Eggs Benedict Brunch Burgers

Hey ya’ll!  Sorry it’s been a while.  I’ve had some friends and family in town visiting which has been wonderful.  Bonus: I think I’ve eaten four cheeseburgers in two weeks – three of which happened in the last four days.  *insert googly-eyed emoji here*  I have eaten so much food, so much good food, in the past two weeks that I am ready to eat nothing but salad for like a month.  We all know that won’t happen though.  🙂

So yes I have eaten a ton of cheeseburgers lately.  Two of them are in my top 5 cheeseburgers of all time – #1 from Hillstone Midtown in NYC, and #2 from Blue Duck right here in Philadelphia.  Yesterday I made my chipotle blue cheese bacon burger.  But this….

This might be the sluttiest burger I have ever made in my entire life.

I mean… would ya look at this thing?

Eggs Benedict Brunch Burger

Look at it.

Eggs Benedict Brunch Burger

LOOK AT IT!

Eggs Benedict Brunch Burger

I don’t think I have ever been so proud of something in my entire life.  Eggs.  Benedict.  Brunch.  Burgers.

What we are talking about here is a homemade burger patty.  Topped with smoked gouda cheese.  And crispy salty bacon.  And a poached egg.  And hollandaise sauce.  And chives.  And smoked paprika.

Is there really anything more to say?  I mean come on.

You like slutty food.  That’s why you’re here.  That’s why you need to make this burger.

One disclaimer.  This is a knife-and-fork burger, fo sho.  I have seen my husband eat it with the top and bottom of a burger bun and it’s a hella crazy mess.  Go for it if you’d like but I’d prefer more, uh, protein, yeah, that’s it, than carbs.

If you do make this, post it to Instagram and tag me so I can see how it turned out for you!

Eggs Benedict Brunch Burgers

Ingredients
1/2 pound ground beef of choice*
2 slices smoked Gouda cheese
2 eggs
3 slices bacon
1 packet Knorr Hollandaise sauce, prepared according to package directions**
2 burger buns
Salt & pepper
Toppings***:
Green leaf lettuce, if desired
Tomato slices, if desired
Mayo, if desired
Chopped chives, if desired
Smoked paprika, if desired

Directions
1. Bake bacon: Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Cut bacon slices in half and lay side by side on prepared cookie sheet. Place into a cold oven and close the door. Turn the oven on to 400 degrees F and set the timer for 15 minutes. Don’t open the door! When the timer goes off, check the bacon. If it’s done to your liking, remove to a paper-towel lined plate and blot the grease off. If it needs more time, put it back into the oven in 1-2 minute increments until done to your liking. Set aside.

2. Make burgers: Prepare two beef patties and grill to desired doneness. Top with smoked Gouda and allow to melt. Keep warm.

3. Poach eggs: Fill a medium-sized skillet with water and bring to a steady simmer. Once simmering, add a teaspoon of salt. When the water is simmering steadily, crack an egg into a small bowl or custard cup, being careful not to break the yolk. Take the custard cup and slowly, carefully, gently dip it into the simmering water, allowing the water to swirl into the cup and around the egg. Slowly, carefully, and gently slide the egg out of the custard cup and into the water. Repeat with the other egg. Set the timer and remove in 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry with a paper towel, and gently place into a small bowl or plate until the rest of the components are ready.

4. Assemble burger!!: To prepare the burger as shown: Place the bottom half of a burger bun onto a plate. Spread some mayonnaise onto the burger bun. Top with a leaf of green leaf lettuce and a slice of tomato. Put the burger on top. Then place three of the half-slices of bacon on top. Carefully top with the poached egg. Drown the thing in hollandaise sauce. And garnish with chopped chives and smoked paprika.

5. EAT.

NOTES:
* I recommend a fattier percentage of ground beef for a juicier burger – think 85/15, or 90/10.
** Shut up, there’s nothing wrong with taking a little help from the store.
*** Toppings are to prepare the burger as shown; feel free to add or remove toppings as you wish!

Chipotle Blue Cheese Bacon Burgers

I feel like I want to start every blog post with YOU.  GUYS.

It’s just that I get so excited about food, and I want to tell you all about it, and I want to begin it all by saying YOU GUYS.

YOU.  GUYS.

If you could make only one kind of cheeseburger for the rest of the summer, this should be it.  Yes, there are a lot of components and yes, it’s not a last-minute throw-it-together kind of dinner, and yes, it takes some planning but yes, I do promise you, oh how I promise you, that you will enjoy every bite of this burger, and you will be so happy that you made all the components, and that you threw it together, and that you planned it out.  And that you ate it.

And then you will say hey, I have all these components left over, let’s have this cheeseburger for dinner again tomorrow night.

Ok maybe that’s stretching it, maybe not.  It’s really not for me except that I just try to eat healthy like at least one time a week.  Or something.

Do any of you remember a long long time ago Chili’s had this cheeseburger on their menu called something like the chipotle blue cheese bacon burger?  I can’t remember exactly what it was called, but it had blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, bacon, and a spicy-sweet chipotle sauce.  It sounds amazing right?

Well it WAS amazing.  Chili’s was amazing, till they took it off their menu.  And pissed me off.  Because it was the best burger I ever had there.  (Who am I kidding, I still love Chili’s.)

So a few months ago I emailed them begging for the recipe since they took it off their menu and guess what?  They said hell to the naw girl.  It’s proprietary information.  I was shit outta luck.

Well Chili’s can suck it cuz guess what, my chipotle blue cheese bacon burger is better than theirs.  At least I think so.  🙂

So yes, full disclosure, there are a lot of components here but I promise it will be worth it.

First and foremost, if you’re gonna spend your hard earned money on anything for this, buy a GOOD blue cheese.

Rogue Smokey Blue

Rogue Smokey Blue 2

You want a firm one with lots of flavor that you can both slice and crumble.  This Rogue Smokey Blue from Oregon is pretty much THE PERFECT one for both my homemade blue cheese dressing, and for chipping off chunks to put on top of your burger.

Everything else can be whatever you want – you can follow my recommendations below or use your own favorites – but the ingredients I recommend pulled together a flavor profile closest to what I remember Chili’s cheeseburger being like.  I hope you like this burger!  It’s sooo slutty!

Chipotle Blue Cheese Bacon Burgers
Makes 2 burgers

Ingredients
12 ounces ground beef
1 recipe blue cheese dressing
1 recipe chipotle barbecue sauce (see recipe below)
2-4 ounces good blue cheese (depending on how much you want on your burger)
4 slices bacon, cooked to your liking
Shredded iceberg lettuce
1 tomato, sliced
2 hamburger buns

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce (depending on your heat preference)

Directions
1. Make the chipotle barbecue sauce: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined well. Pour into a mason jar and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. For this recipe, pour about a half cup or so into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Keep warm until ready to assemble burgers.

2. Make two burger patties with your ground beef, and grill to your liking. When the burger nears completion, add chunks of blue cheese on top and allow to melt a little bit. Here is a great article on how to grill hamburgers. I don’t grill, so I can’t give you instructions here. I’ll leave it to the experts. I will recommend, however, that this particular burger is better grilled, rather than made in the cast iron skillet.

3. Assemble burgers: Spread blue cheese dressing on the bottom half of the burger bun. Layer on some shredded iceberg lettuce and a slice of tomato. Add the burger patty with the melted blue cheese. Add sliced bacon as desired. Spread some of the chipotle barbecue sauce onto the top half of the burger bun. Place the top half of the burger bun on top of the burger and press down slightly and then proceed to devour.

Pimento Cheese

Earlier this year I discovered the amazingness that is pimento cheese.

I went to Lexington for work and we went to this amazing little place to eat called Stella’s Kentucky Deli.  I really went for the hot brown, but came away with a newfound love and appreciation for pimento cheese.  (The hot brown was also insanely delicious.)

At Stella’s, they served their pimento cheese with toasted white bread triangles and slices of the juiciest, ripest tomato I have ever eaten in the middle of winter.  Like seriously, I would move there to eat tomatoes like that in the middle of winter.  It was the kind of tomato that made you wonder what that crap is you’re buying every week at the grocery store.

Pimento Cheese

The flavor combination of that thin white, toasty soft bread plus the juicy ripe tomato plus the tangy pimento cheese – it’s like a match made in heaven.

I had found out why southerners are always raving about pimento cheese.  And putting it on all their menus.  And putting it on everything they make.

So of course I embarked on a mission to recreate Stella’s pimento cheese.  Although I wouldn’t mind going back to Lexington, just to eat at Stella’s again.

And buy bourbon.  (Town Branch what’s up?!  Holla at me.  I loved your bourbon and can’t get it here.)

So this is the closest I have come to recreating Stella’s pimento cheese.  I truly hope you enjoy it the same way I did.  I think you’ll find it’s addicting and of course worth every single calorie.  🙂

Pimento Cheese
Adapted from Sean Brock’s recipe in Heritage (which I can’t wait to buy!)

Ingredients
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup Duke’s mayo (if you can’t find Duke’s, I would recommend Hellmann’s)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/16 teaspoon (that’s 1/2 of a 1/8 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated on the regular holes of the box grater
12 ounces jarred whole pimentos, drained, patted dry, seeds removed, and diced

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a sturdy spoon or spatula. This takes some arm strength, but be patient and you’ll get there. The softer your cream cheese, the easier it will be. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with crackers, or with lightly toasted white bread cut into triangles, and tomato slices.  The original recipe states that it will keep for up to 3 days. But no worries, it will be gone before then. 🙂

Jose Pistola’s Nachos

My close friend told me the other day that she’s tired of looking at my Instagram because all that’s ever on there is nachos.

Oops.

I can’t help it though!  Nachos are my most favorite thing on the planet.  I’m pretty sure she was joking.  She loves me.  She’s not a meanie.

And then about an hour later I offered to make my pulled pork nachos for a little celebration we are having this weekend and she jumped at the chance.  Mmmhmm.  Yep.  I see how it is.

So it is with great hesitation (note sarcasm) that I am posting this recipe so soon after posting a different recipe for nachos just last week.  This recipe actually took a few tries for me to perfect.  It’s one of those things that looked so easy, but ended up being tricky to get just right.

My husband and I do this thing every once in a while where we send my daughter to have a sleepover at mom-mom’s and we head downtown and do some day-drinking and eating.  We have a drink (or two, or three!) and a snack at each place.  After four or five places we hop on the train home and fall into bed stuffed and gluttonous.

Jose Pistola’s is this awesome dive bar downtown with strong margaritas and good food.  These nachos were no exception.  Lately Aaron and I have been in the habit of leaving meat off of our nachos because then they are too filling.  So these nachos literally only have refried beans, cheese, pickled jalapenos, and pickled red onions on them.  So simple.  So easy to reproduce, right?  Nope!

I tried a couple different recipes for homemade pickled jalapenos and homemade pickled red onions before I got them right.  For these I turned to Pinterest of course.  And one thing that stumped us was how to make the refried beans so creamy?  For this I turned to Google.

The recipes for these three components are not mine!

The recipe for homemade pickled jalapenos belongs to Jules from Jules Food.  Thanks Jules!

The recipe for homemade pickled red onions belongs to Martha from A Family Feast.  Thanks Martha!

The recipe for creamy refried beans belongs to Michaela from An Affair From The Heart.  Thanks Michaela!

All of these recipes were so spot-on for the flavors I was looking for to build these nachos that I literally did not have to tweak them.  The only thing I did that wasn’t specifically mentioned was for the refried beans, I used chipotle Tabasco instead of regular Tabasco (because seriously if you guys haven’t bought yourselves a bottle of chipotle Tabasco yet I’m not sure we can be friends.  Get on that!).

I know what you’re thinking.  WHY SO MUCH WORK FOR NACHOS.  Because if you love nachos like I do, no amount of work is too great.  Duh.

Make these nachos.

Jose Pistola's Nachos

Jose Pistola’s Nachos

Ingredients
1 recipe homemade pickled jalapenos
1 recipe homemade pickled red onions
1 recipe creamy refried beans (I recommend using chipotle Tabasco to spice these up, as much as you want!)
4oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4oz shredded cheddar cheese
Thick sturdy tortilla chips, like Mission brand
Minced cilantro, if desired for topping
Sour cream, if desired for dipping

Directions
1. Remove some of the pickled jalapenos and pickled red onions from their jars to drain a bit on a paper towel. Blot the tops dry with another paper towel. Set aside.

2. Preheat broiler to high. Spread tortilla chips on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Pour refried beans on top. Top with shredded cheeses. Put into the broiler and keep an eye on them. Remove when the cheese has melted, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Top with jalapenos, onions, and cilantro. Drizzle with sour cream if desired, or put sour cream into a bowl and dip as desired.