Sunday, January 30, 2011

Burgers with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Red Onions

I think the law school is throwing us 1Ls a few curve balls this semester--more classes, more homework, more job searching (would you please think good thoughts for me?).  I sort of feel like I've never had more to do than right now (although I'm sure that will change with time!).  

It definitely helps to have an extracurricular activity that makes me happy.  Todd and I are part of Tucson's newly formed lindy hop performance troupe, Vernacular Revolution.  We meet every Saturday for a couple of hours, and that really helps clear my mind.  Which reminds me, in addition to our own performance, we're going to team up with break dancers in March for a benefit.  We're going to do a break dance-charleston battle--how exciting is that!  I've never battled before, but I think it's going to be a good time all around!

So, yeah, can I tell you about these burgers?  They feel very fancy, like something you'd order at a gourmet burger place (Zin Burger, anyone?), but are basically effortless to prepare.  The onion/sugar combo is real sweet so balance with Tabasco sauce accordingly (or use less sugar).  Also, while I normally use butter to caramelize onions, I omitted it this time.  Brown sugar gets kind of soupy like butter when you put it over heat.  We used a grill instead of a grill pan--it's only January yet already starting to feel like spring!

Burgers with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Red Onions
(slightly adapted from the Pioneer Woman)
  • 2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • Tabasco Sauce, To Taste
  • 1 whole Red Onion, Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 cup Mayonnaise
  • Whole Wheat Buns
  • 1 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Red Lettuce
Place the ground beef into a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce. With your hands, mix the meat and seasoning well. Set aside.
Next, for the onions, heat a medium skillet over low heat. Dump in the sliced (not too thick, not too thin) red onions. Now add 2 generous tablespoons brown sugar. Give it a toss to combine the ingredients, and then allow the onions to caramelize over low heat for about twenty minutes, tossing occasionally.
While the onions are caramelizing, make the spicy mayo: Place ¼ cup mayonnaise into a small bowl and simply add a few dashes of Tabasco. Stir together and test for taste.
Next, slice the rolls in half and spread each half with about ½ tablespoon of butter. Place them face down on a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Lightly grill the rolls so they’ll be tough enough to hold the spicy mayo. Let the rolls cool on a plate until you need them.
Form the meat into two patties and place on a grill pan or skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Allow each to cook about 3 minutes, then using a spatula, rotate 45 degrees, leaving it on the same side.
Flip the burger and cook it for a couple of minutes, rotating it 45 degrees again to get the nice grill marks.
Now add a large helping of caramelized onions over top of that patty, followed by an equally generous helping of crumbled blue cheese.
As it finishes cooking, spread the spicy mayo on the buns and transfer the burger onto the bottom half of the bun. Top with a handful of greens and top with the bun.

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