Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Holy Cow

After an unintentional, extended blogging hiatus, I can think of no better recipe to bring me back online.  Best. Friggin. Burger. Ever.  I know that is quite an assertion, and though my passion should admittedly be reigned back in to planet Earth from time to time, please trust that this is no exaggeration.  This is one of those food experiences that beg a closed eyes, slow motion approach to each dreamy bite.  No shame, folks.  No shame here at all.

Burger with Red Cabbage Slaw and Pickled Okra Russian Dressing (Recipe at the end of the post)

While the recipe calls for buffalo, I opted for 85/15 beef in the spirit of familiarity for the kids.  Ryan somehow managed to get the grill to a screaming 650 degrees, which delivered the most gorgeous crust to the outside of the meat itself.  So yes, the meat rocked.  But the toppings, oh the toppings... just total Heaven.

Imagine the first layer: delicious, melty fontina cheese hugging the burger.  Before it's nestled on the bun, the bread is first brushed smothered with an incredible Russian dressing speckled with none other than chopped pickled okra.  We hunted multiple stores for it just knowing that this vinegary element could be something to write home a blog about, and I'd go through that effort twice over to recreate this masterpiece of a burger.  Another generous spoonful of the sauce tops the burger, followed by a heap of tangy red cabbage and carrot slaw dressed in a light and sweet rice wine vinaigrette.  The bright flavor and crunch of the slaw amounts to perfection alongside the rich sauce.  No wonder you are famous, Bobby Flay.

Okay, so these burgers were no joke.  A pig out.  But it's hard to make something like a burger - especially one this insanely yummy - without some picnic-y sides.  I couldn't resist deviled eggs this time, which I'll blame on the little 'variations on the deviled egg' feature in the latest Real Simple mag.  We went the classic route, with mayo, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  Would you believe that two of my six eggs had double yokes?  Isn't that weird?  I should probably go buy a lottery ticket.

For the second side, we brought out more Bobby Flay brilliance in the form of grilled sweet potato and scallion salad, which I've actually already rambled about here.  This is an easy, fresh, delicious salad that requires balsamic AND cider vinegar.  So you know I'm all over it.

Here's a shot of the plate in all its sloppy glory.

So yes, I'm hitting the gym hard this week after such a ridiculous caloric performance.  I know it's not something we should have every day.  My brain is clearly not cooperating, however, as it continues to strategize over when we can make these burgers again.

Burger with Swiss Cheese, Red Cabbage Slaw, and Pickled Okra Russian Dressing
Courtesy of Bobby Flay's Grill It

1 1/2 pounds ground buffalo (or beef, turkey, chicken, etc)
2 Tbsp canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 (1/4 inch thick) slices Gruyere or fontina cheese

Red Cabbage Slaw
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small head of red cabbage, finely shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and finely shredded.

Pickled Okra Russian Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely diced pickled okra
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.  To  make the slaw, whisk together the vinegar, honey, oil and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl.  Add the cabbage and carrot and toss until combined.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour before serving.

2.  Heat grill to high.

3.  Form the meat into 4 burgers, each 1 inch thick.  Brush with the oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Place on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes.  Turn the burgers over and continue cooking until desired doneness.

4.  Place 2 slices of the cheese on each burger, close the lid or tent with foil, and cook until the cheese just begins to melt, about 1 minute.

5.  Spread some of the Russian dressing on the tops and bottoms of each bun.  Place a burger on each bottom half and top each burger with some of the slaw and a bun on top.  Serve immediately and devour.


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