Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Let's Talk About Burgers

Greetings, Readers!

This week I figured I would do something a little different here on the blog. Something I've never done before really.

So, let's talk about burgers, shall we?

I have reviewed a lot of burgers here at The Danger Sandwich, and with it being the summer I've talked about them a lot too.

But I've never written about how I actually prefer to make my own on the grill.

I like to start by getting about a pound to a pound and a half of either ground sirloin or ground chuck. These two meats have some definite differences though.

I've been on more of a health kick lately, so I've been reaching for ground sirloin more as the fat content is a lot less. The problem with this can be a less flavorful, less juicy burger compared to the chuck, but does this in no way imply that you will have a tasteless slab of meat. Sirloin is delicious, and so is chuck. It becomes a personal preference, so test both out and decide which you like more.

I'll toss the ground beef into a mixing bowl and grab some seasoning: Kosher Sea Salt (the grains are much bigger than table salt), black pepper, garlic and a dry rub mix like Grill Mates Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning (totally not being paid to say that).

When the spices are fully mixed into the meat, I'll grab a canister of grated Parmesan cheese and about about a quarter to a half cup of that to meat and ground it in.

Now another option I've done with cheese in the past is making a central pocket of melted cheese. While building your patties, you can make a depression in the center, fill it with your favorite type of cheese (feta for me though it doesn't really melt) and then cover it up with more meat, making for a delicious center. The other option with I also enjoy is using your favorite cheese and mixing it in along with the Parmesan so you have cheese mixed in throughout the burger. Either way has turned out to be excellent, again it's up to you.

Lastly, something I've only done very recently employs my favorite meat of all time: Bacon.

This is something to do for those of you who are looking for a true meat bonanza. Take strips of thick cut bacon and wrap your burger patties in it.

Yes. Do it.

Just make sure that you spray down your grill or pan with a bit more non-stick spray so that the bacon doesn't stick and peel off of your burger. The bacon will help keep some of the fat of the burger from escaping, while also blending its own juices into the burger. It's really an amazing, and decadent addition.

Cook until medium-rare to medium. I prefer a little bit of pink on the inside, but you want to make sure that bacon is a little crisp so it adds some texture to the patty, especially if you've made patties nearly 1/2 pound in size.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is how I make my favorite home made burger patties.  

If you try this out, let me know what you think.

But also, how do you make your favorite custom made burger patties.

And you vegetarians/vegans, do you make your own burgers too? If so, how?

Until next week, Readers...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

San Diego Sandwich-Con 2012

Greetings and welcome back for another week of delicious sandwich profiling, Dear Readers.

This past week, I made a trip down to San Diego for something that I have been putting off far too long: Comic Con.

My group of comic book aficionados only had tickets for Saturday and Sunday, so having arrived on Friday evening, what could we end up doing?

For those that have not been to SD before, the Gaslamp Quarter, right next to the Convention Center where Comic Con was, is a great section of town for drinks and food, and that is where we found The Field.

This place was packed on a Friday night during one of the busiest nights of the year for the city, but it didn't take long for our drinks and food to come to us. The only thing that happened faster was my selection of a sandwich from the menu: a corned beef sandwich on rye.

Set between two slices of lightly buttered, and lighted toasted rye, this corned beef sandwich was one of the best ones I've had in a long time. It absolutely lived up to the standard that a true Irish pub should have for this kind of meal.

The corned beef was very thinly sliced, very warm, and piled very high between the slices of crisp bread. Lightly grilled onions blended in between the layers of meat along with melted Swiss cheese that permeated the sandwich a smear of dijon mustard.

Wow. Absolutely delicious. The flavors blended together to give a smoky and spiced sandwich that mellowed with every bite. The meat was tender and juicy, and overall well cooked.

An excellent way to start a fun weekend at Comic Con. For those of you who have yet to attend the event, it is an absolutely incredible time. Comics, artists, video games, movies, cosplayers, and fans all crammed into an area the size of two square miles can be a bit overwhelming, but if you have an interest in any of the things I mentioned above, it's a must see event for you.

I for one know I will be back next year...and I will have this sandwich again to kick off my weekend.

Until next week, Readers...

Corned Beef Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
The Field Irish Pub & Restaurant
544 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hot Dog Days of Summer

Greetings, Readers!

My, how fast a week does go by, and also this summer for that matter. Here we are, post-4th of July and we still have so many more sandwiches to go through before the end of summer.

A few weeks ago, I was able to visit the Let's Be Frank Hot Dog and Sausage truck here in Los Angeles. It's one I had frankly (get it?) not heard of before, but was very interested in trying since my mind is in summer sandwich mode.

One of the first things seen on the menu of Let's Be Frank is their statement of commitment to using meat from sustainable farms and that the meat they use contains no nitrates, nitrites, or hormones. So if you've ever been wary about what's going into the sausages and hot dogs you pick up at a ballpark or for your summer barbecue, consider these ones to be significantly safer for you.

All of the options at Let's Be Frank are delicious, but I decided to go with the "Hot" Dog this time. This option is made with spicy heritage pork italian-style sausage. I also decided to add on the spicy devil's sauce and grilled onions on a toasted bun. 

The hot dog itself has a little bit of pop to it, more like an actual sausage. The spices inside of it kicked up the heat a little bit, but the main source of heat came from the appropriately titled devil's sauce. It's something I didn't notice on my first bite, but by the time I had finished my sandwich, there was at least a two alarm fire going on in my mouth. 

Despite the heat, the spicy-ness had good flavor which is one of my requirements in adding heat to any dish: it has to have flavor. Heat for heat's sake is a waste, and an exercise in masochism. 

Let's enjoy our food, not treat it like a death sentence. 

The pork hot dog tasted excellent, and actually was one of the best pork sausages/hotdogs i have had in a very long time, and it's nothing like the store bought "pork" types. 

The onions were still crisp after being grilled and and the grilled bun added a bit of smoky flavor to the entire sandwich. Overall, this may be one of the best hot dogs I've had in a long time.

Sorry, Dodger Stadium. 

Well that's it for this week, readers. How was your 4th of July? Did you grill all day, or just enjoy the fruits of your friend's/family's labors?

Until next week...

Let's Be Frank
Trucks servicing both Los Angeles and San Francisco
Follow at: @letsbefrank

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy 4th of July Readers!

Hopefully you will be enjoying numerous barbecued items today in celebration of this fine country's independence!

Continuing in the theme of burgers for this sumptuous summer season, I hit up The Corner Door with Charlene and her family in Culver City (a neighborhood I have no written about at all yet).

This dark little pub on a corner of Washington Blvd. is a great spot for good eats and great craft beers. The taps include a lot of excellent beers including one of my favorites, Green Flash IPA.

The menu may seem kind of small, but its selection of entrees and starters are all to die for. You'd think with only a few options in each course it would be easy to make a decision on what to get, but you would definitely be surprised how many times you will second guess your decision.

Going with the summer theme here at The Danger Sandwich of burgers, I decided on the TCD Burger:  a burger stacked high with a grilled patty, aged cheddar cheese, pickle aioli, roasted tomatoes and arugula on top of a grilled bun.

The patty was slightly charred on the outside, but this flavor, combined with light pink and savory inside of the meat was a powerful flavor combination. The aged cheddar and roasted tomatoes brought out more smoky flavor in the sandwich when combined with the charred outside of the burger patty.

The pickle aioli added some tangy contrast to the smoky flavors and the fresh arugula added some crispy crunch. Overall, the flavors here worked very well together in creating a delicious craft-styled burger.

It was delicious, and definitely worthy of adding to the summer burger canon.

So, Dear Readers, what will you eat on this wonderful Independence Day? What are your favorite BBQ eats?

Until next week...

TCD Burger
**** Stars
The Corner Door
12477 W. Washington Blvd,
Culver City, CA 90066