10 July 2013

BLAT! Burgers

BLAT!  That's what my husband yelled right after I told him we here having bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato burgers for dinner one evening.  No, we do not live in a Batman comic strip...this is just a typical evening conversation in our kitchen (be lucky he didn't rap it for this would be a very different post).  Needless to say, the name was catchy and stuck - POW! - to this recipe.  BLAT! Burgers are now the handy sidekick in our most daring, death-defying and debauched action movie nights.

The best sidekick of summer is - of course - the grill.  It makes every event more enjoyable, always draws a crowd and (most importantly) makes the grillmaster the hero.  It may be in the center of every event, but it's not the main attraction.  It's the best supporting actor without whom the end result would be just "meh".  This may be why we love burgers so very much.  Fast to cook and straightforward to make, the hubs enjoys making dinner for me during a study break by hanging out at the grill with a beer and a few patties.  My hero!

This burger is a killer combo.  It's basically the best sandwich in the history of your life plus a generously sized beef patty to boot.  Each ingredient plays an important role:  crisp and salty bacon, peppery arugula, juicy tomato, creamy avocado and a punch of blue cheese.  Holy get-in-my-stomach, Batman!  Technically, it's not even a BLT....it's a BLTAB.  But we let the B earn its spot at the front of the name by pulling double duty with the bacon and blue cheese.

With an ingredient list like that, you could absolutely enjoy a BLAT! sandwich instead of a BLAT! Burger.  If you tend to stay away from red meat, you could even throw in a chicken breast.  But we really do like this best on a beef patty.  Blue cheese and bacon just sing when combined with the richness of red meat.  The're a super little trio all on their own.

All the toppings plus a patty of beef makes for quite the stack of dinner.  With a list of fillers this long, our usual thin buns can be easily overwhelmed.  It's only fitting that such a super burger be sandwiched in a equally super bun.  Therefore, I insist (for your eating pleasure) that you consider a loaf of telera for your burger.  It's flavor and textures are very similar to ciabatta.  This delicious roll flaunts a tender interior and crusty exterior that is absolutely fabulous when toasted on the grill.  Throw these in your top rack while the burgers finish and you're good to go.  This is my absolute favorite carbohydrate at the moment, so I cannot encourage your enough to snag a bag if you see them in the bakery section of your local market.

If you're super hungry, this is your burger.  If you're super not, this is your burger and lunch the following day.  Just put on an action flick, slip into your spandex and enjoy.  Brewski optional.

BLAT! Burgers (3 burgers)

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tbs finely minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 oz blue cheese
  • 3 strips thick cut bacon (we like peppered)
  • 3/4 c arugula 
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 3/4 avocado, sliced
  • 3 loaves telera or ciabatta, individual-sized
Pre-heat your grill to medium-high heat.  Place the bacon strips in a pan, then set on a burner and turn the heat on to medium-high.  Cook the bacon, turning and reducing heat as necessary, until crispy.  

While cooking the bacon, make your patties.  In a small bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Mix together with your hands until well combined.  Form into three patties with divots in the center (for a flatter burger once cooked).  

Place the burgers on the heated grill and until you see the juices start to come out, about 4-5 minutes.  Flip the patties and sprinkle with blue cheese.  Set the telera rolls on the top rack of your grill to toast.  Continue to cook the burgers until they reach the temperature you prefer (1-2 minutes for mid-rare, 3-4 for medium, etc.)  Remove burgers to a paper towel lined plate and let rest for a minute.  If the bread is hot and crispy, remove to a cutting board.  Cool slightly, then slice in half to create your top and bottom buns.  

To assemble, place the arugula on the bottom bun and top with the burger.  Lay the avocado, tomato and bacon on top of the burger patty.  Top with the remaining slice of telera.  Serve to a hearty appetite!

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