Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bacon Cheese 'n Egg Bistro Burger

Sometimes, when I am a bit stressed or down, I crave an amazing burger to take my mind off of things.  It's comfort food!  I came up with this late last night to comfort my busy mind, and extended the idea, minus the burger, to a breakfast sammy which I will feature next.  First, let's talk about this fantastic, tasty burger. 

In the Line-up:
1/2  of a red onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 red jalapeno, seeded, and finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Chipotle or Pasilla Chili Powder, separated
Ground black pepper
2 - 3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 slices Jalapeno White Cheddar Cheese slices
4-6 slices bacon, halved (four halves for each burger: and you have to have some for snacking on!)
4 eggs (2 per burger;  I made two)
1.5 pound package ground beef  (80/20 fat ratio)
Sandwich spread and Spicy Whole Grain Mustard  (or whatever favorite condiments you wish) 
Your favorite hamburger buns (I used cheesy dutch crunch buns)

You will need one large fry skillet, two sharp culinary knives, a chopping block and cutting board (one for veggies, one for the bacon), a large bowl for mixing the meat,  teaspoon and tablespoon measuring spoons (unless you are able to eyeball it, as I do much of the time), a garbage bowl, a large flat spatula to flip the burgers, and about an hour. 

On the cutting board, using one of the knives, cut the bacon in to halves and fry them or bake them until just crispy, about fifteen minutes (at 400 if you are baking on a rack over a baking sided sheet in the oven).  I like to sprinkle some of the chili powder over the bacon to spice it up a little.  In the meantime, finely chop the half red onion, the garlic, and seed and finely chop the two peppers.  Add the meat to the large bowl, along with the peppers and aromatics.  Sprinkle the paprika and the rest of the Chipotle or Pasilla chili poweder to the meat, and add the Worcestershire Sauce. Using your hands (your best kitchen tools) mix the meat thoroughly with the other ingredients.  Score the meat in to fourths, and you will be able to make 6 large burgers, or 8 medium-sized burgers.  Yes, I made six.  What else did you expect.  Four?  Hmmm......

Form your patties, and make sure to dent the top of each burger patty. 

Because I had planned on (unhealthily) frying the burgers in some of the bacon fat, I did not add salt to any part of this burger.  The bacon fat had more than enough. 
The rest is easy street.  Place the bacon on a paper towel to soak up the extra grease until you're ready to use it.  Remove half to three-fourths of the bacon fat and dispose of properly.  Or, like my Grandma P, save it for future use!  Place the burgers in the skillet or fry pan over medium-high heat, let cook and form a bacony crust for about five or six minutes.  Flip and reduce the heat to medium heat.  Place on slice of the Jalapeno White Cheddar cheese to the burger.  

Meanwhile, toast up your buns. I added the spicy whole grain mustard to the bun, placed another slice of the cheese over that, and let it wait for the burgers.  

In a medium skillet, add a teaspoon or two of saved bacon fat, or, a couple of tabs of butter. Crack your eggs into the skillet when the butter is foamy or when the bacon grease runs smoothly over the surface of the pan.  Sprinkle the eggs with a pinch of the chili powder and fry to your liking. Place four bacon halves over the bun and cheese, the egg over the bacon and a finished burger, cheese-side over the bacon.  I spread some tangy sandwich spread over the bun bottom and, voi la, I was ready to chow!

Of course, you can change this up in Any form you wish.  Comfort food is about making something you love, something to make you feel better, so make it Yours.  I hope you enjoy this labor of love!

Stay tuned!  Search below the page break (which is an accident, but a useful one) to find how I made an extremely tasty and spicy breakfast sammy with all of the above, and then some, minus the burger!


Minus the Burger Spicy Breakfast Sammy

For my breakfast sammy (sandwich), I used just about all of the same ingredients, minus the ground beef.  Rather than a red onion, I chopped scallions (green onions) to add to my eggs.  I used the same cheese, the same spices, along with bacon halves, four per sammy, just like with the burgers. 

I used three eggs per sammy, and made two of them, so I  cracked six eggs into a large bowl.  I added a teaspoon of chili powder, half a palm full of paprika, and half a cup of the chopped scallions to the eggs.  

Now, this is something I learned from Indian cooking, and you can do this however you wish, but after frying the bacon and removing most of the grease, I added a good teaspoon of cumin seeds to the fry pan and waited until they began to pop, releasing their essential oils, before adding the egg mixture to the pan.  Using a heat resistant spatula, I continued to curl the sides of the egg mixture, keeping it from spreading out;  I wanted it squared and thick, not spread out and lumpy. 

While waiting for the egg mixture to cook, I toasted the buns.  I assembled my sammy much the same as before:  I placed a slice of cheese over the toasted bun top, four bacon halves over the cheese, the egg over the cheese, another slice of cheese over the egg bottom, and spread some spicy mustard and mayo over the bun bottom for an added zing of flavor.  Need a reminder?

This morning or brunchy breakfast sandwich is quick, easy and a dream to consume!