May 11, 2010

Mama Wants Meat!

There was a time when I could have been a vegetarian.  Well...a pescatarian.  No way I could go without seafood!

But when I was pregnant, look out animals of the world...I had ravenous crazed psycho-woman cravings for meat.  Juicy, fat-laced grilled steaks were a weakness.  But even more than that I craved hamburgers.  Really good, enormous, greasy, cheesy, bacony hamburgers.  I was not some sweet & delicate fruit-eating pregnant chick.  Fruit made me queasy.  (And alfredo sauce.)  You wouldn't find me nibbling on a strawberry or dutifully munching carrot sticks.  My baby shower was at Fuddrucker's.  Mama needed to rip into some flesh!  And I've been that way ever since.  For 8 years...although I am back to enjoying fruits and vegetables too.

To celebrate Mother's Day (or any day) nothing would make me happier than to tear into my favorite hamburger: Cheese-Stuffed Burgers w/ Spicy Scallion Mayo.  Every time I make these I think: I should eat these every day!  That's how much I love them.  Of course if I ate them every day I would stop loving them so much.  And I'd be dead by the age of 40. 

I found...ok...The Husband found this recipe in the June 06 issue of Food and Wine Magazine and told me "we must make these."  The original recipe is Scallion & Brie Stuffed Burgers from Grace Parisi--one of my favorite F&W recipe contributors.  

Mama may want meat, but Mama ain't rich, so the brie had to go.  Actually, the reason I started substituting for the brie: the cheese stuffing is more of a textural thing, in my opinion.  It's more about the gooey, creamy middle.  Plus the flavor of the brie didn't come through.  So, why waste a more expensive cheese?  I use wedges of Laughing Cow Lite Original Swiss and it works perfectly, giving me that ooey-gooey, creamy cheesy euphoria that makes me weepy when I bite into it. 

I also nixed adding the scallion paste to the hamburger.  The Boy is suspicious of "stuff" and gives it the ol' stink eye.

Besides, I'd rather save every speck of the scallion paste to mix into mayo.  The Spicy Scallion Mayo puts it over the top for me.  Mayo tends to skeeve me out, but this...well...cough...blush...I eat with a spoon.  I'm officially embarrassed, but I needed to drive home the point that this scallion mayo is darn good.  Make it now!  Put it on everything!  Eat it with a spoon!

If the cheesy stuffing makes me weep, the scallion mayo makes me bawl.  It has a real synergy about it--everything plays so well together.

The first few times I made these...well, I discovered I sucked at stuffing burgers.  The cheese would ooze out, the burger would split apart in two, I'd fuss and rant.  I'll address that below...what I discovered works, not my rants.  I'll keep that to myself.

Mise en place for the Spicy Scallion Mayo: (make this first and chill to allow the flavors to reach orgasmic heights) green onions, jalapeno or serrano, garlic, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, olive oil, salt, mayo
Sigh and drool.

Add everything but the mayo to a bowl and mash with the tines of a fork.  Then mix in the mayo and chill while you work on the rest of the recipe. 
Sneak tastes every now and then for quality control. 
You should serve only the best after all.
Hmmm...should have made more.

Mise en place for the burger: I like to keep it simple so the cheese really shines...and The Boy doesn't gripe about green stuff mingling with the meat. 
Ok...I do add about a Tbsp of lemon juice to play off the lemon in the mayo. It's not green, so The Boy doesn't know.

Ground beef, Laughing Cow cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper

Mix everything but the cheese and divide into four portions.

There's more than one way to stuff a burger. 

Method 1: Poke the giant meatball
Roll the hamburger into one large meatball.  Poke a hole in the center with your index finger.  Cram in the cheese, seal the hole, then press into a patty.
Pros--the cheese stays put and the burger doesn't come apart, easy to do
Cons--the cheese is only in the very center of the burger and you can't fit as much cheese per burger (this is important, people!)

Method 2: Pat and Finger Crimp
Sounds like hairstyling
Form two thin patties per burger.  Spread one with cheese.  Place the other on top and finger crimp the edges.
Pros--great, even, all-over cheese coverage
Cons--when I do this, no matter how much I think I crimp the patties together, they always shrink away from each other during cooking

Method 3: Pat, Fork, Shape
This is the method I've come to rely on
Form two thin patties per burger.  Spread one with cheese.  Place the other on top then press along the edges with a fork to seal--like making a turnover.  Reshape the edges with your fingers so this thing actually looks like a hamburger instead of a flying saucer.
Pros--full-burger cheese coverage, burger stays sealed
Cons--more work than the other methods

Grill to desired doneness.  Place on a bun (I like that grilled too) slathered with scallion mayo.  I think this burger is best with out lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, etc.  Let the creamy, melty cheese and scallion mayo be the stars.
Oh, Mama!

Linking with
Food on Friday: Burgers

@ Carole's Chatter

Printer friendly version

Cheese Stuffed Burgers w/ Spicy Scallion Mayo
from Ms. enPlace, adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of ½ a lemon
about 4 ounces of any soft, easy melting cheese (such as Laughing Cow) divided into 4 portions
Spicy Scallion Mayo (below—make first)
4 hamburger buns, split and lightly grilled

Light a grill. Season the ground beef with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Divide mixture in four equal portions.

Take one portion and divide in half. Form two thin patties on a flat surface. Spread cheese on one patty. Top with the second patty. Using a fork, press around the edges of the patty to seal. Reshape burger with your hands. Repeat with the other three portions.

Grill to desired doneness. Place on grilled buns slathered with Spicy Scallion Mayo.

Spicy Scallion Mayo
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh hot chile, seeded and minced (jalapeno or serano)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ c mayonnaise

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the mayo. Mash with a fork to form a paste. Stir in ¼ c mayo. Chill for ½ hour or up to 2 days for flavors to develop.


  1. Oh mama is right!! Those look awesome:D I love how you actually shared all three methods for stuffing the burgers, that was excellent info. I love that laughing cow cheese and would you know that I can never find it here? Those burgers look like serious business and I would love to wrap my lips around on of them!

    How is the move going? Are you busy unpacking into your new house? You can email me if you want,

  2. I'm enjoying looking around your blog. Just stumbled on these burgers. Great post, made me laugh, lol. These are something else. I could easily eat burgers every day, especially ones stuffed with cheese! I gotta make these!

  3. Michelle, thanks for your lovely links in to Food on Friday. I am getting so hungry reading all the recipes! Cheers


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.