Sunday, July 6, 2014

16 Burgers of Summer: Breakfast Burger

Good evening everyone! Allow me, for a moment, to lift the curtain on how our recipes are created. (And no, this isn’t a “if you like the sausage, don’t ask how it’s made situation” …at least I don’t think so.) We have a variety of sources that we will look towards for inspiration or perhaps as guidance each week. We’re constantly reading or looking over these sources, so we compile a decent “back-up” at any one point in time.

Every now and again, we sift through the “back-up” and find some inspiration amongst the recipes. This week, I recalled a recipe Maggie had shared with me sometime back featuring a tater tot burger. Being that we’re doing our 16 burgers of summer feature, I thought “Why not go a bit off the rails and do something crazy this week?”  Long story short, I found the original recipe and…well, it wasn’t quite what I remembered. At first blush, this burger idea may have seemed like a solid one – but further review provided some issues.

I wasn’t in love with how the burger “patty” was constructed and I felt the original dish relied too heavily on the sauce to play star of the show. Furthermore, I didn’t like the concept of a tater tot burger served on a hamburger bun. I love my grains as much as the next guy – but that seemed a bit…much.

In the past weeks, I had wondered about cooking up a breakfast burger something that would fall under the burger “umbrella” but that could be cooked up on a Sunday morning to start your day. I never really came up with anything concrete – so I shelved the idea.

As I hit a wall with the tater tot burger, my breakfast burger idea returned to my mind and tonight’s recipe was born. We’re going a bit off the grid and playing slightly loose with the term burger (hey, it’ll be a patty!) but I think the end result is something anyone can enjoy. Let’s get cooking!

The Recipe: Tater Tot Burger (AKA Breakfast Burger)
What You’ll Need:
(Serves 4)
2 Cups Tater Tots (thawed if frozen) – Procure the “extra crispy variant if possible
2 Slices Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Bacon
6 Eggs
Maple Syrup

In a medium non stick skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy and golden. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and allow it to cool for a few moments. Once cooled, use a chef’s knife or kitchen sheers to chop the bacon into ¼ to 1/8 inch pieces. Transfer the bacon bits to a small plate and set aside. Remove the skillet from heat, but don’t clean it out (we’re using it later).

Next, begin mashing your tater tots in a large bowl. Once they reach a nice, even “mush” crack in two eggs and add in the bacon. Work the mixture with your hands until everything is well blended. Work the breading into four equally sized balls and then pat those balls into patties. Store the patties in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the egg / tater tots to “tighten” up a bit.

Quick side note: you may be asking why we don’t just use hash browns in place of tater tots – after all they are already broken up and mashed. I toyed with the idea, but ultimately found that the small “bits” of potato that make up a tater tot were more conducive than the larger strands that make up hash browns. Since we’re making a patty, smaller and tighter binding was preferred. (You are of course free to experiment however you’d like).

Once the patties have had some time to chill, return the skillet you previously used to the heat (medium) and bring the oil up to temperature. Once the bacon grease begins to shimmer, add the patties into the skillet and cook for 3 to 5 minutes before flipping. Resist the urge to poke, prod or otherwise bother the patties when they’re in the skillet. Cooking undisturbed will allow the patties to form a nice golden crust – which is what we want!

While your patties are cooking, set a separate skillet over medium high heat and melt a tablespoon of butter. Mix the remaining eggs with a splash of milk and add them to the skillet with the melted butter. From here, you’re free to make an omelet or scramble the eggs. (They’re being served beneath the “burger” open face style, so either option works nicely. We opted to scramble.)

Once the eggs are done and the burgers are golden brown, all that’s left is the assembly. Serve up equal portions of your egg mixture and top each with a burger patty. Serve with a helping of maple syrup and enjoy!

The Results:

If you allow for a liberal use of the word burger, this is quite the breakfast burger! The tater tots worked quite well with the egg in forming a functional patty, and you could certainly serve it atop a bun if you so wish – but for the sake of avoiding a carb overload, this option atop of eggs works just as well.

There’s enough wiggle room here to get extra creative if you’d like. Work in some red peppers to the patty – top it with cheese – whatever you’d like to compliment your “burger” patty so long as it follows the breakfast theme. For being constructed out of two half baked ideas – this recipe turned out quite nicely! It’s a great option for dinner or for a weekend breakfast!

That’s all we have for you this evening. We've got a busy week lined up for you next week. There's another new burger recipe on tap as well as a great brisket recipe that you'll absolutely LOVE. Maggie also has TWO new recipes that will be going up this week as well. Not to mention, we'll have product reviews and restaurant reviews coming up shortly thereafter! (Lots of content coming!) Until then, 


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