Juicy Lucy Perfection

I am a burger person. No question about it. Gotta have one at least once a week. I would maybe think about going vegetarian if it weren’t for red meat. There is just something about seasoned ground meat between two slices of bread topped with anything you could desire.
There is one burger that wins out in my mind above the rest. The Juicy Lucy, as the Minnesotans like to call them. Also known as the inside out burger, with the cheese on the inside.

 

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For years now, I have been trying to perfect these puppies. But every time, the cheese always melts out. Or something goes wrong.
Then comes a family dinner that changed it all. It was my step-sister’s birthday. I decided I would make these for her.
After watching so many food television shows on the legend, I noticed a technique that I finally decided to try. You make them look like a UFO. Honestly. Two slabs of thinner than usual beef with cheese between. Instead of just pinching the side, you pinch and roll it up like you would a calzone.

 

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And it worked!!! Finally. And I honestly couldn’t stop smiling at the table because this has been a long time coming. Ask my family. Ask my friends even. I have used this in a cooking competition two years in a row and won out each time.
This particular one was stuffed with delicious pimento cheese from the local grocer. When that stuff melted on the inside of the burger, it was perfection. The burgers were juicy and seasoned to perfection if I do say so myself.

 

So here’s the secret for y’all.

 

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup of worcestershire
1 cup of choose cheese – I used pimento in mine
Seasoned to taste (I like to put Old Bay, garlic salt, and pepper)

 

Combine ground beef, worcestershire and all your spices in a bowl. Get in there and mixed with your (clean) hands. After the mixture is thoroughly combined, divide the meat into 8 equal parts. Once divided, form into separate balls and then squish down each one to about 4 inches. Honestly as thin as you can get it but not too thin. It also helps to place the meat between wax paper and use a rolling pin to flatten the patties. However much cheese you want to add is up to you. The more, the better. Take your cheese and put it in the middle of four of the patties. From there, place each of the other patties onto once with cheese. Next, Like I remarked earlier, don’t just pinch the sides. Make sure to curl over the pinch to make it look more like an UFO than an actual burger. Grill to satisfaction. And there you have Juicy Lucy perfection.

A Few Recipes From My Summer

Round One:

Last exam is over. And what do you do? Go grab a drink. Celebrate. Whatever you want because it’s finally summer! This girl decides to celebrate by making sweet potato biscuits. Yup, I’m that lame.

I pulled this recipe from Pinterest. Where else? The recipe calls for half all purpose flour and half whole wheat to make them a bit healthier. I instead added a little more white flour than whole wheat. I used regular milk and not almond milk. And finally, I swapped the maple syrup for honey. I opted not to make the maple butter but have at it.

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But these things are amazing! From my professor’s daughter, who’s three, she says and I quote “Mmm, delicious!” She is definitely a solid judge.

 If there is no maple butter made, top these puppies off with a little bit of butter and honey.

 I am still going to be working on perfecting this recipe so stay tuned!

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Round Two:

This next recipe puts a pleasant twist on one of my favorites, in a way I would have never thought of. Edamame flatbreads.

If you follow the recipe exactly, you will end up with diary, egg and gluten free and vegan beauties. Once again, I took the more unhealthy side of things, used regular flour and added no xanthan gum (which tends to be very expensive and for such a little portion, why bother?). Add a bit of whatever spices you want, especially salt and pepper to give a little more bite to the neutral edamame.

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So how’d they turn out? Magnificent. Grilling them, rather than baking them, adds a little more flavor. And edamame makes for a flatbread with a more robust flavor than your simple flour based flatbread. Not to mention, being so high in fiber, they make for a healthy and filling sandwich, no matter how simple. We took these to the beach, even the seagulls enjoyed them and took a few themselves.

Edamame Flatbreads

Round Three:

Chocolate chip cookies. Simple. Basic. Known favorite. This recipe puts this persona to shame, aside from the favorite part. These cookies come out fluffier and chewier than any other recipe I have tried. Delicious! Follow this recipe to the tee. The cornstarch is the key, and boy does it make all the difference!

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 

A Little Bite of Chicago

Chicago. Known for its wind, architecture, but mostly for its food. I was quite the happy camper with all the food options. Too much to choose. But here’s a summary!

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I began my food journey through this city at The Purple Pig, located on the Magnificent Mile. Cheese, Swine and Wine is their slogan. So we all can guess how I felt about the place even before I walked in the door.

The atmosphere and the menu were both captivating, so I can understand how it has been voted one of the best places in town. An American and European mix of décor, with trinkets on one wall and a chalkboard with a list of cheese plates on the other.

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The menu was a majestic mix all sorts of gourmet foods I would never think to put together. But done the way they were, I can see how it would work. The menu boasts of so many local cheeses I didn’t even know where to begin.

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I choose the one thing I could afford at the time, the Meatball sandwich. This meatball was the size of my fist, exploding with flavor, served on a bed of a arugula and a bun. The bitterness of the arugula only helped to enhance the flavors of the meatball.
The Purple Pig also boasts an extraordinary repertiore of wine and beer. They even had one of my favorite Belgian fruit beers on tap.

Exchequer is known throughout Chicago for being Al Capone’s choice restaurant. He definitely did not have it wrong.
Unlike in Philly, I got the city staple: deep dish pizza. Exchequer’s deep dish pizza is everything a deep dish pizza should be.

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An equal balance of crust, sauce, cheese and toppings. The sauce was fresh and with the amount of cheese and toppings falling off, you had no choice but to eat it with a fork and knife. Cheesy, gooey deliciousness. Not the mention, their garlic bread was nothing short of perfect. I pride myself on knowing the what’s what with garlic bread, and this was it.

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This post is long overdue but it has been a hectic month.

More from Chicago coming later!