I don’t think I’ve ever featured a hamburger I’ve personally made here on Flanboyant Eats. How incredibly insane. Next to the Reuben, cheeseburgers are my favorite sandwich which I bear no control over when in the mood. My eating lifestyle is such where I go through phases with certain foods. If I’m stuck on a burger, I swear it’s all I’ll eat for a solid month and longer. The biggest culprit are eggs. It’s an odd experience which I’m guessing has to do with some sort of chemical imbalance requiring a certain food or taste. Right. Let’s stick to that. Fortunately, only for health and my propensity to be a bit “thicker” than I am, I’ve not had food melt downs or temporary addictions in the burger space. At least not in over one year! Oh, but isn’t it lovely when things change! I have to introduce you to Marzetti®, my new friends, who oh-so-sneakily put ideas of cheeseburgers in my mind last week. I’ve been dreaming of a bleu cheeseburger for 8 days now, fighting the mixing bowl, only to break down and make a party full.
So now that you know I’m working the decades old classic dressing maker, known for its high quality salad dressings and dips (you see where this is going, right?! Caramel sauce is about to take over these pages for the better part of 6 months!), I got really excited about exploring how else I could use their varied dressings in food… not just in salads. I like making my own, so a bottled one makes much more sense in other foods. As I’m squatted in front of the Marzetti section at Giant Foods, taking up the entire width of the shelving, (looking like an absolutely crazy woman), I had ideas. Lots of them. And for some reason, burgers came to mind. I was no where near the butcher, but the image of a juicy burger consumed my thoughts. And I stayed in squat position, pondering.
I grabbed about 7 dressings, 3 dips and croutons, having no idea what would ensue.
Oh, but my stovetop grill pan was in plain view when I got home. Complete confirmation I needed to indulge in burgers.
I generally stay away from them when eating out, but there are a few spots that tickle my palate like nothing I’ve made at home. I have a keen memory of eating an oozy, over-the-top sexy bleu cheese one in St. Croix a few years ago while attending their Food & Wine Experience. A now defunct restaurant had the most amazing burger I’ve laid my eyes on. I don’t remember anything about it at all other than having mercilessly devoured it at 1 am.
And so, in part, this idea to enjoy a bleu cheese burger was inspired by that sandwich. It was of epic awesome proportion.
My approach to this was little different since I wasn’t working with cheese per se. I took Marzetti®‘s Classic Chunky Bleu Cheese dressing and mixed it into my ground chuck. I modified the other seasonings to allow the dressing to sing. Grilling the patties smelled amazing but I needed more bleu taste.
Well, well. This girl doesn’t like mayonnaise unless I make it and quite honestly, I’m a bit too lazy to whip some every time a recipe beckons. I just forgo it every time a traditional dish *needs* it. Like a burger. But doesn’t the idea of saturating my buns in a creamy bleu cheese excite you?!
Sweetness! Crusty buns, warm bleu cheese dressing, perfectly sliced Haas avocado, Roma tomato, crispy shallots, and bibb lettuce caused a fantastic raucous over here in Casa Herrera. I didn’t grow up eating homemade burgers. Not part of our culture, sadly. But like this, yes and yes. Sis, whom we all know is not the biggest fan of non-Cuban food let alone my designer food (what she calls it), gave me some glory.
And that alone was worth it.
An applause from my sister.
Over a burger.
Only now I’m intrigued by the possibility of turning my whole family into my food. The trick is to use things they’re familiar with. Like salad dressings!
Stay tuned. This is going to be a good year of incorporating classic American staples into my Cubanisms… and beyond!
How do you dress your burger?!
The Non-Cheese Bleu Cheeseburger
- 1 lb. sirloin ground beef
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 1/4 cups Marzetti Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing, divided
- 3 Tbsp. worchestire sauce
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 Haas avocado
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- Bibb or Romaine lettuce
- salt/pepper to taste
In medium mixing bowl, add ground sirloin, cumin, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup bleu cheese. Mix well using wooden spoon or hands until all ingredients are blended well. Using hands, shape meat into 4 patties, about 3" round. Set aside on wax paper. In small skillet, heat oil and sauté shallots until crispy but not charred. Remove and transfer onto plate with paper towel to soak up excess oil. In same skillet, sauté mushrooms until fully cooked. Remove from heat.
Heat stovetop grill pan, add butter to pan, and toast both sides of each burger bun. Remove and set aside. Cook patties, turning over, until each side is cooked to preferred doneness. Dress bottom of each bun with remaining bleu cheese dressing. Place patty on bottom bun. Stack remaining ingredients as preferred. I like it like this: lettuce, patty, mushrooms, tomato, avocado, shallots. Top with bun.
Stick a fork in it and eat!
Makes 4 burgers.