Friday, August 05, 2005

Cajun Burger ©

Burgers are in any time of year. When we lived in Colorado, it was a Friday luncheon ritual to head to a restaurant in Greeley for a Cajun burger, fries, and a pitcher of beer then take the rest of the day off from work. (The boss eventually discovered what we were doing;) we invited him to one of the luncheons and he joined us in the Friday soiree. Needless to say, he thought it was a good idea (we bought his lunch) to take the half day off. Ahhhh!! All's well that ends well! :-)

These are easy to make, and provide for a tasty start of a weekend.


1 Lb lean ground chuck
4 TBS Cajun Seasoning
2 TBS re-hydrated dried onion flakes

4 Onion Hamburger buns split and toasted
4 halved crispy bacon slices
Colby or Monterray Jack cheese slices
Sliced tomato

Thoroughly mix the first three ingredients and divide into quarters. Form patties, wrap in waxed paper and place in freezer for several hours for the spice flavor to infuse into the burger.
Charbroil your usual way. When 99% cooked, place the cheese slices on the burgers and close the lid of the BBQer so the cheese will melt.

Place burger on toasted bun, tomato slice, lettuce and whatever condiments that please your palate. Sprinkle on additional seasoning. (Vidalia onion slices are good too.)

Cajun Seasoning:

Now, open your spice cupboard, get ready to pull out the spices you'll need, and start measuring:

2 1/2 paprika
2 salt
2 garlic powder or granules
1 black pepper
1 onion powder
1 cayenne pepper
1 white pepper
1 1/4 dried leaf oregano
1 1/4 dried leaf thyme
1/2 crushed red pepper

The quantities above can be tsp, TBS, cups, etc; it's the same ratio for any measurement. I normally take all the spices and place them in a Krupps coffee grinder/mill and run it for 20-30 seconds several times so I end up with a spice powder, then store it in a tightly sealed jar and keep it in a dark place so the mixture maintains its flavor. The powder lasts twice as long as the spice flakes or leaves, and has twice the flavor; hence, you use less. I also place two bay leaves into the jar to help keep the powder moisture free.

Serve with a red or new potato salad (skins on) or new potatoes that have been quartered, skewered, oiled, spiced with the above seasoning and placed on the grill before doing the burgers so they will be ready when the burgers are done.

If you're REAL ambitious and into making your own onion buns, here's a recipe. (There's another variation of buns following this post.)

Onion Hamburger Buns

In the following order, add these to bread machine or stand mixer with dough hooks:

3 Tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. lukewarm water
1 tsp onion powder
1 TBS dehydrated onion flakes
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS instant yeast

Put ingredients into bread pan. Set machine on dough cycle and start. Let it run for 6-10 minutes. Remove dough, weigh it and divide into 8 even pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth round ball and flatten the balls with the palm of your hand or a rolling pin until they are 4-inches in diameter. Keep tops smooth.Place the rolls on a lightly greased sheet or on parchment paper. Cover lightly with oiled waxed paper so they don't stick to the paper, and set aside to raise till they are very puffy - about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. Spread some melted butter on top for a more golden and softer crust.