It’s prime grilling season, so get out your spatulas…and your favorite cheese! The old saying goes that even when cheeseburgers are bad, they’re still pretty good, but it never hurts to tweak a tried-and-true recipe to create a unique, mouthwatering dish. Try out these variations on the classic cheeseburger this summer — we bet you won’t regret it!
You’ve tried cheese melted on top of a burger patty, but what about cheese in the middle? The so-called “Juicy Lucy” style of burgers has been somewhat of a trend lately, but this Saveur recipe ups the ante by using salty, tangy blue cheese in place of more common cheddar or American. For this specific recipe, we recommend cooking with Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Bay Blue if you can find it (it’s scarce here on the East Coast) — its earthy flavors will blend well with the pickled cremini mushrooms atop the burger. Or, if you’re craving something more sweet-and-salty, try our recipe for Sirloin Burgers with Blue Cheese and Fig Preserves.
You can keep your quarter pounder — the days of bragging about the heft of your burger are so over. This is the era of revitalizing an old school classic: the ultra-thin, ultra-crispy smashburger. The smashburger is a griddled, thin patty, and one of the easiest and most delicious recipes out there. How convenient! According to Chris Schonberger of First We Feast: “The technique dates back to the early days of the American fast-food burger, before chains started using frozen meat. Working with a malleable hunk of fresh beef allowed cooks to smash it into their grease-splatted griddles with a spatula, thus increasing the surface area and boosting the caramelized flavor.” The smashburger may have been popularized by the restaurant of the same name, but that doesn’t mean you can’t craft one in your own home!
Veggie Burgers that Hold Their Own
Gone are the days of tasteless patties made of soy or tofu. Today’s veggie burgers have the bulk, flavor, and yes, cheese, to make any meat eater green with envy. If you’re a pescatarian, this Crab Burger with Dill Chèvre and Arugula is creamy, peppery, and thick enough to sink your teeth into. If you’re more strict, try these meat lover-tested-and-approved Viking Veggie Burgers with Smoked Gouda created by Deborah McDowell, co-owner of the restaurant Club Helsinki in New York’s Hudson Valley. We recommend using Smoked Gouda from Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative –the flavors of bacon and umami will make up for the fact that this burger is meatless.
No matter how you griddle, grill, or otherwise cook your cheeseburger, it’s sure to be delicious! Click here for even more cheeseburger recipes.
Photo Credit: Liz Barclay