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Burger Toppings and Fixin's: The Topic

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I like swiss cheese. And a bbq-cheddar-bacon burger is pretty good. I am surprised nobody has mentions sauteed mushrooms (!) on here. I also like a black-and-blue burger (blackening [cajun] seasoning on/in the burger, topped with bleu cheese). Coleslaw on a burger is nice....

Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"
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I like what Eddie Murphy described as "welfare burgers." They are pretty much as close to a burger as I got growing up in Mexico City.

My mother, unknowingly, made them almost exactly as Murphy described. She would take ground beef, add onions, bell peppers, egg and then fry it in a skillet and serve it in either plain sliced white or a bolillo with ketchup and mustard. Sure we complained. But at the time there wasn't a single place in the DF where we could find anything close to an American hamburger and so we learned to love them... or at least eat them quietly.

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I like mine on a good sesame seed bun that has been toasted.

Charbroil the meat over hot coals so that it has a nice brown, just barely pink center.

Starting from the bottom:

Bun, cheap yellow mustard, 4-5 dill pickle slices, thin slice red onion, meat, melted cheese, nice ripe tomato, lettuce, and just a skim of mayo.

If I have mushrooms, I want Swiss cheese but the 'shrooms have to be between the meat and cheese so they don't fall out.:D

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The Patty: Ground round from my usual source (Jack's Meats, Novi, MI). One-third pound. Half a pound is just too damned big, and a quarter-pound has to be too thin to fit the bun. Salt and coarse-cracked black pepper before it goes in the pan; cook to medium-rare.

The Bun: Kaiser preferred. Toasting optional, though if toasted a quick brush with melted butter is de rigeur.

The Other Stuff, either or both welcome:

-- Cheese. Gruyere (though I did have one with Roquefort that was quite good; I think it's no longer on the lunch menu at Steve & Rocky's). Two thin slices. Emmental will do in a pinch.

-- Bacon. Good bacon. Yes, there is such a thing as bad bacon. Schaller and Weber double-smoked if I can get it, otherwise Niman Ranch will do. Pancetta is a welcome change from time to time. Should be not-quite-crisp and under the cheese, if said dairy product is present.

No, repeat, no rabbit food.

The condiment (notice the lack of the plural): Mustard, which can be either

-- Sharp Dijon mustard, (coarse or smooth, depending on my mood) or

-- Plain old Gulden's.

Edited by Devilkitty (log)


Walled Lake, Michigan

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Pork Burger for me........


shake on some custom pork spice #0763, mfg by custom foods, Oswego IL......

grilled medium...

toasted sourdough bun....

mustard, (any kind).........

sides, sliced cucumber, onion, and the perfect tomato.......splash of balsamic vinegar, s&p.......

the perfect ear of corn, (or 6-10 ears), prepared any way but boiled, slathered with fresh goat butter, and olive oil, kosher salt and cracked black pepper......

dessert, the summers best watermelon, eaten with your hands, out of the rind in big wedges.......


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Once and for all on Mayo: "MAYONNAISE;A cold sauce of ...etc" Larousse Gastromique 1961. Why does one put that on a burger? :biggrin:  :biggrin: Warm Mayo yuck.

I've come to the conclusion that mayonnaise on burgers is an East Coast affectation (and probably a Northeastern one specifically), first spread beyond its original habitat by Burger King, whose Whopper comes with mayo standard.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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  • 1 year later...

Our extended family is having a cookout over Memorial Day weekend. It's not a traditional thing for us, so I'm not facing time-honored traditions or anything like that.

I have been assigned to bring the "fixins", namely sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, pickles, mustard, ketchup, etc.

And of course, being an eGulleter, I can't leave it alone and just do the simple basics. Oh, no! :cool::biggrin:

Here's what I'm planning:

Tomatoes from the farmers market, if I can get them

Red onion slices

Yellow or white onion slices

Sweet pickle slices

Dill pickle slices

American or cheddar slices

Swiss slices



French's (yellow) mustard


I'm wondering if there are a couple of sauces I could also make. Or interesting cheese choices--in addition to, of course, the expected cheddar or American and Swiss. Local cheese offerings are pretty mainstream.

I will not be providing the meat, or grilling the meat.


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Guacamole is yummy on burgers.

Sauted mushrooms.

Caramelized onions.

Crumbled blue cheese.

Good barbeque sauce.


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I vote for bacon, jalpenoes, montery jack, mushrooms. I had a hamburger once with a fried egg on it, it was pretty good.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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The pickled red onions from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook would be awesome on a burger.

The Washington Post today ran an article on making burgers with an intriguing recipe for a fresh cucumber relish:

Cucumer relish recipe

(haven't personally tried it though)

Edited by Sony (log)
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I second the fried egg, though 1) there are few things that aren't improved by a fried-egg topping, so its seems obvious to me; 2) it's pretty difficult to manage at a cookout, and that's too bad.

Chipotle red-pepper aioli is a great addition to a burger.

Most pickles are too aggressive to play well with the others in this situation, but quick pickles that still have some cucumber taste and light brine can be really good. And there's still time for you to make them yourself, which can only add to your reputation as the gourmet in your group.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Whole basil leaves

Smoked cheeses

Whipped feta with either sun-dried tomatoes and/or pepperoncinis

eta Roasted cloves of garlic and a variety of mustards. I love, love mustards.

Edited by petite tête de chou (log)

Shelley: Would you like some pie?


Twin Peaks

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I once had an amazing burger, it was on a toasted english muffin and topped with a basic cheddar cheese sauce and a slice of grilled canadian bacon.

It was different, in a good way!


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1. Traditional "Happy Hollow Tavern" hamburger: Coarse ground German style mustard, slice of Bermuda Onion on bottom of bun, Sweet pickle relish, dill pickle slices, ketchup on top.

2. Dijon mustard with green peppercorns and shallots mixed in.

3. A-1 Peppercorn Sauce:

10 oz Meyer's Peppercorn Sauce concentrate (available on Amazon)

5 oz Mayonnaise

5 oz Heinz 57

2 oz A-1 Steak Sauce

(optional: thin sliced fried onions piled high along with the Peppercorn Sauce, a slice of bacon or two)

4. Just plain ol A-1 Steak Sauce on the burger and bun, nothing else


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One problem with the cheese in a fixin's bar type arrangement is that it doesn't get melted properly onto the burger. If the grill cook isn't going to be skilled and organized enough to make cheeseburgers on the grill, and is just going to put out a platter of plain burgers for people to assemble and garnish, you might consider bringing a blowtorch in order to melt the cheese onto the burgers for people. Your foodie cred would skyrocket.

Also, who's responsible for bread? This is an area in which you could probably make some improvements over the basic crummy rolls. Like, Martin's potato rolls, if available near you, are a big step up. If the person in charge of the grill isn't competent to deal with bread, you could also bring a toaster and have it out on the buffet table, giving people the option of toasting their bread. Or you could bring a toaster oven, allowing someone to toast bread and melt cheese onto it simultaneously.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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So many mouth-watering suggestions. I need to remember this thread the next time we make burgers.

If you want to try something a bit wacky, how about banh mi toppings for the burgers: carrot-daikon pickle (clickety), liver pate, mayo, Maggi seasoning, thinly sliced jalapeno chiles, thinly sliced cucumbers, and/or cilantro. I have never tried this, but it should work (I hope).

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You guys are so good that I'm going to have to have a burger for lunch! I don't think I can hold off until Sunday.

What a great bunch of suggestions! The blow torch idea just blows my mind! They'd love it! My grand-nephew is 6; I'm trying to figure out how long I'd be in the doghouse with his parents, for showing him such a thing. But that's the fun of being an auntie, isn't it? My sister still hasn't forgiven me for the things I taught her kids.

We're going to have quite a feast on Sunday, thanks to eG. I love burgers with mushrooms, Swiss, bacon, and sour cream, but never would have thought to bring them to a cookout. Why not?

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