The week after we visited Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, we couldn’t get the burgers out of our mind. I happened to have his burger cookbook in my collection, and a plan quickly formulated to have a Bobby Flay Burger Cook-Off. Anything to have his Napa Valley burger again.
After leafing through the recipes in the cookbook, seriously each burger recipe looks better than the next. Oh those toppings! And then the onion straws. And the milkshakes. It was all we could do to cut the menu off where we did. Beth’s commitment to our plan included buying a Cool Daddy to make the onion straws – such dedication to our cause!
We ended up going with the Napa Valley Burgers, the Cheyenne Burgers, Onion Straws, and Strawberry Milk Shakes, all from the cookbook. Rounding out the meal were hot dogs for the kids, sweet potato fries, chips and guacamole and homemade coleslaw. Oh yes, and, of course, grown-up drinks.
1. The Burgers. Even with toppings galore, the recipes are basic, easy to follow and deliver. The Napa Valley burgers tasted as good as they did in the restaurant, and I love the warm goat cheese that sits on top of the ground beef. The Cheyenne Burgers are topped with Cheddar, homemade Barbecue Sauce and the Onion Straws. My mouth is seriously watering just thinking about the Onion Straws again.
Love Madeline’s expression in this one. I have no idea what she was looking at that was so darn awe-inspiring.
2. Those Onion Straws. Using only one onion, the recipe made a crazy amount. And that’s a good thing, because they are addictingly good. Whether topping the burger or eaten by themselves, you can’t go wrong. I bet they’d be fab dunked in a little Ranch sauce as well. It makes me want a fryer too, but I’m going to be brave. And just hope Beth puts hers to work again.
3. The Milk Shakes. Bobby’s recipes for the shakes use a fruit base that you make by simmering fruit for a bit. I’m not a big milk shake girl to begin with, but I could definitely change my tune after tasting the Strawberry one. It tasted like warm strawberry jam through and through, delivering a clear flavor that just couldn’t be beat.
If you like Bobby Flay, or burgers, pick up the cookbook. There are serious taste-bud delights from cover to cover.
When I caught a glimpse of the inside of Beth and Roger’s kitchen cabinets, I had to take a picture. These might be the best organized cabinets I’ve ever seen.
Napa Valley Burgers
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries and Shakes
Meyer Lemon-Honey Mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 heaping tablespoon Clover honey
1-1/2 teaspoons grated Meyer lemon zest, or 1 teaspoon grated orange zest and 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1-1/2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, or 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 lbs ground chuck (80% lean) or ground turkey (90% lean)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons canola oil
8 round slices fresh goat cheese, each 1/2 inch thick
4 sesame see hamburger buns, split, toasted
1 handful of watercress
To make the Meyer lemon-honey mustard, whisk together the mustard, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving to allow flavors to meld.
Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 oz each). Form each portion loosely into a 3/4 inch thick burger and make a deep impression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
Cook the burgers, using the canola oil, and topping each one with 2 slices of goat cheese and a basting cover during the last minute of cooking.
Place the burgers on the bun bottoms, drizzle with some of the Meyer lemon-honey mustard, and top with watercress. Cover with the bun tops and serve immediately.
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup fruit base made with strawberries (see below)
10 oz premium strawberry or vanilla ice cream
Combine the milk and strawberry base in a blender and blend for 5 seconds. Add the ice cream and blend for 5 seconds. Add the ice cream and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds. Serve immediately, garnished with a dollop of whipped cream and with strawberries.
Makes 1 16-oz milkshake or two 8-oz milkshakes
1 lb fresh strawberries
4-6 tablespoons sugar (depending on the sweetness of the berries)
3 tablespoons strawberry jam
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Put the berries in a bowl (hull strawberries), add 3 tablespoons sugar, and gently stir to combine. Let the berries sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or until they start to soften and release their juices.
Transfer the mixture to a medium nonreactive saucepan, add the jam, and cook over medium-high heat until slightly softened. Coarsely mash the berries using a potato masher or the back of a fork and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste the mixture and add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, if needed, stirring to dissolve. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold and thickened, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. The fruit base can be frozen for up to six months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.