Friday, September 30, 2016

Cali Protein Style Cheeseburger ... with Neon Relish!

     Protein Style!
     During the last 50 years, the lo-carb diet trend seems to have risen to the top of the charts at least once every decade.  Low carbohydrate intake often is publicized as the diet of the Hollywood stars and the secret to staying slim.  With this in mind, many people attempt to cut carbohydrates completely out of their diet.  
     A zero carb diet does pose serious health risks.  The zero carb dietary tactic is not effective for losing excess weight, because it takes energy to burn off fat.  Protein alone does not provide enough fuel.  Small portions of long acting high fiber carbohydrates in a daily diet plan will provide energy for performing physical exercise, which reduces body fat.  
     Most hamburger buns at restaurants are made with processed wheat flour, which contributes to empty calorie intake.  Modern gourmet burger stands usually offer burger buns made with whole grain flour, which is a better choice.  Either way, ordering a burger on a bun will contribute to the total daily carbohydrate intake.  If the carbohydrate intake limit for the day has been already been met, then eating a burger on a bun will provide excess energy, which will be turned into body fat.  This is when the California Protein Style option is a good choice!
     Lettuce wrapped burgers have been a popular item with dieters cooking at home for a long time, but only a few restaurants have offered this item.  This is because restaurants cater to people that want to indulge and offering dietary items is bad for business.  On the other hand, burger stand restaurants depend on high volume sales and they are happy to sell burgers anyway that a customer prefers.  
     One old fashioned burger stand chain in particular is famous for its Protein Style Burgers.  The In-N-Out burger stand chain has an interesting secret menu, which includes the lo-carb lettuce wrapped Protein Style Burgers.  The problem is that there are no In-N-Out burger stands east of the Mississippi.  
     Relatively few burger stand operators east of the Mississippi have heard of lettuce wrapped burgers.  Asking for a California Protein Style Burger at an east coast burger stand will lead to nothing more than blank stares, so what is a dieter to do?  The answer is to cook a Cali Protein Style Burger at home! 

     Cali Protein Style Cheeseburger ... with Neon Relish:
     This recipe yields 1 Protein Style Cheeseburger. 
     Protein burgers are usually cooked on a flat-top grill at restaurants, just like the original 1890's burger.  It is important to select leaf lettuce that is large enough to wrap around a burger patty.  
     Neon Relish has a unique flavor and its bright color looks good on a burger.  Chicago style Neon Relish is not always easy to find.  Vienna Brand Hot Dog Stands carry this product and Neon Relish can be found at internet shopping sites.   
     Step 1:  Heat a cast iron griddle to a medium temperature.
     Season the griddle by wiping it with a thin film of vegetable oil.
     Step 2:  Roll a 6 ounce portion of lean ground beef into a ball shape.
     Place the round burger portion on the griddle.
     Use a wide spatula to press the burger into a patty shape.
     Season the burger with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Grill the burger till it is browned on one side and halfway cooked.
     Flip the burger.
     Step 4:  Place 2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese on top.
     Grill the burger till it is fully cooked and the cheese melts.
     Step 5:  Overlap 2 large leafs of Leaf Lettuce on a plate.
     Place the cheeseburger on the center of the lettuce.
     Tuck a third large leaf of Leaf Lettuce under the back half of the burger and bend it so it drapes upright.
     Step 6:  Garnish the plate with:
     - sliced onion 
     - sliced tomato
     - a pickle of your choice 
     Step 7:  Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of Chicago style Neon Relish on the cheeseburger.    
     Voila!  Cali Protein Style!

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