Number Thirty: The Macho Nacho

This is the end. The burgers have all been eaten. Our tummies have all been filled (30 times). Our arteries can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Macho Nacho is, to say the least, large. 8 green chile beef patties, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, tortilla chips, jalapenos, tomato, lettuce, and black olives nestled on a huge loaf of shepherd’s bread.

We considered making two, but it seemed like one would be plenty for 7 people.

We were definitely right on that one. This burger was a work of calorie-filled art. So, we did our own interpretation of the Son of Man by Rene Magritte:

Nothing says cool kids like recreating surrealist works of art with over-sized foodstuffs.

(Mostly) All strangeness aside, this burger happened to be one of my favorites. Sure, it might not have the fanciest of cheeses or most exotic of toppings, but the magic of this burger is in its simplicity.

I just want to snuggle into its deliciousness. What? That’s weird? Don’t judge me until you’ve tried it. The veg didn’t overpower the beef and cheese; they let them shine. It was the burger I am most likely to recreate, albeit in miniature.

The Macho Nacho in its full glory would be the best birthday cake ever for a true cheeseburger lover. Too bad I didn’t think of that in time for my birthday a few weeks ago…

Well, I suppose this is it, my dear blog fans (mom & dad). It’s been interesting. I think it’ll be a while before I eat another cheeseburger, but this was by far the best idea I’ve had in a while. It brought my friends and I together to touch base at least once a week and have a good time. It was the perfect senior year endeavor.

I owe many thanks to the folks at the Cheese & Burger Society for their support (and the super sweet apron). I literally could not have done this without you!

So long, blogosphere! I’m out of here.

 

 

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Published in: on July 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Number Twenty-Nine: The Johnny Appleseed

There’s a restaurant in Phoenix called the Duck & Decanter (one of my two favorite sandwich places in the whole Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area). They make a sandwich called the Vermont Treat that involves maple-cured ham, cheddar spread, sliced green apples, and spinach. It’s pretty darn good, but I prefer it with real, aged cheddar. So, I was psyched for The Johnny Appleseed.

Rather than separately cooking the apples and onions, I rendered a slice of the maple bacon and sauteed the apples and onions in the bacon fat for extra yumminess. I think this would have been more successful had the apples been Granny Smith, and not Gala. The particular Gala we used was kind of grainy and took away from the tastiness of the burger.

However, it was still an incredibly tasty mix of sweet, salty, and tangy. The aged cheddar combined really well with the bacon and apples.

This is a great burger for the fall apple season, when you need something hearty but not too heavy to help fend off the cold autumn winds (or oddly hot Santa Ana winds, if you’re in Southern California). I also recommend drinking a good hard cider with this one, like Fox Barrel or whatever you can get locally. It’s an excellent pairing.

Tomorrow’s Grand Finale: The MACHO NACHO

Published in: on July 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Number Twenty-Eight: The Havana

 

Thanks to the wonderful Kate Moo, I love Cuban food. She’s half Cuban and has family in Miami, so we got to go there for spring break our senior year of high school. I had never had Cuban food before, but being in Miami meant we just had to have some. We went to a restaurant called Versailles, and it opened my eyes to one of my now-favorite cuisines.

So, when The Havana came up, I was pretty darn excited. So excited, in fact, that I slow-roasted my own pork shoulder.

Along with the tasty pork, The Havana had Wisconsin Swiss cheese, ham, dill pickle chips, and yellow mustard. So, it was basically a Cuban sandwich with a burger patty shoved in.

It’s a carnivore’s delight.

My photography may not be very good (I use a digital camera that doesn’t allow me to control the shutter speed or aperture), but please don’t let that dissuade you from trying these incredible burgers. The Havana would a perfect Sunday dinner, when you’ve had time to roast the pork and press the sandwiches for the full, delicious effect.

Next post: The Johnny Appleseed

 

 

 

 

Published in: on July 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Number Twenty-Seven: the Waldorf

So, I am a terrible blogger. I have been sitting at home doing nothing all summer, but I still haven’t found the time or energy to post the final four burgers on my blog. As such, I will just take the plunge and post the final burgers all at once and set them to post once a day whilst on “vacation” (I don’t think it counts since my whole summer has been vacation).

First, we have out mini/slider version of The Waldorf burger. We could only find small Italian rolls, so we made small burgers to fit. It was a nice change of pace from the monstrous Sheboygan the previous week.

We substituted candied pecans for the walnuts because I’m allergic, and we used mixed baby greens due to the lack of curly endive in our local market. I got back up to old tricks by mixing some of the cheese and cherries into the patty mixture. Nothing is better than bleu cheese in burger patty. Try it.

This was a darn tasty burger. I think it’s probably best suited for a a fancier backyard barbecue, like the kind that involves wine and schmancy tablescapes… whatever those are.

Next: The Havana (with homemade Cuban pulled pork)

 

 

Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Number Twenty-Six: The Sheboygan

So, I’ve been a bit delayed in posting due to a teensy little problem in the new apartment…

So, we’ve been a bit busy having the whole bedroom ceiling removed and re-done. Apparently there was concrete in the old dry-wall mix that made the panels weigh over 20lbs each.

But, more importantly, let’s get back to the good stuff: cheeseburgers. This week’s burger was kind of a taste of summer/childhood for me. When I was about 8, my family made a trip to Iowa and Wisconsin. Though the trip itself was made for a rather sad reason, we still had a good time seeing the Midwestern side of the family and checking out Midwestern-y things. I remember being particularly delighted at the squeakiness of cheese curds, which brings me to the Sheboygan.

I was super excited for cheese curd time. Alas, Southern California has a woeful deficit of cheese curds, so we couldn’t get any for this burger. I tried to make up for it by making the brats extra tasty with a little beer.

They may look kind of gross, but the beer makes the the brats juicier and speeds up cooking on the grill (no worries about them being raw inside). After I boiled them up in whatever brew I had on hand, I sent them out to Matt at the grill.

Just look at how gorgeous those are! It’s still breakfast time here, but I would definitely skip my yogurt cup for one of those with some mustard and sauerkraut. Speaking of which, the Sheboygan had both of those essential bratwurst toppers along with grilled onions and (faux) cheese curds. It’s kind of the best thing ever… that summer trip sandwiched in a soft bun.

Even though we had to use a medium cheddar and cube it to try to keep some of the consistency of a curd, it was still incredible. The brats were so moist, and the faux curds started to melt into everything making it gooey and delicious.

This would be an incredible game day/tailgating burger. It makes you want to play, or at the very least watch, a game.

Next time: The Waldorf

Published in: on June 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Number Twenty-Five: The Mama Mia

I’m feeling a bit under the weather, so I thought I’d take advantage of being couch-ridden to post another burger. I had such high hopes for the Mama Mia…

But I think our execution fell a bit short. We made the mistake of getting store-brand cheese, which was watery and flavorless. It was a tragic mistake. After my trip to Rome with Chapman History last summer, my tolerance for bad mozzarella is fairly low. So, I was a bit sad.

I think that this burger would be incredible with higher quality ingredients and a more basic marinara (we used some fancy sauce from Trader Joe’s). It would be a great dinner if you’re in the mood for something Italian, but you don’t want pizza or pasta.

Next up: The (Californian) Sheboygan

Published in: on June 6, 2011 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Number Twenty-Four: The Brooklyn

Confession time: I hate rye bread. It’s icky. Wry wit? Yes. Rye bread? Heck no. (Feel free to disagree in the comments.) Generally, I have not had to face this character flaw because I can usually tell restaurants to put my sandwich on sourdough instead. However, the Brooklyn put me face to face with my rye. It’s basically a Reuben sandwich with a burger tossed in for good measure.

Our corned beef looks a little hammy, but I assure you it was tasty corned beef. You may have noticed that my bread looks a little pale… Well, like I said, I hate rye. So, I was a picky little kid and ate mine on sourdough. The others ate it on deli rye (we couldn’t find any dark rye). However, proper bread or not, this burger was boss. (Not to be confused with The Boss.)

The Reuben is a tried a true sandwich, so the fact that this burgerized version is just as good should come as no surprise. I loved the tangy dressing and sauerkraut contrasting with the beef and creamy Swiss cheese. It would be a great way to switch up your usual summer barbecue, especially for deli lovers. Nothing needs to be cooked aside from the burger, so you can have everything out by the grill and ready to assemble. You can even grill the bread for an extra crunch.

I’m off to sort through the mountain of boxes in our new living room. Next post: The Mama Mia!

 

 

 

Published in: on June 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm  Comments (1)  

Crazy Moving Weekend…

Sorry for the lack of posts, but we just moved into our new apartment today. So, it’s been pretty hectic. I’ll get a full post up tomorrow. In the meantime, burger goodness:

Published in: on June 2, 2011 at 5:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Number Twenty-Three: The Isabella

So, I got a little busy yesterday with Blake’s graduation celebrations and didn’t have time to post. For my singular fan waiting eagerly for a new post (hi, dad!), I figured that posting pictures of burgers was a good way to take a break from packing today. For those of you feeling like this blog needs a more human element, boy are you in luck… This burger includes a performance by the lovely Matt Baker that is, quite frankly, disgusting.

Anyway, down to the important stuff: cheeseburger goodness. I was still into spicing up the patty with some extra tasty bits, so I mixed in a can of my childhood favorite: chopped green chiles.

And Jess doesn’t eat red meat, so we got to include her on this burger thanks to a stray black bean burger I had. I think the other flavors of the burger overpowered the green chiles, but they kept the patty moist. Speaking of the other flavors of the burger, the Isabella made this Arizona girl pretty darn happy.

It had jalapeños, red onion, tomato, lettuce, avocado, refried beans (!), a nice yellow cheddar and Monterrey jack. I have to admit that the beans weirded me out a bit, but I got over it. This was like home on a bun. Though, it did try to evade the bun…

I think splitting up the more slippery ingredients would have prevented this catastrophe, but it still tasted pretty darn good after being reconstructed. It’s like a really good burrito or taco salad served up on a bun. The creamy cheeses really helped tie all of the flavors together. It was definitely a good dose of home for me.

Now, I was going to post a video of Matt messily/seductively eating this burger. However, after reviewing the footage, I have decided that it would ruin your appetite for the Isabella, which would be wrong. Instead, you just get this lovely picture:

On that note, I’ll leave you until my next post: The Brooklyn.

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on May 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm  Comments (3)  

Number Twenty-Two: The Handyman

I’m just going to come out and say it. The Handyman is a damn good burger. It’s got all the requisites for deliciousness: bacon, onion rings from our favorite place (Johnnie Jr.’s on Tustin in Orange), my homemade pickles, and TWO kinds of cheese. We grilled up this tasty sandwich right around March 17th, hence the Guinness can.

It was such a satisfying beer-mate burger. I’ve come to realize through this burger quest how amazing cheddar and swiss are when melting together on two tasty beef patties. Warning: The next shot is a bit up-close-and-personal with my burger, but it really shows off the melting cheeses intermingling with the patties, bacon and onion ring.

It may be almost midnight right now, but I would seriously consider getting out of bed if it meant I could have a bite of that burger. The ingredients really worked to keep the burger moist but still satisfyingly crunchy.

We happened to have quite a few Honors seniors over, so we took a pseudo class picture with our St. Patrick’s Day libations. We are just so grown up!

We all had an excellent time with the Handyman. I highly recommend it for a classed up backyard barbecue or for watching a game.

Tomorrow: The Isabella and me overcoming a food prejudice

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 6:02 am  Leave a Comment