I don’t know if it’s because I watched the behind-the-scenes look at a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder photo shoot (actually pretty fun to see how they do it, especially if you’re into food styling) or what, but I’ve been hungering after a burger like mad recently!
My go-to when those cravings strike is usually a protein- and animal-style hamburger at In-N-Out. But I had something else in mind because I had a fresh batch of my new favorite, splurge-worthy baked good to top: brioche buns. From the bottom up, my just-about-entirely-grown-in-California, California Burger consists of:
- Beef: 85/15 grass-fed beef
- Cheese: Toma by Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. (They’re the ones who make my favorite, gluten-free blue cheese that I talked about last year.) Find it at Whole Foods and Cowgirl Creamery, or ask for it at your local cheese shop. Another couple of options: Wagon Wheel by Cowgirl Creamery or Nicasio Reserve by Nicasio Valley Cheese Company.
- Bacon: Applewood smoked from Trader Joe’s (They’re a California company, so that kinda counts, right?)
- Allium: Paper-thin rings of shallot
- Tomato: Red Zebra heirloom tomato. (A couple of interesting articles were published recently — NPR and The New York Times — which tout the sweet taste of heirloom tomatoes vs. the ubiquitous, “uniform ripening” commercial variety.)
- Avocado: Hass
- Lettuce: Red leaf (I just love the black-purple color)
A few bites in, I was all smiles. It was just like one of those $12 restaurant burgers, but homemade. And only a fraction of a cost, even with my kinda fancy ingredient choices. And on a bun, a bun that’s actually gluten-free and a buttery, airy indulgence — so much better than an Iceberg lettuce wrap. (Can you tell I am basically in love with those buns?) And so filling that I didn’t even miss the fries — you can easily skip serving a side dish — score!
Pretty much, summer is off to a scrumptious start!
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
- 4 homemade, gluten-free brioche buns, reheated and sliced
- 1 pound ground beef, divided into four patties
- 1/4 pound cheese, sliced
- 1/2 – 3/4 pound bacon, cooked
- 1 medium shallot, cut into paper thin slices
- 1 large ripe avocado, cut into 1/4″ – 1/2″ slices
- 2 small tomatoes, cut into 1/3″ thick slices
- Whole lettuce leaves
- Peanut oil
- Salt and black pepper
Cook the patties however you like or as follows: Preheat cast iron skillet(s)/griddle(s) over medium-high heat. Once hot, coat with a very thin layer of peanut oil. Arrange patties on the pans, cook for 1 – 2 minutes on the first side. Flip, top with cheese and cook for about 2 minutes more¹.
Top buns with cheeseburgers, bacon, shallot, avocado, tomato and lettuce. Serve immediately.
¹ The inside will be slightly pink. Please note that consuming raw or undercooked beef may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.