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Aug 29, 2010

Pimp My Burger

The lovely Bride-To-Be
The truth is that I am not a purest when it comes to burgers. Yes, I want the meat to be sensational and I’ll smack anyone with a spatula if they attempt to flatten, poke or overcook my fat and happy burger, but in my opinion a burger is not a burger without a piece of cheese, a sauce, and two or three vegetables on top of it. In other words, I like my burger pimped out.  

Wagyu Gold
     When The Bride To Be, (aka  Daughter #1) said she thought that we should do something easy, like grill some burgers, for the 40 or so guests that would be at the Rehearsal Dinner, all I heard were the words "Gourmet Burger Bar”, going ding, ding, ding, in my head. I can hear you now, asking, why on earth would the mother-of-the-bride want to spend the day before THE BIG DAY cooking? Well, I can give you three good reasons: 1. I love to cook for a party, 2. I am an over achiever and 3. I was over budget, so having it catered was out of the question. Pssshhh…I can do this in my sleep, I told The Bride To Be.
     First off, we had to have some killer sauces. I made a chimichurri—full of fresh parsley, oregano, a little cilantro, a lot of garlic, some lemon juice and olive oil. Then my favorite— roasted tomato ketchup, which consists of roasted Roma tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, red onion, and some other secret ingredients. I also made a pesto aioli (with homemade pesto, mind you), and a chili aioli (the “chili” being Sambal Oelek), which in my house for the last 15 years or so, we have referred to as “Snakebite Sauce.” It’s simple and wicked good on everything from burgers to potatoes to deep fried anything to straight off your finger. I also doctored up a store bought BBQ sauce with some celery seed, white wine vinegar, and liquid smoke and finally a Marinara sauce, courtesy of Emeril.
Rubbertoe, working it
     The toppings tray was filled with sautéed garlic mushrooms, caramelized onions, bacon, pepperoni, avocado, plus the traditional stuff like lettuce, tomato, onion and mustards.
     And then there were the cheeses—oh Lordy the cheeses! Co-jack, smoked Gouda, Provolone, Swiss, Sharp Cheddar, Pepper Jack, and Blue.  And finally, the star of the Gourmet Burger Bar was 15 pounds of Wagyu ground beef that I lovingly formed into big fat beautiful patties that were grilled just until the juices started to run.
    Most of the guests had never had Wagyu beef before and they couldn’t stop raving about it! I took the opportunity to wallow in the fact that my freezer is full of 100% Wagyu gold. Everyone with a heartbeat noted the finer texture, the deeper flavor (oh my God the flavor!), and those juices! These beauties were perfectly cooked by the tag team of Rubbertoe and The Baby Daddy, and then dressed up to the hilt. Pimped out or not, these lovely patties are better than any meat that you will find on any corner. 

I usually make this chimichurri and roasted tomato ketchup to go with a marintated and grilled flank steak.  According to me and the 40 or so burger connoisseurs at the Rehearsal Dinner, these sauces were just as yummy on a burger. Go to the "Misc. Recipes" tab at the top of this page to view the recipes for these two sauces.  If you want the recipe for my Snakebite sauce, contact me and I'll give it to you.

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