** Savoring the Southwest is a new cooking/food column from internationally acclaimed chef and bestselling cookbook author, Larry Edwards. In this Examiner exclusive series, the chef will take you through the wonders of Southwest cooking and food. Along with each of the dishes the chef will present, there will also be a how-to slideshow. Learn the art of Southwest cooking and enjoy every delicious bite! **
Burgers! They are one of America's favorite foods, albeit most American's have never truly had a real burger. No, those prepared patties slathered with industrial waste you spend money on at the fast-food dens of death are not burgers. They are prolonged suicide. A real burger is made from ground beef which contains fat. Why? Because fat equals taste. Eating a burger which contains no fat would be the same as eating a seasoned piece of cardboard.
Out here in the great American Southwest, we really relish a good burger and we're always looking for ways to make it better. Whenever we do a "bacon burger" type of dish, we actually put bacon into the burger. Just layering a slice or two of bacon on a burger is lazy and pretty much deteriorate the whole concept of a bacon burger. To add bacon to the burger also gives the ground beef more moisture and your burger won't shrink as much.
For this particular burger, our Southwest Brie Stuffed Bacon Burger, we have upped the ante on burgers. Aside from fresh ground beef (which you can buy from any market which has a butcher) and mixing that ground beef with minced bacon, we envelope a nice large cube of Brie cheese within the burger. This is a rather simple procedure and in the slideshow we'll show you exactly how to do this.
To properly cook a burger of this type, you want to use a medium heat. You want to cook the burger, not incinerate it. By using a medium heat, you will retain all the flavors. Another trick for making a perfect burger is never season the exterior of the burger. First of all, the salt will dry out the meat and secondly, you're just wasting whatever seasoning you're using as it will simply char and be left in the pan once your remove the meat. If you want to season your burger, add the seasoning or herbs to the ground beef while you're mixing it.
Ingredients needed to make a Southwest Brie Stuffed Bacon Burger (makes 1 burger):
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup minced uncooked bacon
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground sage
- 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large cube Brie cheese, with the rind still on
- Pre-heat a medium grill pan or skillet over medium heat. There is no need to add oil to the pan as there is bacon in the ground beef.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the Brie cheese, and mix by hand.
- Form the meat into a ball and then slightly flatted.
- Into the middle of the meat, make a crevice large enough toe fir the cube of Brie cheese.
- Place the cheese into the crevice and then form the meat over the cheese to completely cover it.
- Form the meat into an oval thick patty. You do not want any of the cheese exposed.
- Place on the prepared pan and cook to desire doneness.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."