As the 4th of July often involves grilling and burgers, in the spirit of Independence Day grub (one day late), I offer this ahhh-mazing burger. Courtesy of Rachael Ray, it’s the Open-Face Blue Moon Burger with ‘Shrooms…and it will knock your socks off. What makes a burger so good? Well, besides the well-cooked, juicy burger itself, in this case it’s the combo of pungent blue cheese, earthy mushrooms, bright parsley and spicy arugula, all on a crunchy, thick piece of bread with well-seasoned tomatoes underneath. Suffice it to say that the flavors in this are pretty crazy. The mushroom-blue cheese sauce is so delicious that I could drink it straight from the plan.
This is definitely a knife-and-fork kind of burger, and I’m okay with that. It just means there’s lots of delicious, messy stuff going on with it. And it’s pretty awesome when the sauce and burger soften the crusty bread just a little bit and you can sop up all that goodness in one bite.
- I didn’t use 2 whole pounds of beef and I definitely make smaller, more realistic size portions. A quarter pound burger is pretty big, and Rachael calls for a 1/2 pound — yikes. That’s a lotta beef.
- Baby arugula works well for this, and you won’t need to de-stem.
- Not the end of the world if you can’t find a yellow tomato. It just looks prettier with some variety in color.
Open-Face Blue Moon Burgers with ‘Shrooms
- 2 pounds ground sirloin
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons EVOO, plus some for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 pound button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, a generous handful
- 4 thick slices country-style crusty bread
- 10 fresh basil leaves, about 1/2 cup
- 1 small bunch arugula, washed and thick stems removed
- 1 red beefsteak tomato, cut into 4 thick slices
- 1 yellow beefsteak tomato, cut into 4 thick slices
- 4 ounces good-quality blue cheese, crumbled
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground sirloin, Worcestershire sauce and chopped shallot. Mix thoroughly. Score the meat with your hand, marking 4 equal portions. Form each portion into a large 1-inch-thick patty. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the patties liberally with some salt and pepper, and then drizzle the patties with a little EVOO and place in the hot skillet. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the patties are firm to the touch and cooked through.
Preheat the broiler.
While the burgers are cooking, preheat a second large skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO and butter. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and spread them out in an even layer, resisting the temptation to stir for a few minutes to let the mushrooms start to brown. Once brown, go ahead and stir, continuing to cook for 2 minutes, then add the onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring every now and then, for about 3 minutes, or until the onions start to look tender. Add the chicken stock, bring it up to a bubble, and simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the parsley and stir to combine; taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
While the burgers and the mushrooms are working, toast the bread slices under the broiler until they are golden on both sides.
Coarsely chop the basil and arugula.
Place a piece of toast on each serving plate. Top each piece of toast with 1 slice of red tomato and 1 slice of yellow, and season the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the arugula-basil mixture and put a cooked burger on top of that. Add the blue cheese crumbles to the mushrooms, stir to combine, and top each burger with the mushroom-blue cheese mixture. Grab a fork and knife and dig in.