It’s time to fire up the grill! Labor Day, which falls on Monday, September 3, marks the unofficial end of summer, but there’s still one more chance to cook the perfect burger!
Since seemingly every home cook and chef has a different version of the ideal American staple, we’ve collected a trio of burger recipes from celebrity chefs Maneet Chauhan, Elizabeth Blau and Eden Grinshpan.
Scroll down and find the Labor Day burger that’s perfect for you!
For chefs Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla, who operate Honey Salt restaurant in Las Vegas, tomato jam is the perfect complement to a nice beef patty. “A handcrafted burger laced with bacon is the epitome of great summertime food,” former Iron Chef judge Blau tells Us Weekly. “One of our favorite [garnishes] is the tomato jam on our Backyard Burger. It’s simple to make, stores very well and, most importantly, it’s incredibly delicious. All toppings can be prepared hours in advance or even the night before, making things easy when company arrives.”
Backyard Favorite Burger
Makes 1 serving
• 1 hamburger patty
• 1 brioche bun
• 1 oz tomato jam (see below)
• 1 slice beehive-smoked cheddar
• 2 slices vine ripe tomato
• 1 slice red onion
• 2 slices B&B pickle chips
• 2 pieces Bibb lettuce
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 lb diced onion
• 2 lb diced red pepper
• 1 pint blended oil
• 2 quarts apple cider vinegar
• 2 quarts chili sauce
• 4 cups sugar
• 6 lb Roma tomatoes, diced
• 1 pint horseradish, prepared
• 1 pint Sriracha
• 4 oz Worcestershire sauce
• Lemon juice, to taste
- Selecting your favorite blend of beef, make patties and grill to preferred temperature; add the cheese if desired after flipping.
- For the tomato jam, sweat the diced onion and red pepper in oil in a large stockpot.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, bring to a quick boil and immediately bring down to a simmer.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, bring back to a simmer and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Add lemon juice to taste.
- Remove from heat and let cool before blending the sauce to a desired texture. Store in refrigerator until ready for use.
- When ready to eat, crisp up a bun slightly on a griddle or in a pan and spread a dollop of tomato jam on either side. Layer on the burger patty (with cheese), lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles.
For Chopped judge Chauhan, who opened Chauhan Ale and Masala House in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2014, adding spice to a burger is key. “We take the beloved classic and add our signature spices, crispy onion rings and green chili bacon — bursting with flavor in each bite and perfect for celebrating the well-earned holiday,” she tells Us.
The Chauhan Burger
Makes 1 serving
• 1 red onion, sliced 1/8 of an inch thick
• 1 cup all purpose flour
• Dash of salt and pepper
• 2 tbsp frying oil, preferably canola
• Dash of chaat masala
• 2 cups veal stock
• 1/2 cup red wine, preferably a merlot
• 1 tbsp honey
• 2 slices applewood smoked bacon
• 1 tsp minced green chili, preferably bird’s eye chilli
• 1 brioche burger bun
• 1 tsp red chilli
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp coriander
• 1 tsp amchur powder
• 1/2 tsp turmeric
• 8 oz ground Wagyu beef patty
• 1 slice of Amul cheese or a white Cheddar cheese
- Slice the onion rings to 1/8th of an inch and brine overnight, once brined add oil to a pan and allow to heat up to 350 degrees. Toss the onion rings in the flour, salt and pepper. Deep fry until golden brown and season with chaat masala. Allow to cool on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Combine the veal stock, red wine and honey and allow to boil until the red wine is cooked out, about 20 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees, lay the bacon on a ovenproof tray. Rub the bacon with the green chilli and bake for about 12-15 minutes.
- Light a grill. While the grill is warming up, season the burger bun with red chilli, cumin, coriander, amchur and salt. Grill beef patty until medium-rare.
- Add the cheese to burger once flipped and allow it to melt and toast the burger bun.
- To assemble: Place the patty and cheese on the bottom bun, ladle 2 oz the red wine demi-glace onto the patty, then top with the green chilli bacon. Add chaat masala onion rings the other half of the burger bun.
For Grinshpan, who is a cofounder of DEZ restaurant in New York City, veggies reign supreme when it’s time to warm up the grill, and a Middle Eastern blend of spices adds plenty of flavor. “The Shawarma Burger is an American twist on a classic Middle Eastern pita,” she explains. “It’s such a fun and exotic way to liven up a Labor Day weekend barbecue. The tahini and zhoug sauces are also really great with grilled vegetable and salad, so make extra!”
Makes 4 servings
Burger and salad
• 1 eggplant sliced lengthwise into 4 or 5 pieces, then cut in the middle on an angle
• 3 radishes
• 5 Persian cucumbers
• 1 jalapeño
• 1 small red onion
• 2 1/2 cups grapeseed oil, for frying
• 4 5-ounce beef patties
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Shawarma Spice, to taste (see below)
• Zhoug sauce (see below)
• Umbah sauce (also known as amba)
• Garlicky tahini (see below)
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley
• 4 fluffy pitas
• 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
• 1 tsp toasted coriander seeds
• 3 jalapeños
• 1 garlic clove
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley
• 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
• 1/2 cup good quality tahini
• 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
• 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/4-1/3 cup ice water
- Salt the eggplant and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the salad: using a mandolin, slice the radish, cucumber, jalapeño and red onion very thin and place in a bowl. Set aside.
- Pat the eggplant dry and heat up the oil.
- While the oil is heating up, season the burgers on both sides with the salt and pepper, then shake over the shawarma spice. Place on a grill or flattop for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm until you assemble.
- Fry the eggplant until it develops a golden-brown crust and place on a paper towel to drain. Season with a little salt when it comes out of the oil.
- To make the zhoug, use a blender and add in the toasted spices. Give the mixture a blend and let the spices grind up. Add in all the remaining ingredients and blitz until it is a little chunky, but mostly smooth.
- To make the shawarma spice, mix the cardamom and curry well and place in a spice shaker. Reserve for burgers.
- To make the garlicky tahini,combine the raw tahini, lemon juice, grated garlic and kosher salt in a bowl. Mix together. Pour in the ice water and keep adding water until the tahini is smooth.
- To assemble the burger: Slice open the pita, drizzle in tahini to taste, 1 tsp of zhoug and a 1/2 tsp of umbah. Carefully place the burger and eggplant in the pita. Place the cucumber salad in the pita as well, in front of the patty and eggplant. Place a tablespoon of garlicky tahini on top, then add another 1 tsp of zhoug and another 1/2 tsp of umbah. Garnish with the parsley and serve.
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