08 August 2011


Until September, I will writing some posts for America Test Kitchen's Dish It Your Way challenge. Every other week they give a dish or ingredient and two weeks for bloggers to make the dish and write about in their blogs. At the end, the social media team reviews them, posts links to the competing blogs, and picks a winner for an online subscription to Cook's Country. Wish me luck!

Next up in the Dish It Your Way challenge: burgers. When I showed Shawn the list of themes weeks back when the challenge began, he made sure to ask me if I was participating in this one. The man loves a good burger...and boy is he picky as to what "good" entails.

Ever since our gluttony of watching all three seasons of Man V. Food in about a month on Netflix earlier this year, he's been pretty fixated on the Jucy Lucy. For those not aware, the Jucy Lucy originated in Minneapolis-area taverns and is famous for putting the cheese inside the burger. There is debate whether or not it has to be American cheese, but for this duo, it has to be anything other than American cheese. We've made them twice now with Tillamook cheddar and both times were phenomenal. Perfect, juicy burgers with a lovely cheesy surprise inside? Yes, please! We were heading over to a friend's house for a BBQ this weekend, so I decided to up the ante a bit and do bacon and blue cheese stuffed "jucy lucys" (and yes, "juicy" is misspelled on purpose).

Starting with crumbled blue cheese, I molded it and the bacon I fried up that morning into little patties. I figured we'd need it to hold some shape if we were to get the same effect as the sliced cheese. The bacon, by the way, came from my current favorite little German deli, Edelweiss. Portlanders--make an effort to go there. There's such a selection of European goodies and house made meats and salads.

Because you don't want the cheese to fall out, you have to make a small patty around your cheese first to hold it in. This is a Cook's Country method that I've found to work fabulously.

The patty on the left is just the start. This little burger is going to grow up to be a big boy when you mold the other half of the meat around the little guy. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Of course you can't just leave it that thick or your burger would be black before the inside melted. A little liberal patting gets these back down to a (ahem) reasonable size.

All the lovely accoutrements: lettuce, Walla Walla sweet onions, Bubbie's pickles, and tomato.

I didn't name this post "Baconfest" for nothing. Our friends made stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon and grilled them. Although they can create a bit of a grease fire if you're not careful and at times they burn like heck, they are quite tasty.

Our friends who hosted also made some tasty ribs. Did I mention there were 6 of us? Yeah, we went a little overboard.

And that besides the fact that our rib-making friend is a chef, his wife is also a ridiculously good baker? She made ciabatta rolls for our burgers.

I had to throw this view in. Mt. Hood at sunset from their deck.

Tower'o'Burger. And you can't see it, but off to the left of that enormous burger is a delicious salad with fruit, nuts, blue cheese, and of course, more bacon.

Although using the blue cheese doesn't create that same lava flow of cheese as with the cheddar, it was just as good to find bit of bacon and cheese in most bites. That is, if you could get your mouth around it.

Seriously, why wouldn't we have dessert? Stacey made these yummy little roasted blueberry cupcake treats. No, no bacon in these guys. [shudders at the thought]

If you can't tell, we love love LOVE burgers in any way, shape or form, but the Jucy Lucy has been topping our list all summer. And as many ways there are to make a great burger, the REAL secret of a great burger is....[this would be the point in the scene if this were a movie or book where I would have a heart attack or someone would shoot me and I couldn't reveal the secret to a great burger. Lucky for you, this is just a blog]...the secret is great meat. It starts and ends with quality beef. I am fortunate enough to have a great meat counter at our local grocery store, but if you don't, make an effort to go find yourself a good butcher or meat counter where you know you're getting the best meat. No amount of delicious toppings can hide poor quality.

No comments:

Post a Comment