Friday, July 30, 2010

Blue Cheese Stuffed Bistro Burgers with Balsamic Onions – by Jess

Personally I agree with the French and think that a fried egg makes both a burger and a pizza better (A pizza?????? Did she just say pizza???...........I did.) But my sister was obviously not impressed. However, I do encourage her to try it again – she’s probably a bit more adventurous now than she was when she was 16.

But I won’t pressure her into it just yet and instead I have come up with an idea of how to “bistro her burger” by stuffing it with blue cheese and serving it with sweet caramelized balsamic red onion rings. It’s delicious on its own with a salad on the side but if you need the bun and condiments I recommend a lightly toasted bun, buttered and served with mayonnaise in lieu of ketchup, which overpowers the already delicious flavors here.  I live in Roquefort les Pins, France so naturally my blue cheese of choice is Roquefort (it’s also my favorite) but you can use an American, English or Danish variety if you want.

1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ Cup Minced Parsley
¼ Cup Minced Red Onion
8 shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
10 drops of Tabasco
Several Grinds of the Pepper Mill
4-8 Tablespoons of Roquefort or other Blue Cheese
2 Red Onions – each one cut horizontally into 4 sections of rings
Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
4 Burger Buns (optional) lightly toasted and buttered
Mayonnaise (optional)

Put the beef, Dijon, salt, parsley, minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and Pepper in a bowl. With your hands smoosh all the ingredients together until just evenly combined – do not overwork the meat - when it’s mixed, Stop! (I know it’s fun but make mud pies with your kids instead – don’t overwork the meat!).

Divide the mixture in half and then divide each half into 4 equal parts. Make thin patties with the first 4 parts and with your thumb make a little indent on the inside of the patty. Add 1-2 tablespoons of blue cheese to each patty in the area you have just patted down with your thumb. Divide the remaining half of meat into 4 parts and make another 4 patties. Top the blue cheese with the remaining patties. Mold the two patties together in your hand like you are making crab cakes, sealing the edges so the cheese doesn’t completely leak out. (It will leak a little, oozing out of the burger and looking absolutely delicious but you don’t want to loose too much of it.)

Grill your burgers (or use a grill pan inside) for about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium well to well-done burgers or less if you want them more rare.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a sauté pan and, keeping your onion rings whole, caramelize the onions over a medium heat. Don’t cook them too fast – you need the onion to slowly release its natural sugars and become golden and caramelized. When the onions are done on both sides add several swigs of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. The acid of the vinegar will boil off, leaving a sweet glaze on the onions. Top each burger with 2 whole rings and serve with a mixed greens salad on the side.

Enjoy! Mamma Mia!