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50/50 Grilled Cheese Fully Loaded Cheeseburger

Zach wanted to get experimental for dinner tonight.  Cheeseburgers were on his mind, but he added a few extra steps to make this far from average.  Grilled cheese sandwiches instead of a bun and a meat mix of chuck and bacon add flavor and texture like you haven’t experienced in a burger before.

Makes 2

• For the grilled cheese:

8 slices of local sourdough bread

8 slices of American cheese

4 tbs. of melted butter

Heat a frying pan over medium heat.  Brush melted butter evenly on one side of each bread slice.

built in the pan

built in the pan

Build the sandwiches in the heated pan: 1 slice butter side down, 2 slices of cheese, 1 slice butter side up.  Grill for 4-5 minutes without disturbing them, then flip and grill for another 4-5 minutes with no disruption.

golden

golden

When done, the cheese will be melted and the bread will be lightly golden.

• For the patties:

2/3 lb. of bacon

2/3 lb. of chuck roast

2 slices of provolone cheese

Black pepper (just enough to sprinkle over the meat while grilling)

With your Kitchenaid stand mixer and food grinder attachment, grind the meat.  Switch between bacon and chuck so that you don’t have to mix as much with your hands when the grinding is done.  Overworking the meat makes it tougher.

It is best to form patties that match the size of the bun.  Since we’re using not round buns but oblong sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches, the patties are similar in shape.

use a splatter guard

use a splatter guard

Heat a cast iron pan on the range over medium heat.  Place the patties in the pan one at a time with 20 seconds in between so that you don’t shock-cool the pan.  Flip the patty after 4 minutes and cook for another 4 minutes, adding a slice of provolone at the last minute.  Keep the pan covered with a splatter guard to protect your skin, your clothes, and your kitchen.

• To build the burger with all the fixings:

4 grilled cheese sandwiches

2 cheesed 50/50 patties

4 pasture-raised eggs

1 Lillian’s Yellow tomato

4 leafs of green leaf lettuce

4 tbs. of butter

1/4 cup of water

fresh

fresh

Slice the tomato and wash the lettuce leafs.  Baste the eggs by melting 2 tbs. of butter in a large saute pan.  Heat the pan over medium heat, then crack 2 eggs into the pan (you don’t want to crowd the pan).  After 20 seconds, add 1/8 cup of water and cover.  Cook covered for about 3 minutes.  Layer the burgers as such:

1 grilled cheese sandwich, 2 lettuce leafs, thick tomato slices, patty (cheese-side up), basted eggs, 1 grilled cheese sandwich

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Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers, Oakland CA

Thirty-five years ago Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers opened its first location in Oakland, and has now grown into a family of Californian restaurants featuring preservative-free ingredients and toppings prepared in house.  If you’re in the mood for something simple and of high quality production, Barney’s offers a wide variety of burgers, including vegetarian options.

onion rings & vegetables basket, half order

onion rings & vegetables basket, half order

All fresh vegetables are cut and prepared in house.  The portobello mushroom slice, zucchini spears, and giant onion rings were hand battered, served with ranch dressing and a large handful of Parmesan sprinkled on top.  Zach loves zucchini and he thinks that, considering how thickly cut these spears were, they were cooked evenly throughout yet not overcooked.  August really liked the thick portobello, and we agreed that the batter was very nicely crispy and not at all oily.

sunshine burger with breast of chicken

sunshine burger with breast of chicken

We’re only quoting the menu in the caption; otherwise, we’d say “chicken breast.”  Moving on now.  August’s sandwich with avocado, sprouts, cheddar, and tomato on grilled whole wheat was wholesome and light with good char on the meat. The pickle slice and thousand island provided a little zing to an otherwise uncomplicated sandwich.

voodoo burger with a 1 lb big barney's patty on a baguette

voodoo burger with a 1 lb big barney’s patty on a baguette

Because Zach can’t eat seeds and the standard bun here as them, he requested his Voodoo Burger to come as a Big Barney’s Burger, meaning 1 lb. and on a baguette.  He didn’t get it this way for the size, just for the bread.  The beef used in the Northern Californian Barney’s locations is from Niman Ranch, and it came cooked medium as he had asked.  With provolone and blue cheese, bacon, and mushrooms sauteed in their “special voodoo sauce,” this is one smoky, fiery burger.  It had a little spicy afterkick but it wasn’t too much, so those afraid of heat shouldn’t worry.  The amount of cheese and bacon would satisfy any cheese or bacon lover.

From Berkeley to Los Angeles, Barney’s is making a name for itself as a champion of freshness.  You’re bound to find something here that you’ll enjoy (and the portions are big enough that your dog back at home will enjoy it, too).