Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Burger Bar

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 pounds brisket, ground
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 thin slices Swiss cheese
* 4 hamburger buns, split


Preheat a large cast-iron skillet to medium hot. Take a few paper
towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a
small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe
the hot skillet to make a nonstick surface.

Season the ground meat in a bowl with salt and pepper. Give it about 3
turns in the bowl with your hands or a big spoon and it's done. Shape
into 4 patties. When the skillet is hot, put the burgers on the
skillet and cook 4 minutes on the first side and 5 for the second side
for rare; 7 minutes per side for medium, adding the cheese during the
final minute or 2 to melt. Remove the burgers to a plate. Rub the
skillet with the folded paper towel again to clean it. Then toast the
buns cut side down for about 1 minute, just to mark them. Serve the
hamburgers in the buns with the accompaniments below.

Sauteed Mushrooms:

Saute 1 pound thickly sliced mushrooms in 1/4 cup olive oil with 2
sliced garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves over
super-high heat until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in a
couple of drops fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

Caramelized Onions:

Heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a
large pan over medium heat. Add 2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick
slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook slowly until well
caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.

Tomatoes with Sea Salt and Chives:

Thickly slice 2 pounds red and yellow beefsteak tomatoes, drizzle with
olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and 1/2 bunch chopped fresh

Bacon with Rosemary:

Lay out 1/2 pound sliced bacon on a baking sheet, strip leaves from 1
sprig rosemary and throw them on top with lots of cracked black pepper
and roast at 400 degrees F until the bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes.

Herbed Horseradish Mayonnaise:

Stir together 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, 1/4
cup freshly minced herbs such as parsley, basil, chives or scallion, 2
tablespoons olive oil, a little squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and


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