Today is an object lesson in not judging food items prematurely. I crafted today’s burger entirely upon this theme. Let’s run down the ingredients.
– Arugula, also known as “the food my food eats,” actually contribute a peppery crunch that helps balance the richness of my shortrib-heavy ground beef.
– The caustic aroma of cut shallots make the weak cry more than a TBS marathon of The Notebook. Cutting shallots with a dull knife is still illegal in wartime under UN treaty. But sliced thin, floured lightly, and quick-fried in oil? Crunchy, salty, and incredible.
– Goat cheese is creamy, delicious, and mixes well with herbs, even if the human-like screams of goats haunt my nightmares.
– The word “artisan” has largely become a sign of pretentious hipster foods and the curly-mustache blogger dickbags that make me ashamed to share an Internet with them. Yet mother of god the good bakery-fresh white bun deployed here to fantastic use.
So here you have it: a reason to be annoyed by things, but eat them anyway.
4 oz goat cheese, softened
3 large shallots, sliced into thin rings
Arugula, washed and spun dry
1. Season patties and form an indent in the center so they keep their shape on the hot grill.
2. Mix goat cheese with chopped herbs and keep in warm oven. Bonus: This is also a good way to forget you have goat cheese and wander into a tasty snack later. But best not to forget.
3. Pat the shallots dry, place in a medium bowl, and dust with flour, tossing to coat evenly.
4. Preheat the grill to high (550 or higher). When grill has pre-heated, scrape and oil the grate.
5. Cook burgers for 2:30 per side, keeping the cover on and the vents open. I don’t know about where you live, but it’s fucking cold in Chicago at the moment. Don’t want that to affect cooking any more than it has to.
6. Remove burgers and rest under loosely-tented foil while you fry the shallot rings. If you choose to rest them outside, there’s not much hope for you.
7. Shake off excess flour and fry the shallot rings, in batches if need be to hold the oil temperature. Agitate them constantly during the cooking to ensure even browning. Chopsticks are great for this. Giant slotted spoons suck for this, because they’ll leave oil everywhere for you to clean up later.
8. When rings are golden brown (usually in 2-4 minutes, depending on how much oil you used and the size of your batches), remove to a medium sized bowl lined with paper towels. While rings are still glistening with fryer goodness, salt and pepper them. Don’t have a light hand with the seasoning, especially the pepper. Toss once, season a bit more, and pull out the paper towel.
9. Brush the buns with butter and grill quickly over the fire, 20-30 seconds, checking often, in an almost paranoid fashion, to make sure you don’t fuck up a good bun with your inattentiveness.
10. Smear the warm goat cheese on both sides of the bun, slide on the patty, and top with arugula and shallots. Eat them. Maybe watch that screaming goat video again while you do. That was funny, right?