Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patty's Melt

A touch of green for ole St. Patty

In honor of St. Patty's Day, we present to you the St. Patty's Melt.  We are Irish after all, and it's fun to indulge in random holidays, so we racked our brain until we came up with this gem.  It is your basic patty melt minus the rye bread (because it's gross).  We substituted this amazing texas toast instead.

1" thick per slice.  140 calories per slice.  Yep, glad I only ate a piece of lettuce so far today.

We also added some lettuce because we felt some green needed to be in a St. Patty's Day burger.  Not traditional, but essential because all things St. Patty's day related must be green.  I hope you are wearing green right now and enjoying a tasty green beer.  For this grand occasion, we are planning on watching the UK game and drinking some of the homemade green skittle-infused vodka that we made earlier this week.  All in the name of St. Patrick, of course! 

Now let's get down to business, here's the low down on the patty melt:

St. Patty's Melt

The Burger:
Ground beef 80:20
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

The Toppings:
Aged swiss cheese
Caramelized onions (see below)
Thousand island dressing
Bibb lettuce

The Bun:
Texas toast

Money shot.  You know you want it.

Now let's talk about the onions.  They do take a little bit of time to cook, but it's so worth it.  The pungent raw flavor of the onions is transformed into sweet golden love.  These onions could compliment any burger and will be gracing our table many more times in the future.  They are simple to make; slice half an onion, toss the separated rings into a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter, and then you wait.  Go watch your DVR.  Put together a puzzle.  Play drinking games with your crazy neighbor.  Whatever you want to do, just leave the onions to do their own magic.  And hey, maybe you can be entertained for 25 minutes while they cook.

Here are the onions at ~5 mins

About 25 minutes later, you have delicious, golden, sugary onions.

 The Verdict:

Tyler's Take:
4 out of 10

This burger was super delicious in theory but overall disappointed me so I don't feel right giving it a very good score this week.  I do love a good patty melt and maybe it's that we are trying to do things a little healthier but it just didn't remind me of a good small town mom and pop cafe patty melt that many of us love so much.  There were some good points but overall I think our troubles with it far outweighed the tasty pieces.

Here is my dish on this burger.  I'll start with the not so great pieces and leave the best for last.  Mom always told me to save the best for last and I figure I may as well heed her advice.  Lets start with the texas toast.  This is a delicious concept that unfortunately turned out to just be too much.  Taking off the edges would have made this problem a little better but I do love all of the texas toast so I couldn't just take part of it off.  As I am sure you know, getting away from the outside of the bread leaves a thinner buttery bread piece that fits this burger much better.  So, it didn't completely disappoint but like I said the amount of good did not quite outweigh the bad.

The patty also became a problem.  The meat was left out all day to thaw and didn't quite get there so we had to defrost a little bit in the microwave, so the patties were already falling apart on us.  All you grilling enthusiasts out there now realize that we could not grill it effectively and had to resort to pan frying it.  This is not an equal alternative and it showed.  The meat was not near as amazing as last week's burger.  But, many things would not be able to top the juiciness of the inaugural burger.

The rest of the burger was really pretty good.  The lettuce, onion, and swiss made a very good combination and would have complimented a grilled burger on top of more regular buttered toast.  We will have many more opportunities to try and perfect the melt but we may need to take this one all the way back to the drawing board.  Hope you all found time to enjoy the inaugural and all is not lost this week, patty melts are amazing and I feel an amazing new burger on the horizon for next week.  I would spoil our ideas, but where would be the fun in that?

Courtney's Take:
7 out of 10

In all honesty, I'm not sure this burger really deserves a 7 out of 10.  It could have been executed better.  The bread could have not been so...thick.  But, I really like the concept of this burger.  It had so many good elements.

I'll begin with the burger itself--not my favorite.  I accidentally defrosted the meat too long in the microwave and when I pulled it out, some of it was already cooked.  I had to form the patties as best I could, and I knew that they would fall to bits if we put them on the grill as originally planned.  So, we had to put them in a pan and cook them stovetop.  I have never been a fan of fried burgers.  They just taste like a big mound of meat and not like a juicy delicious burger.  If I wanted a meat loaf, I would have baked one.  Sheesh.  (Next time, don't forget to put the meat out to thaw the night before!)

On to the toppings, which were delicious.  The caramelized onions...well, you already know how I feel about those.  I believe the words "love" and "magic" have already been used, so I will spare you of that. The thousand island was a nice touch, too.  It was tangy and sweet and played well with the rest of the ingredients.  The lettuce, eh.  It's lettuce.  It was only on there to add some greenery.  I did like the swiss cheese.  Because it was aged, it had a nuttier flavor than it's non-aged cousin.  I am looking forward to using this cheese on my sandwiches for the next week :)

The bun....well, frankly it was too much.  The toast slices were massive.  Each slice was the size of a burger.  I ended up peeling the crusts off the bread so I could actually fit the burger into my mouth.  I toasted the bread in the pan with some butter and the drippings from the burgers.  Just one piece of the toast would have been enough.  We will stick to using texas toast for what it makes best--garlic bread.

There are many improvements that could be made to this burger.  However, the concept is there and I urge you to try making your own patty melt.  Use regular bread and definitely grill your burger.  You do that, and you will have a mouthwatering St. Patty's Melt of your very own.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Inaugural Burger

To kick off our burger journey, we decided to make a burger with ingredients we had in the fridge.  Gotta be creative, right?  Plus, we are mere twenty-somethings with little cash to spare on expensive ingredients, so this is what we have!

The Inaugural Burger

The burger:
Ground angus beef
Worcestershire sauce
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste

The toppings:
Asiago cheese slices
Grilled red onion slices
Sauteed mushrooms

The bun:
Artisan hamburger bun

Juicy deliciousness.

                                                                   Yeah.  We liked it.

                                         Here's Tyler eating the tasty Inaugural burger!

The Verdict:
Tyler's Take:
5.5 out of 10 

I think for my takes I will start out with a rating of the burgers that we eat.  This seems to make sense to me and as of right now I have no real idea of how we are going to rate this so here goes nothing.  Presentation was pretty good as you all can tell.  Looked like a very good burger, and for at least once I cooked it proper, with just a little pink showing through the middle.  This made for a pretty juicy burger that had a good texture and just fell apart in your mouth.  I could definitely taste the asiago cheese and unfortunately this round I feel like it took over the mushrooms and onions just a little too much.  It took away from the overall taste because I couldn't make out the mushrooms and onions all that well.  If you like mushrooms however, I feel it is always best to keep them pretty much solo on a patty as many things can over power a cooked mushroom.  I figured a 5.5 was sufficient for the fact that we have nothing to compare anything to as of yet.  It was a good burger overall but improvements can be made.  On to the next I say!!

I will try to make some grilling tips as I find them out myself along the way as well.  If you have not used much in the way of worcestershire sauce or any other liquid while forming patties and then grilling them, then you may not know to leave them on the grill for a few minutes before even attempting to flip. If you touch them too early they will most likely fall apart on you.  Make sure before you flip that the side on the grill is cooked enough to be firm.  You will need the firmness in order to pick it off the grill.

Courtney's Take:
6 out of 10

I have made many burgers in my day, and for the first burger, this one is average.  The toppings were somewhat thrown together from things we had in the fridge, so they didn't mesh in the best way.  Eh, I have some things to learn.

I am always a fan of grilled onions, so I really enjoyed that aspect.  However, what really stood out about this burger was the meat.  The patties were formed well, not too packed together, and were grilled perfectly (props to Tyler).  The worcestershire sauce enhanced the flavor of the meat, and I basically wanted to gobble it up as fast as was humanly possible.  The next burger we make could easily be made using this same patty--definitely a winner in my book.

The asiago cheese would be better placed on an Italian-style burger.  I had never had asiago before, and I found it to be very strong and similar to parmesan.  A good cheese, but better placed on a burger with some stronger flavors and not ones that can be easily masked like the mushrooms.  I also felt like this burger was lacking some type of sauce, something to make the burger more juicy.  I have some habanero pineapple salsa that is just itching to get out of the burger, perhaps?

Meat Us

Welcome to the site dedicated to our adventures into the world of burgerdom. 

First off, let us introduce ourselves.  Our names are Tyler and Courtney and the name of our blog as you probably now realize is a combination of our names.  Our friends decided to create nicknames for all the couples that we usually hang out with, thus the name "Tyney."  We are from the great state of Kentucky (GO CATS!!!) and enjoy eating a good burger every now and again.  So, the better half, Courtney, decided why not blog about it.  Tyler is here to enjoy the tasty creations and provide some expert opinion while also manning the grill, while Courtney is the creative genius behind the innovative recipes that are sure to come.

Our ultimate quest is just beginning and we are looking forward to sharing our soon to be infamous burger recipes with you.  Until next time, happy burgering!!