Monday, January 11, 2016

Cheddar Stuffed Hamburger with Portobello Mushrooms

     Cheese Stuffed Burgers!
     Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers have become very popular in recent years.  There are a few tricks to the trade that a cook must know before making one of these specialty burgers.
     First of all, the cheese has to have a high enough fat content to guarantee that the cheese easily melts at a moderate temperature.  Cheddar, Swiss, Muenster or Bleu Cheese are good choices.  The flavor of the cheese should also taste stronger than the burger itself or the cheese flavor will be overwhelmed.  Mild tasting double cream cheeses like Camembert or Brie may not be a good choice.  An exception to the mild tasting cheese rule is Mozzarella, if the burger is topped with Italian tomato sauce.
     The burger must be cooked to nearly a medium finish temperature or there will not be enough heat in the center to melt the cheese.  Cheese Stuffed Burgers that are cooked rare will not be all that great.
     The ground beef has to be fairly lean, but not too lean.  Extra fatty ground beef will shrink so much that the cheese will be squeezed out after cooking.  Extra lean ground beef, like 95% lean ground beef, may form cracks when it is cooked and the cheese will leak out.  Ground beef that is in the high 80 percent range to the low 90 percent range is a good choice.  
     Two beef patties are used to make a Cheese Stuffed Burger.  The patties have to be thick enough to prevent leaks.  The edge of the patties have to be tightly pinched together too.  As can be seen in the photos above, the cheese leaked out where the edge of the burger patties were not pinched together  tight enough.  If a cheese leak occurs while cooking the stuffed burger then there will be a mess.  If the cheese oozes out when the burger is served, the oozing melted cheese actually adds some eye appeal, so not all is lost!  

     Cheddar Stuffed Hamburger Preparation:  with Portobello Mushrooms:
     This recipe yields 1 large 8 ounce cheese stuffed burger patty.
     Step 1:  Divide 8 ounces of 90% lean ground beef into two 4 ounce portions.
     Press the two hamburger portions into equal size hamburger patty shapes that are about 3/8" thick.
     Step 2:  Place a few thin sliced pieces of cheddar cheese on the center of one burger patty.  (About 1 ounces to 1 1/2 ounces is plenty.)
     *Be sure to leave about a 1/2 inch bare border on the burger with no cheese on it, so the burger patties can be pressed together!
     Step 3:  Set the plain burger patty on top of the burger patty with the cheddar cheese on it.
     Press the edges of the two burger patties together to seal the cheese stuffing inside.
     Chilled the stuffed burger patty till it is needed.

     Sautéed Portobello Mushrooms:
     This recipe yields enough mushrooms to top 1 burger.
     Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 2 to 3 small portobello mushrooms that are thin sliced.
     Season with 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Sauté till the mushrooms are cooked tender.
     Set the sautéed mushrooms aside and keep them warm on a stove top.

     Cheddar Stuffed Hamburger with Portobello Mushrooms:
     This recipe yields 1 large 8 ounce stuffed burger.
     Cheese stuffed burgers must be cooked to at least a medium finish temperature (about 140ºF) or the cheese will not melt inside the burger!  Cooking the burger rare to medium rare will not generate enough heat to melt the cheese stuffing.  For children and senior citizens, always cook burgers to 160ºF to reduce E Coli pathogen threats.
     Step 1:  Heat a cast iron griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Lightly brush a hamburger bun with melted unsalted butter.
     Grill the bun till it is toasted golden brown.
     Set the toasted bun on a plate.
     Place some lettuce leaves, tomato slices and sliced Bermuda Onion on the plate.
     Garnish the plate with a parsley sprig.
     Set the "burger set up plate" aside.
     Step 2:  Season the cheddar stuffed burger with sea salt and black pepper.
     Heat a cast iron griddle or a chargrill over medium/medium high heat.
     Grill the cheese stuffed burger on both sides till it is cooked to at least a medium finish temperature.  
     Step 3:  Place the cheddar stuffed burger on the bun on the set up plate.
     Place the sautéed portobello mushrooms on top of the cheddar stuffed burger.

     Warm oozing gooey cheddar cheese leaks out of the stuffed burger with every bite!  The cheese stuffing helps to keep the burger meat moist.  Portobello mushrooms are a nice topping for a cheddar stuffed burger.  If you like cheese burgers, then this Cheddar Stuffed Burger is a must to try!

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