We’re partnering with Castello for a Summer of Blue!
We’re all fans of blue cheese here in the Catz household (or bleu cheese, if you prefer – Gracie and I are currently trying to learn French, so…), but no one is a bigger fan than my six…er, seven (happened over the weekend – I’m in denial)…year old Eden. Edie gets ridiculously excited when she finds that blue cheese is an ingredient on the menu, whether it’s topping a salad, a sauce to pour over steak, or a layer in a sandwich. Actually, especially when it comes to steak, that goes for all three of the decidedly petite ladies in our family – they all want a blue cheese butter sauce to pour over the top! Healthy? We’ll just keep the servings sensible and not worry about that one. Tasty? Oh, yeah….
As you can imagine, when we were asked if we would like to participate in Castello’s Summer of Blue campaign, which just involves creating and sharing blue cheese recipes, we didn’t hesitate for a moment. Our cheese? Castello’s Burger Blue.
You know if you have been reading Catz for very long that I
hate am absolutely crazy for a good burger! Beef, chicken, turkey, black bean, bacon, chutney, pineapple, buffalo…you name it, I’m in. I feel like we’ve grilled burgers with just about anything and everything inside and on top, including blue cheese on many occasions, so I wanted to try to think of a combination of flavors I hadn’t tried yet. So, what are my great flavor loves?
Peanut butter. No, probably not with blue cheese on a burger. Maybe, but…no. (Secretly, I’m going to have to try that).
Bacon. Sure. Check.
Cheese. Well, yeah.
When has coffee ever ruined anything? That would be never. Coffee is the best, right up there with cheese and bacon. But would they be good together?
Of course they would.
That settled, let’s talk about this cheese. The Burger Blue is classic, beautiful, crumbly blue cheese sliced very thin (you know, in the way that’s essentially impossible to do yourself with a wheel of blue cheese?), and layered on little sheets of wax paper to give it something to cling to and maintain its square, burger-slice shape. You peel off a slice, lay it cheese-side down on your burger, pull back the wax paper…done and done. Perfectly distributed blue cheese on your burger. A centuries-old problem solved.
For the coffee rub, I would say each to his or her own! Use the combination of spices and blend of coffee that appeals to you. I’ll share with you what I did, but a rub is one of those things that’s designed to be played with and tweaked until you get it just the way you want it. I based my initial rub for these burgers and my ribs recipe on Bobby Flay’s basic rib-eye rub, but, please…experiment!
The same goes for sides, of course. The blue cheese / bacon / coffee combo is a savory tour de force, so we decided to serve sweet grilled pineapple chunks tossed in brown sugar on the side as a contrast. (Do that. It’s good.) Fries? Obligatory, perhaps, but always tasty.
We made a whole big batch of these burgers (notice the giant pile of buns in the background), invited over my brothers and sisters (I have six!) and some of the neighbors and made a little party out of it. This blue cheese is perfect for this kind of application – it holds its own against the strong flavors of coffee and bacon, but doesn’t overpower all of the other goodness on that bun.
- 4 hamburger buns (Kaiser rolls, brioche, or other stiffer varieties are a good way to go)
- 1 lb ground beef (90/10 will work, but blend 80/20 and 93/7 if you can)
- 8-12 slices thick cut bacon (2-3 slices per burger), fried or baked (see recipe here)
- 4 slices Castello Burger Blue cheese
- 4 large pieces green leaf lettuce
- 1 large hothouse tomato, sliced
- Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, or other condiments, as desired
- Oil (vegetable, canola, or olive) for brushing
- 1/4 cup espresso, finely ground
- 2 tbsp ancho chile powder
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- Preheat grill to medium high heat, about 400 degrees. For a charcoal grill, arrange for direct heat.
- If using multiple varieties of beef, blend well in a bowl by hand. Form into four patties, using a burger press, if available.
- Add rub ingredients to a bowl and mix together.
- Rub both sides of each patty well with coffee rub. Try to avoid contaminating any remaining rub with raw beef, so that it can be saved for future use.
- If grill grate is not pre-oiled, spray with grilling spray to avoid sticking.
- Cut the hamburger buns in half if not pre-sliced, and brush the cut sides with oil.
- Place patties on grill and close lid. Grill for approximately 4 minutes per side. (The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees for beef.)
- For the last minute of grilling, add Castelo Burger Blue cheese slices on top of patties, close lid again, and allow to melt over tops and sides of patties.
- Remove patties from heat and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Place buns cut side down on the grill for about 30 seconds to a minute, until cut edges are slightly browed or charred.
- Remove buns from heat and spread condiments of your choice on cut side. On bottom bun, layer green leaf lettuce, tomato, burger, bacon, and top bun. Serve immediately!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 983Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 206mgSodium: 3214mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 68g
Nutrition information isn't always accurate.
Castello provided cheese samples and financial support for the creation of this post. The concept, recipe, photographs, and opinions are all my own.