Friday, December 30, 2011

The Juicy Lucy

I love Food Network.  I don't think we go through one single day without watching something on it.  My daughter recognizes chefs by name and just the other night proclaimed who was going to be chopped because his dish wasn't "balanced."  I swear she said that; Neil and I almost fell out!

I think it was Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives where I saw a piece about 2 restaurants in Minneapolis that battle over who serves the Original Juicy Lucy burger.  The Juicy Lucy is a burger with tons of ooey, gooey, American cheese oozing out from the inside of the patty.  Interestingly, Neil lived in the twin cities area for many years and he's never heard of this phenomenon.  Nonetheless, we have been destined to try one.

The J.L. isn't difficult to make, but there are a couple of details that I think are important.  They are as follows:
  • REAL CHEESE.  I shouldn't have to put this in all caps, but the American public has been duped by marketing execs for decades.  Kraft Singles are NOT real cheese.  Real the package.  Don't buy anything that is called cheese food, cheese product, cheese thingie.  It should simply say American Cheese.
  • Kosher salt and a good, healthy dose of it.  You have to season meat.  Period.  Don't believe me?  Watch Food Network.  You'll see more people get their asses handed to them because they failed to just add some salt to the meat.  
  • Technique.  Practice makes perfect.  The key here is to seal the patties together really well so you don't have any cheese rupture toward the end of cooking.  You want all that gooeyness to stay inside where it belongs.
  • The right meat.  You can't get a good, juicy hamburger that holds together well from 90/10 meat.  It's gotta have some fat in it to bind it and to flavor it.  If you want to make burgers for dinner, buy the meat that day and cook them fresh.  You'll notice the difference for sure.

Measuring out what we need
Divide into two thin patties, stuff and put back together
Cook 'em up old school in cast iron
Viola!  Final product
So, our Juicy Lucy's were a great success!  The little one gave it her signature "10-thumbs up."  Neil hardly said a word as he was busy devouring his and I've changed out of my jeans and into yoga pants! You know what I'm sayin'. 

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  1. Why didn't you grill those? Old school in a skillet? What?!

  2. Grilling them doesn't give you that "caramelized" crust. Since I don't have a professional flat top, cast iron it is!



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