolks, minced raw garlic clove, lemon juice, water, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Puree until smooth. With the motor running, add the reserved roasting oil and the additional 1-1/2 cups oil in a slow, steady stream and continue processing until emulsified. Refrigerate until needed.

Grilling the burgers:

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal grill. Brush burgers with olive oil and grill to desired doneness, flipping only once, about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. To test for doneness, insert an instant-read meat thermometer through the side of a burger into the center. The internal temperature for medium rare is 145 F; 160 F for medium and 170 F for well done.

Serve burgers on buns with aioli, tomato slices and reserved basil leaves.

1 comment:

Brian Lounsberry said...

Congrats on your number 2. :)

Did he finally get you off that turkey bacon crap? Just doesn't fly...