Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tacos AND Burgers!? How about BOTH!

Good evening everyone! It’s no secret that our favorite category is Mexican cuisine. I think if you look through our four years of archives, you’ll find Mexican dishes outweigh the rest by a near two to one ratio. It’s our favorite medium to experiment, cook and eat – so it should be no surprise that this week’s entry in our “burgers of summer” series is Mexican inspired.

I was browning up some hamburger meat last weekend (in the process of making tacos) and I wondered to myself “Why couldn’t I use ‘taco meat’ to form a burger?” I couldn’t find a reason that the idea wasn’t at least worth trying – so that’s just what I did. The result was one of the better burgers we’ve cooked up all summer.

The Recipe: Taco Burger
This is an Out of the Culinary Original

What You’ll Need:
(Serves 4)
1 Pound 80/20 Ground Beef
1 Egg
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
A handful of tortilla chips (Crushed into a fine powder)
Shredded Mexican Cheese
Hot sauce (Your choice of style)
Lettuce and or tomatoes as you desired

The premise of this burger is fairly straightforward. We’re building our favorite crackin’ burger recipe – but with a few tweaks. Begin by cracking the egg into a medium mixing bowl and beat with a fork until it’s well blended. Next, add in the crushed tortilla chips and give the mixture a few stirs to evenly blend everything.

A quick note on the tortilla chips – they’ve serving in place of our panko breadcrumbs for this recipe. I figured that using tortilla chips would help provide the binding aid that breadcrumbs normally add while also upping the final “taco” flavor. (To crush them easily, simply place a handful in a ziplock baggy and give them a few vigorous squeezes with your hands. Alternatively, if you have a bag of tortilla chips on it’s last legs (I.E. empty) simply pluck the crumbs from the bottom of the bag and give them a few whaps with your hand).

Next, add the beef to the bowl along with the packet of taco seasoning. Using your hands, work the mixture together until all of the ingredients are blended nicely. Finally, work the mixture into 4 equal balls, then work those balls into burger patties. Place the patties on a plate and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the mixture to tighten up before cooking.

Once you’re ready to cook, preheat your grill to 500, clean the grates and turn of all but one of the burners. Set that burner to medium (so the grill maintains a 300 degree temperature) and then place your patties directly over the heat. Allow them to cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until the beef is cooked through and the juices run clear.

Turn off the burner and then top the burgers with your shredded Mexican cheese. Close the lid and allow the burgers to rest (still on the grill) for 1 to 2 minutes. This should allow most of the cheese to melt nicely. Transfer the finished burgers to a fresh from the bakery burger bun and top with your choice of traditional taco toppings (we opted for a bit of hot sauce) and enjoy!

The Results:

I set out to turn the traditional taco filling into a burger patty and I’m pleased to say that I achieved the end result. This burger was moist, just like our crackin’ burger recipes always are (thanks, Jamie Oliver!) but the flavor was decidedly taco. It’s a bit of mind warp when you tend to the burgers on the grill – you smell tacos when your around the grill, but your eyes certainly SEE burgers. All in all, this is one unique little burger recipe that makes the perfect weeknight meal. If you’re a fan of tacos and burgers, you should certainly give this one a shot.

That’s all we have for you this evening. Maggie will take to the kitchen tomorrow night to show off a brand new recipe. This one, to no one’s surprise, also follows a Mexican theme (we stumbled across an accidental theme this week!) Until then,

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