Food & Drink

Coast Cooking: I’m crazy about cheeseburgers

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

Use the best ingredients to make the best cheeseburger.
Use the best ingredients to make the best cheeseburger.

Sorry, but I just can't help it. I’m crazy about a good cheeseburger and feel the need to write about all the varieties of this wonderful all-American food idea.

There are dozens of good burger places around the Coast, some serve a simple burger, but some go over the top with all sorts of garnishes and condiments.

First let's consider the composition of a simple burger. Use a combination of 80/20 beef and ground pork. Also use the best quality beef you can get. You will always be better off if you select a good cut of beef, like chuck or round, and ask the butcher to grind it for you, or do it yourself. That way you know exactly what you are getting.

The type of burger we are going to consider about today is the simple cheeseburger. The type of cheese will make all the difference in the world. If you haven't noticed, most processed cheeses have almost no flavor. If you doubt that, compare a processed American cheese with Parmigiano-Reggiano, the king of all cheeses, and you will see what I mean.

Yes, imported, artisan cheeses are expensive, but a big, flavorful cheese goes a long way, and one slice will do just fine. No need to pile it on, unless you just want to.

Here are a few suggestions for a great cheeseburger. If you want to use blue cheese, then the Italian big boy, Gorgonzola, would be a great pick. The king of all melting cheeses is Gruyere, made both in France and Switzerland, is always great.

The Spanish Manchego also would be good if you want to garnish it with tomato and a nice splash of olive oil. Now that’s different. Finally, a good Swiss cheese, like Emmental would be nothing short of lovely.  

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