I love a good burger and I decided it was high time that I come up with a special burger that I can make at home. I have had plenty of amazing burgers at local restaurants, but then at home I never make anything beyond the basic burger and bun. As part of Girl Carnivore’s Burger Month extravaganza, I was inspired to create the Campfire Crunch Burger. This recipe is part of an incredible blogger burger collaboration (say that 10x fast) and grill giveaway hosted by GirlCarnivore. This recipe was made in partnership with Cabot Cheese and Western BBQ as always all opinions are my own and I only use ingredients that I stand behind, would buy again, and am happy to consume.
Campfire crunch burger with its giant cheese crisp skirt.
4 hamburger buns, I like a classic potato roll, a Japanese milk bun, or an old fashioned American hamburger bun
1 cup of grated cheddar
1/2 cup of smoking chips (optional)
1 lb of ground beef, I used grass fed 85 % lean
1 tsp of kosher salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/2 a small white onion
1 crunchy dill pickle, plus more for serving
4 TBSP mayonnaise
2 TBSP hot sauce, I use sriracha or Frank's hot sauce
1 green tomato, an unripe red tomato will be okay too
1 cup of sourdough starter, you can also make a classic fried green tomato if you do not have sourdough starter
1 tsp of dried herbs, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, basil, thyme are all good options. I use oregano.
a pinch of salt
a pinch of pepper
1 cup of cornmeal
For the cheese crisps, take a small handful of the smoker chips and place them in a square of tinfoil. Pinch the edges of the foil to make a little boat shape. In a large frying pan with a lid, place the smoker chip boat to one side. Cover with the lid, and turn pan on to high.
Add a square of foil to the other side of the frying pan. Wait until the smoker chips begin to smoke. Then, spray a little cooking oil on the foil. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of grated cheddar onto the foil. Let the cheese cook over medium heat until golden and crisp. Repeat three more times for a total of four cheese crisps.
While the crisps are cooking, prepare the meat and sauces. Use good quality ground beef because that's what you want the burger to taste of. I like to use 85% lean beef. In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Set it aside.
Shape four patties out of the ground beef. If you like your burger well done, make a very flat thin patty. For those of your guests who like their burger on the rare side make a rounded ball and just gently press a divot in the middle.
To make the crunch burger sauce, mince 1/2 a white onion and mince 1 large crisp dill pickle. Mix 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of hot sauce. Then stir in the minced onion and pickle.
Brush your grill with vegetable oil to prevent the burger from sticking. Put the grill on high and pre-heat for at least 10 minutes with the cover down. While the grill is heating up, sprinkle your salt and pepper mixture over the patties. Then open the grill and place the patties onto the grill leaving the lid open. Cook for 5-10 minutes per side based on how well done you want the burgers. I like beef medium rare or rare, except in burger form. I like my burgers to be medium well with a nice char on the outside.
While the burgers are cooking, it is time to fry your green tomatoes. Heat vegetable oil about 1/3 the height of a small saucepan or frying pan. Be sure the oil does not go more than 1/3 of the way up the pan. Slice your tomatoes thinly and leave them on a plate to let their juices out a bit.
In a bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, 1 tsp of dried oregano, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. In a shallow dish, add 1 cup of cornmeal. Dredge the tomato in the starter. Then put the tomato into the cornmeal flipping it to coat both sides.
Once the oil begins to ripple, take a pinch of sourdough starter and drop it into the oil to see if it begins to sizzle and turn brown. If so, the oil is ready. Carefully fry one or two tomatoes at a time (depending on the size of your pan.) Drain the tomatoes on a plate with a paper towel once they are golden brown.
Now you can build your burger. Cut the bun and add a spoonful of your burger sauce onto the bottom. On top of the sauce stack: lettuce, a burger patty, a fried green tomato, and the cheese crisp. Leave the top off so guests can add any ketchup or mustard to the top. Then dig in.
The good news is that grilling season has just begun. The even better news is that for Burger Month we have all kinds of burger recipes to peruse. You can find the rest of the recipes from bloggers all across the country. Let me know which ones you try and if you have a favourite type of burger.