Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recipe Flashback: The Sunset Burger

Good evening everyone! As we stated on Monday, we're shifting our blogging schedule for the summer months. As such, we will be revisiting a few of our classics during this time (one, they're fast for us to make since we've made them before and two, we love them so much we want to try them again and again). However, it's pretty boring to simply revisit a recipe that works and repeat it all over again. So, in it's place we'll be doing 'flashbacks' featuring a favorite recipe from the past. 

I'm in the kitchen tomorrow night with a brand new recipe, and Maggie has a new dish planned for Thursday - so be sure to stop in tomorrow night to see what I've got cooking. Until then - feel free to revisit the 'Sunset Burger' recipe from June of last year! 

Recipe Flashback: Sunset Burger

There is a lakeside restaurant in Clear Lake Iowa by the name of PM Park. My family and I have been there on many occasions, and greatly enjoy their entire menu. There is one item, however, that stands out above the rest - the sunset burger.

The sunset burger is one of those rare finds in the restaurant world. It is the perfect burger. The combination of ingredients simply blend together to make one mouthwatering morsel. What's the best part about the sunset burger? It's easily replaceable.

This week, I found myself craving a sunset burger once again. However, living in the Des Moines metro - it's not exactly feasible to jump in the car for 2+ hours and travel up to Clear Lake - so the "do it yourself" option was really the only choice.

I then got to thinking - I have a fantastic recipe for a burger (the cracking burger) and a great recipe for a homemade Barbecue sauce - I could do one better than the standard sunset burger, I could make a BETTER sunset burger! And that, ladies and gentlemen is how we arrived at tonight's recipe.

The Recipe: A BETTER Sunset Burger
Original Recipe From: 3 Places; PM Park in Clear Lake Iowa, The Cracking Burger recipe from Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals and Mom's Homemade BBQ Sauce

What You'll Need:

Cracking Burger: 

12 X Unsalted Saltines
1 Lb Ground Beef (85/15 or 90/10)
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Egg

Sunset Burger: 

Choice of cheese (we went with swiss)
Burger patty (if not using the cracking burger recipe)

Mom's Homemade BBQ Sauce* 

2 X Cups Store Brand Ketchup (go as cheap as you can here)
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion OR 1 tsp. Minced Onion
1 1/2 Tsp. Liquid Smoke
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder OR Garlic Salt

* Full disclosure here. I used to think this BBQ sauce recipe was of my mom's own creation. I had this illusion in my mind that this recipe was the result of hours of dedication, taste testing and trial and error. I thought that this recipe came about due to hard work, blood-sweat-tears, the whole nine yards. Much to my surprise, when I asked for this recipe from my mom - she simply grabbed a cookbook and copied the recipe down. So - maybe calling it "Mom's Homemade BBQ Sauce" is a bit of a misnomer - However, I'm still going to call it that because it gives off that 'folksy' feeling. "BBQ Sauce That Mom Copied Out Of A Cookbook" just doesn't have that same ring to it.

Begin by mixing up your ingredients for the cracking burger. We've been over this process a few times in the past - so I'll give you the quick overview. (If you want more detail on how to make a cracking burger - check out our first encounter with it right HERE) Smash up your crackers into a fine powder, add the meat, mustard, parsley and egg and mix the whole lot up with your hands. Once mixed, break the meat up into four smaller balls and pat those down into burger shaped patties. Set aside until ready to grill.

4 Delicious little patties 

Place your bacon on a frying pan (use as much or as little bacon as you like - it's your burger after all.) Meanwhile, add the ketchup, brown sugar, onion flakes, garlic salt and liquid smoke into a medium sized sauce pan. Mix everything well and then bring it to a boil.

All of that makes a delicious BBQ sauce...who knew? 

Side note: Don't take a big whiff of the liquid smoke. It is strong...VERY strong and will cause you to nearly cough up a lung. If you don't believe me - simply ask Maggie. She learned this lesson the hard way. Her lung has been replaced, and she is recovering nicely.

While the bacon and BBQ sauce are cooking - throw your burgers onto the grill / into the grill pan / onto the George Foreman grill (whatever cooking method you prefer) to begin cooking. By the time your burgers are done - your bacon and BBQ should be done as well. All that is left is to top with slice of cheese of your choice (tonight we went with swiss) add the bacon and drizzle on some of the fantastic BBQ sauce and - ta da - you've just created the perfect burger.

The Results:

And, that's it folks. Tonight's recipe was very easy, very quick and (most importantly) VERY delicious. I can now say, without a doubt, that I have created the world's greatest burger. (OK - created is a stretch I took a great burger recipe, added a great BBQ sauce recipe and based the whole thing off of ANOTHER great burger recipe - I'll settle for 50% creation credit.) If you followed along at home, you too have created the world's greatest burger.

The flavors of this burger are simply outstanding. I've already ranted and raved about the amazing, juicy, tender, flavorful qualities of the cracking burger - and this recipe is simply a cracking burger combined with a sweet, tangy BBQ sauce and topped with bacon (which makes any dish better.) It's delicious and most importantly - it's simple. Go out and try you for yourself. You won't regret it.


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