Lately I've been on something of an all-American kick, largely inspired by ballpark fare. Hot dogs for lunch (with cole slaw, a Southern thing you must immediately adopt) and pizza and burgers for dinner. Healthy? Not in the least. But it's making me a happy girl.
After making Iraqi dolma the other night, in this case Swiss chard leaves stuffed with a mixture of ground lamb, rice, and spices, I had a hunk of leftover lamb. What to do? Stuff it with cheese, of course, and serve it up with a side of fries. I remembered seeing a cheese-stuffed burger recipe in a magazine but, in my relentless and quite possibly unbeatable war against entropy, I seem to have thrown it out. Drat! Improvise? Not my strongest suit.
But, dear readers, I persevered, full of self-doubt and self-pity, mixing ground lamb with casually measured amounts of egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and the like. Even in the face of possible calamity, I pushed onward, slapping the cold meat patties down on my cutting board and spreading them with crumbled bleu cheese (note pretentious French spelling -- it was an import so I felt I owed the French this small gesture of worship) and mashing another layer of meat on top. Waste not, want not being my philosophy, I carefully selected oversized ciabatta rolls rather than buy an entire bag of fluffy, soft hamburger buns (though economically speaking, I wasted the same amount of money on 2 rolls that I would have on 8). I asked Mr. Food Musings to fetch a locally grown tomato from the market on his way home and sliced it thick. What I did not do, my dears, is julienne the frites by hand, but come on. What do you take me for, a masochist?
When the burgers and fries were done, Mr. FM and I sat down to catch up on season two of The Wire, glasses of wine in our hands. The cheese oozed out, the fries were crisp and light, and though I think I prefer my burgers to be all beef, I was a happy girl indeed.
Blue Cheese-stuffed Burgers (adapted from a Cooks.com recipe)
1 1/3 lb. ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. spicy mustard, plus more for spreading
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. fresh black pepper
3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
4 ciabatta rolls (or hamburger buns), toasted
1 tomato, sliced
4 pieces of butter lettuce
1. Preheat broiler (or grill). In a large bowl, combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, pepper and garlic. Mix well. Shape the meat mixture into 8 thin patties.
2. Place 1/4 of the blue cheese atop each of 4 patties. Spread to within 1/2" of edges. Top with remaining patties. Press meat around edges to seal well and smush them down a bit if they're too thick.
3. Place burgers on a broiler pan. Broil 3" from heat about 4 minutes per side, turning once. Serve burgers on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato and more mustard.