ONLINE EXTRA: Battle of the BurgersHere are the top recipes of the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen’s first Battle of the Burgers contest.
By: Herald Staff Report,
Here are the top recipes of the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen’s first Battle of the Burgers contest.
Red, White and Blueberry Burger
BROWN SUGAR BUNS:
3¼ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup warm (120 to 130 degrees) milk
¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter, melted
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup of the flour, the yeast and the sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add the heated milk, mixing to combine then add the butter. Continue to mix over medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes to begin to develop the dough. Add the egg and beat for an additional minute to combine.
Switch to the dough hook, scraping down the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Over low speed, gradually add the remaining flour, one spoonful at a time. Continue to mix for several minutes to develop the dough — it will be smooth and elastic, and should clean the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning it in the bowl to oil the top of the dough. Cover and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 even pieces (each slightly more than 4 ounces). Shape each piece into a ball, gathering the seams at the bottom of the ball and pinching them together to form a smooth round. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, evenly spaced. Gently flatten each ball with the palm of your hand to form a disk about 4 inches in diameter. (If the dough springs back, leave it alone for a minute or so while you flatten the other balls to give it a chance to relax.)
Cover the mounds loosely with plastic wrap and set aside until puffed and nearly doubled in height, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the buns until puffed and set, and golden brown on top, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the buns from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer the buns to a cooling rack to cool completely. The buns can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Use a serrated knife to halve horizontally before using.
BLUEBERY CHIPOTLE BARBECUE SAUCE:
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles (about 3 chiles)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the chipotle chile can)
5 rounded tablespoons blueberry jam or preserves
In a food processor, combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, garlic, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce and blueberry jam. Puree until very smooth. This makes about 1½ cups barbecue sauce, which will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ rounded teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
½ rounded teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ rounded teaspoon Creole seasoning (such as Emeril’s Essence)
1 white onion, peeled and sliced very thin (about 1/16 inch) into strings or rings
¼ cup rendered bacon fat or oil
In a large plastic bag, combine the flour, baking powder, sea salt, pepper and Creole seasoning, shaking to thoroughly mix together. Add the onions and shake to coat. Transfer the onions to a bowl, tapping off any excess flour mixture.
In a cast iron skillet heated over medium-high heat until hot, add the bacon fat. When the fat is hot, add the onions in small batches, frying until crisp and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Drain the onions on a paper towel and set aside.
Moist mesquite wood chips in a smoker device (or foil pouch) for the grill, if using an outdoor grill
Ground chuck hamburger patties (formed to match the width of the bun), seasoned with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper
15 ounces blue cheese, preferably Point Reyes blue, sliced
Brown sugar burger buns, sliced in half
Blueberry chipotle barbecue sauce
Fresh tomato slices
Curly red leaf lettuce leaves, washed and dried
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. If using a grill, fit a smoker device (or foil pouch) with the mesquite wood chips to smoke while grilling.
Oil the grill top and add the burgers. Grill the burgers on each side until cooked through to desired doneness, 8 to 12 minutes. Top the burgers with cheese and continue to grill just until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes.
When the burgers are almost finished grilling, toast the buns: Place the buns, cut side down, on the grill, to lightly toast. Remove the burgers and buns.
Assemble the burgers: Dress the cut sides (top and bottom) of each burger with a good spread of barbecue sauce. Top each bun bottom with a burger patty. Top the cheese with another dollop of barbecue sauce, then divide the onions, mounding a pile over each burger. Top each mound of onions with a slice of tomato, followed with 2 to 3 leaves lettuce. Top each burger with a bun top and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per burger: 1,001 calories, 59 grams protein, 86 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber, 46 grams fat (25 grams saturated), 175 milligrams cholesterol, 20 grams sugar, 1,812 milligrams sodium.
Southwest Turkey Burger
TURKEY BURGER PATTIES:
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 green onions, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground turkey (not just breast meat)
¼ teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup barbecue sauce
½ cup panko crumbs
Heat a saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add the olive oil, then stir in the green onions and garlic. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, crumble the turkey and add ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the cumin, Worcestershire sauce and barbecue sauce. Stir in the mixture with the turkey, then fold in the onions and garlic, along with any liquid remaining in the saute pan. (This will help to keep the burgers from getting dry.)
Fold in the panko crumbs gently, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Separate the mixture into 6 portions, and form burger patties fitted to the shape of the bun. Cover and refrigerate them (up to 4 hours) while assembling the other components to give the flavors time to marry.
GRILLED ANAHEIM CHILIES:
2 large Anaheim chiles
On a grill or stove burner heated over high heat, or under the broiler, grill or broil the peppers until the skins are charred and blackened on all sides. Immediately move them to a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside to give the chiles time to cool. Peel the skins (they should peel or brush off easily), then core and seed the peppers. Cut each chile into 3 pieces.
4 ripe avocados
5 green onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons green jalapeno Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
Peel and lightly mash the avocados (the mash should be chunky) in a medium bowl. Fold in the onions, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and Tabasco sauce. Add the lime juice and stir to thoroughly combine. This makes a scant 3 cups guacamole. Cover and set aside.
BURGERS AND ASSEMBLY:
Prepared turkey burger patties
6 slices of pepper-jack cheese
Oil or mayonnaise for brushing the buns
6 large egg buns with sesame seeds
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices
Grilled Anaheim chile slices
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
Kosher pickle spears
Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat until hot. (The turkey patties may not be as firm as other burger meats; if using a grill, you might cook on a cast iron skillet over the grate if the patties feel a little soft.) Lightly oil the grill, and add the patties.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and grill until the undersides of the burgers are crisp and firm, 4 to 5 minutes and the lower half feels set (do not attempt to flip the burgers until they are set). Carefully flip the burgers with a spatula, then cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes and check the burgers for doneness.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and top each of the burgers with cheese. Continue to grill until the cheese melts. As the cheese is melting, brush the cut side of each bun half with a little oil or mayonnaise and add the buns to the grill to lightly toast. Remove the burgers and buns from heat.
Assemble the burgers: Divide the guacamole between the burgers, placing a scoop on the bottom bun of each burger. Top each scoop with a tomato slice. Place a burger on top of each tomato then top each burger with a chile slice. Spread a tablespoon of mustard on the top half of each bun, then place the bun tops on the burgers. Serve the burgers with pickle spears.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per burger: 901 calories, 48 grams protein, 72 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams fiber, 49 grams fat (11 grams saturated), 220 milligrams cholesterol, 9 grams sugar, 1,329 milligrams sodium.
Italian Caprese Sliders
1½ pounds ground beef
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves minced garlic, divided
½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼-inch slices
18 white dinner rolls
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 large Roma tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices
36 medium-large basil leaves, stemmed
Make the patties: In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly mix together the ground beef, Italian sausage, Italian seasoning, onion, bell pepper and 2 cloves minced garlic. Press the mixture into a jelly roll pan, using a rolling pin to make a flat, even layer. (Cover the meat with plastic wrap, if necessary, to keep it from sticking as it’s rolled.) Cut the meat into roughly 2-inch squares.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Grill the burgers until cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. When the burgers are done, place a slice of mozzarella on each burger and tent with foil while preparing the buns.
Warm the rolls: Wrap the rolls in foil and place on the top rack of the grill, or place in a warm oven until warmed through.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and remaining minced clove garlic. This makes a scant ½ cup vinaigrette.
Assemble the sliders: Place a cheese-topped patty on the base of the bun, add a slice of tomato and 2 basil leaves. Drizzle each burger with 1 teaspoon of the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Yield: 16 sliders.
Approximate nutritional analysis per slider: 267 calories, 16 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 15 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 49 milligramsg cholesterol, 3 grams sugar, 313 milligrams sodium.
German Cuban Pork Burger
4 pounds ground pork
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 12-ounce jar spicy brown mustard, divided
6 fresh bratwurst links
1 pound bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 14-ounce can sauerkraut, drained
1 cup butter, at room temperature
6 pretzel buns or regular hamburger buns, halved
2 large sliced dill pickles
½ pound sliced Swiss cheese
In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, relish and a tablespoon of mustard. (The relish keeps the pork moist.) Do not overwork, but mix until ingredients are evenly combined. Divide the meat into 6 portions and form the burgers, matching the size to the buns.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place the burgers, then the bratwurst links, on the grill to start cooking.
While the burgers and links are grilling, start the bacon. In a skillet heated over medium-high heat until hot (use a cast iron skillet if cooking on the grill), render the bacon, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Add chopped onion to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, stirring frequently, 6 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the sauerkraut with the bacon and onions, cooking down the mixture to marry the flavors. Continue to cook until the hamburgers and sausages are grilled on all sides, an additional 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the burgers, sausages and skillet from the heat, setting all aside to keep them warm. Cut the bratwurst into thin crosswise slices.
In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and remaining mustard; this makes about 2 cups spread, slightly more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The mustard butter will keep for 1 to 2 weeks, covered and refrigerated.
Spread or brush the mustard butter over the cut halves of each bun (about 2 tablespoons per half, depending on the size of the bun). Toast the buns on the cooler side of the grill or on the grill pan.
Assemble the burgers: Mound the sliced bratwurst on top of each burger (1 bratwurst per burger), then top with the sliced pickle, kraut, bacon and onion mixture. Divide the sliced Swiss cheese among the burgers, covering each mound of toppings with cheese. Place the burgers back on the grill or on the grill pan, closing the grill or covering the pan with a large roasting pan until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. (You also can melt the cheese by placing the burgers on a baking sheet in a hot oven.)
Place the assembled burgers in the toasted buns and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per burger: 1,773 calories, 88 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 136 grams fat (58 grams saturated), 406 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams sugar, 3,012 milligrams sodium.
Mexican Cemita Burger
2 canned chipotle peppers (packed in adobo sauce), diced, and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 clove garlic, grated
¼ cup Mexican crema (can substitute creme fraîche)
¼ cup mayonnaise
In a small mixing bowl, combine the chipotle, garlic, Mexican crema and mayonnaise. Mix until well combined. This makes about two-thirds cup chipotle crema, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.
½ cup lightly mashed avocado, preferably Hass (about ¾ of an avocado)
Scant tablespoon lime juice
In a small mixing bowl, combine avocado and lime juice. Season with one-eighth teaspoon salt, or to taste. This makes a scant ½ cup avocado spread, which will keep, tightly covered and refrigerated, up to 1 day.
PATTIES AND ASSEMBLY:
¾ pound ground beef chuck
1 canned chipotle pepper, minced with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
Scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Scant 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Canola oil for pan frying
3 ounces Oaxacan cheese (quesillo), separated into thin strings (can substitute mozzarella)
2 sesame seed buns, toasted
5 papalo leaves, finely minced (or ¼ cup cilantro sprigs plus 2 tablespoons watercress leaves, minced)
1 cup corn tortilla chips, lightly crushed
2 very thin slices red onion
In a large bowl, combine the beef, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine, but do not overmix. Divide the mixture in half and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add enough oil to form a thin film on the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons, then add the burgers to the skillet.
Cook the burgers until set and browned on one side, about 3 minutes, then flip. Top the burgers with the cheese, then cover the pan with aluminum foil. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare burgers, or until the burgers have reached desired doneness.
Assemble the burgers: Spread the chipotle crema evenly on each cut side of the toasted buns. Sprinkle the minced papalo leaves over the crema on the cut sides of the bun tops. On the bottom halves of each bun, sprinkle the crushed tortilla chips then top with a cheese-topped patty, a slice of onion and equal amounts of the avocado spread. Top the burgers with the bun tops and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per burger: 1,088 calories, 54 grams protein, 72 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 67 grams fat (16 grams saturated), 129 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams sugar, 3,261 milligrams sodium.