sunday funday: cheesy bacon burgers

I love bacon. I think that bacon can make anything better. I've tried the usual, with alongside my eggs with breakfast and in sandwiches. I've tried it in not so usual ways, like in chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. Because I want you to have a great sunday, I'm recommending you have bacon burgers. I also suggest you try and do them yourself. It's incredibly easy, you must trust me. You can make them in your kitchen, you don't need a grill or any fancy equipment. Just make sure to follow the tips I give you bellow. I'm no burger expert, but I am a burger fan and I've read a lot of blogs on the subject and have eaten a lot of burgers, so I do think I'm good at telling what makes a great burger. I also had coaching from the boyfriend, and he cooks and grills all the time, so he kind of is a burger expert. 

If you live in El Salvador, you've probably tried or at least heard of Rustico burgers (Shake Shack if you live further up north). I dare say, that these are that good. And a whole lot cheaper, we made three for about $10. Don't settle for McDonald's, carpe diem, have a burger and enjoy :)

Ingredients, makes 3 burgers:

3/4 pounds ground beef
1 chorizo, whichever kind you like
Bacon, as much or as little as you want
3 buns
3 thin cheddar-mozzarella slices
6 thin provolone cheese slices
Fixings: curry ketchup, dijon mustard, lettuce, chips

1. TIP: Buying your meat is the most important part. Supermarkets normally have three kinds of ground beef: regular, premium and the super duper premium kind. More expensive, doesn't mean better. The more expensive the ground beef, the less fat it has, so go for the premium kind. Your meat should contain a little bit of fat to make your burgers tastier and juicier. 

Mix your meat with your chorizo (take it out of the casing) and a teaspoon of pepper. A good burger doesn't need anything more than pepper and salt (more on salt later). Trust me. Don't add any mustard or sauces, I've seen people do this, but good meat doesn't need this.

2. Take a third of the meat and form a patty with your hands. Add a cut up slice of cheddar-mozzarella cheese

3. Close up the patty so that the cheese gets trapped in the middle. Think pupusas for the technique, but don't make the patties too flat. The patty should fit in the palm of your hand and be about an inch thick. 

4. TIP: NOW is the time to salt your patties. Salt them on both sides right before they hit the pan. DO NOT salt your meat when you're making the patties. Having salt in the middle of the patties makes them loose their juices while they're cooking, resulting in dry burgers. It's worse if you form the patties and you don't cook them right away. If you salted them before hand, they will lose all their juices while resting. Nobody likes dry burgers. 

Heat up your pan, spray it lightly with non stick cooking spray. Place your patties in the pan.

5. For well done burgers, they should cook about five minutes on each side. Flip them often! I once saw on the Food Network that this is the way to go, so this is the way I make mine. 

6. Don't worry if a little bit of cheese oozes from the burgers. 

7. This is what the burgers should look like when they're done.

8. TIP about the bread: don't use burger buns. Hit your favorite bakery and ask which bread they recommend for burgers. I bought these buns at San Martin, they're round chiabatas. Great tip from the lady at the bakery!

9. Cheese them now! The heat from the burger will melt the cheese. This is why it's important to ask for extra thin slices. You should be able to almost see through them. 

10. Add the bacon now! The more the better. We used candied bacon, check out the how-to below.

11. More bacon

12. And more bacon. Lettuce in the background, for a little added green and crispiness

13. A good burger always needs chips, enjoy! I made is yesterday, my mouth is watering right now from writing this, just so you know

THE EXTRAS: candied bacon and chips! 

Burgers need sidekicks, and I mean good sidekicks, not the Batman-and-Robin kind, think Batman-and-Alfred. Bacon and chips are the Alfreds to our Batman.

There is no burger without bacon, end of story. If you'd like to make your bacon even better (it IS possible), try it candied. I always make my bacon in the toaster oven, it's less messy and you don't get bacon fat on yourself. Set your oven to medium low heat so that you don't burn the bacon. Mine took about 20 minutes to be ready, but it varies from oven to oven and heat setting so watch yours closely. 

To make candied bacon: Add brown sugar to the bacon halfway through it's baking (about 10 minutes in), it should still have some pink parts on it. Go for about half a teaspoon of sugar per slice. Pop them back into the oven for another extra 10 minutes. 

Chips are also very important for burgers. We were too lazy (and hungry) to make french fries, so we stuck with potato chips. The real kicker came from these Jalapeno Popper Cheese Curls. If you like spicy food, you MUST try these! They're incredibly good. Bought them at Super Selectos.

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