Monday, July 15, 2013

Whiskey Pimento Cheese Burger with Bacon, Red Onion Marmalade, “Condiment-Inspired” Romaine Slaw, & Roasted Garlic Aioli on Toasted Brioche Buns

Whiskey Pimento Cheese Burger with Bacon, Red Onion Marmalade, “Condiment-Inspired” 
Romaine Slaw, & Roasted Garlic Aioli on Toasted Brioche Buns
These were some of the best burgers, we've ever cooked. I have never considered myself a master burger-maker, especially not on the grill. They always end up turning into a ground beef mess, where more meat ends up in the bottom of the grill instead of our buns. Not cool. So, as of this summer, we have been really practicing to bump up our cookin' out skills. And these burgers hit the spot! Pimento cheese burgers are my absolute favorite, so I have about 6 million different recipes at my disposal. This is definitely top-knotch. You have to make your own pimento cheese, that is key. I started with my favorite recipe, but went all willy-nilly on it, and added some cold, hard whiskey to the game. If I've said it was I've said it a million times, booze belongs in anything + everything. The other components to this awesome burger include: crispy thick bacon, red onion marmalade, homemade roasted garlic aioli, & perfectly toasted buns. But far and away, the item that brings it over the top has to be the "condiment-inspired" romaine slaw. I got this idea from the sweet + spicy pickle coleslaw from my fried chicken banh mi's. Why not make a good 'ole American classic for burgers instead? With lettuce subbed in for cabbage. Done & done. The romaine lettuce is thinly shredded and tossed together with pickles, tomatoes, shaved shallots, a mustard dressing, and a few other tasty treats! It's important to know that you shouldn't toss the slaw together until just before serving that way the texture remains crisp and crunchy. The burgers come together with such a souther, summer harmony. It's like a good country song playin' while you're sippin' on the porch kinda night... but in food form, obviously. I'm sorry that I've been so preoccupied with engagement stuff + wedding planning (ahhh already), but that's kind of what has been taking up my time. But, I'll keep making sure to give y'all new recipes every few days!! Enjoy :)
cooked medium-rare, just like my mountain man likes it.
"condiment-inspired" romaine slaw
summer... between two buns.
For the Homemade Whiskey Spiked Pimento Cheese:
4oz Cream Cheese, Extremely Soft
½C Homemade Roasted Garlic Aioli
¼t Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, & Paprika
2t Hot Sauce
2T Sweet Onion, Grated
2T Finely Minced Chives
8oz Pepper Jack or Habanero Jack Cheese, Shredded
16oz Vintage Aged Cheddar Cheese (I like to use 8oz white and 8oz yellow)
2 Roasted Red Peppers, Diced (preferably done at home, instead of store-bought)
½C Candied Jalapenos, Diced
1-2T Whiskey or Bourbon, Very Cold   

For the Roasted Garlic Aioli:
1 Egg Yolk
1t White Vinegar
1 ½t Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
¼t Dijon Mustard & Sugar
1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced into a Paste (with a little bit of sea salt)
1 Large Head of Garlic Cloves, Roasted & Pureed (let it cool before mashing or pureeing)
½t Sea Salt (or to taste)
¾C Canola Oil   

For the Mustard Dressing:
1T Yellow Mustard, 1T Dijon Mustard, + 1T Grainy Mustard
1T Honey + 1T Mayo
¼C Bread n’ Butter Pickle Pickling Liquid
2T Taco Pickles Pickling Liquid
2T Candied Jalapeno Liquid

For the “Condiment-Inspired” Romaine Slaw:
4C Romaine Hearts, Thinly Shaved/Sliced (roughly 2-3 large hearts)
2 Jalapenos, Thinly Sliced (optional)
1 Bunch of Green Onions, Thinly Sliced
½C Homemade Bread n’ Butter Pickles + ¼C of the Pickling Liquid
1C Homemade “Taco Pickles” + 2T of the Pickling Liquid
½C Homemade Candied Jalapenos + 2T of the Candied Liquid
2 Shallots, Thinly Shaved
8oz Cherry Tomatoes, Finely Diced (seeds & juices removed)
Prepared Mustard Dressing

For the Burgers:
80/20 Ground Beef Formed into Patties, Seasoned, & Cooked to Your Liking
Gourmet Brioche Buns, Toasted & Warmed
Thick Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon Slices, Cooked until Crispy
Prepared Whiskey Pimento Cheese
Homemade Red Onion Marmalade
Extra Roasted Garlic Aioli, For Spreading
Prepared “Condiment-Inspired” Romaine Slaw, Just Tossed
Heirloom Tomato Slices (optional)

1. For the Whiskey Pimento Cheese:In a big mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayo, whiskey, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, hot sauce, and Worcestershire. Separately, shred the three blocks of cheese and put in the bowl with the seasoned creamy mixture. (I use the normal shredding side because I like it more that way for this dip). Toss the mixture together until the mayo is covering all of the cheese. Add in the roasted red peppers and candied jalapeno, and toss until it’s completely incorporated. Season the dip with any additional seasonings if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use on top of the burgers.
2. For the Roasted Garlic Aioli:Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, minced garlic, roasted garlic cloves, and ½t salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds. Using ¼t measuring spoon and whisking constantly, add ¼C of the oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4-5 minutes. Gradually add remaining ½C canola oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8-10 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Season the mayo with salt, pepper, & sugar to taste. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
3. For the Mustard Dressing:In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until combined/incorporated and very smooth. Season it with salt & pepper to taste. Refrigerate the dressing until you are ready to add to the romaine slaw.
4. For the “Condiment-Inspired” Romaine Slaw: Shred the hearts of romaine very thinly, so that it resembles the same look as coleslaw. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the jalapenos, green onions, Sriracha pickles, taco pickles, candied jalapenos, shaved shallots, and chopped cherry tomatoes. Pour the dressing over the condiment components and let it marinate for an hour or two while you are cooking the burgers. Just before serving, add the shredded romaine coleslaw mixture and season with salt & pepper. Toss to cover and combine, and use immediately before it becomes wilted & soggy.
5. Assembling the Burgers:Top one slice of a buttered & toasted bun with a thick layer of homemade roasted aioli. On the bottom slice of each bun, place a cooked burger patty, a few slices of bacon, a scoop of whiskey pimento cheese, homemade red onion marmalade, a slice of heirloom tomato, and a pile of the romaine slaw. Top it with the other slice of the burger bun.
6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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