Friday, May 09, 2008

National Burger Month Day 8: Inside-out Cheeseburgers with Port and Onions

The inside-out cheeseburger with port and onions was born out of a desperation to get something done, knowing that a bunch of people were about to come running into the house expecting burgers. For some of them, this would be their first day of participating in National Burger Month observances, so we had to come up with something special, and fast.

We wanted to make tonight the tuna tartare night, but unfortunately, time kept us from going ahead with that plan. After conducting a quick inventory of what was in our fridge, we realized we still had some chuck left in there. I've done inside-out cheeseburgers in the past (see Mark Bittman's story on burgers in the NYTimes... registration required), and we had some muenster cheese, so this would be a quick solution. I also figured we could maybe mix in some port in the burger to give it a little more body. Crippled as I was, with an ailing right foot and gimping around on crutches, Andrea took over the kitchen and mixed some port with the chuck. I just spectated from my perch on the couch.

We also decided that we could meld in some of the onion-burger technique (which I will really carry out once I am able to free myself from the bonds of crutches sometime this month). So we sauteed some sweet onions with the burgers. Little chunks of muenster cheese were inserted inside the patties and since they were muenster, they would surely melt into a nice creamy goo and keep the insides moist.

Overall, the burgers were tasty. The port infusion was discernible but not overpowering, and went well with the sweet onions and the cheese. Since the cheese took up space in the middle, the burgers actually cooked more quickly than usual so they ended up drier. The next time I make an inside-out cheeseburger, I think I need to reduce the cooking time to make up for the reduced density of meat.

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