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Burger Bar

Build Your Own Ultimate Burgers

By Hubert Keller with Penelope Wisner

Burger Bar

As a top American chef, Hubert Keller's reputation is well-known across the country. His Burger Bar restaurants are famous for their innovative and luxurious creations of the classic American burger, with two locations flourishing in Las Vegas and St. Louis, as well as a third on its way in San Francisco. His cookbook Burger Bar: Build Your Own Ultimate Burgers allows the everyday house chef to be masters of Keller’s inventions, whether they are looking to spice up their ordinary meal routine or are entertaining a summer get-together for family and friends. With tips on everything from meat quality to types of bread to use, Keller makes it easier for burger lovers to whip up almost any burger they desire.

Keller’s recipes are in step-by-step easy to follow instructions with notes by Keller at the beginning, and burger-building hints to finish off every masterpiece. The burgers are separated by meat, with categories like "Big Beef Burgers," "Burgers from the Sea," and "Burgers from the Garden." The book also includes delicious sides like zucchini fries and Alsace Beer-Battered Onion Rings, sauces like Spicy Red Pepper-Tomato Relish and Shallot-Tarragon Butter, and scrumptious desserts like the S'more Burger and the Creamy Cheesecake Burger. There is even a "Shake & Pour" section that includes fun drinks to mix for the whole family, with milkshakes and root beer floats for the youngsters and drinks like Golden Champagne Cocktails for the adults. With all the options to complete a meal, one can’t go wrong with Keller’s do-it-yourself luxury dining.


Breakfast Burger

This little "burger" is a quiche without the crust. It makes a fun and savory weekend breakfast or brunch. The batter can be mixed together the night before. For baking, use silicone egg cups or jumbo muffin molds. Build your own: Since it is a quiche, you can vary the filling to reflect the season, for instance, melted leek with mushrooms, or assorted contents from your refrigerator.

Serves 4

12 large fresh basil leaves
3 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ pound ham, cut into thin strips
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 English muffins
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, very thinly sliced
4 large leaves butter lettuce
1 ripe tomato, preferably heirloom, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon minced shallot
4 slices prosciutto
Fruit Fries

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.
Stack the basil leaves in 2 piles. Fold them in half along their spines, and then cut crosswise into very thin strips. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, Parmesan, and nutmeg. Add the basil, parsley, ham, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt, as the ham provides salt.

Melt about ½ teaspoon butter in each of 4 ovenproof egg cups and arrange them on a baking sheet. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the cups. Bake them until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. The burgers will puff up during baking and then deflate when they come out of the oven.

While the burgers are baking, toast the muffins, butter both sides with the remaining butter, and keep warm. Fan out the avocado slices on the cutting board and divide them into 4 portions.

To build the burgers, arrange a lettuce leaf on each muffin bottom. Top with tomatoes, sprinkle with shallots, season with salt and pepper, and then unmold the burgers onto the tomatoes. Top each with a small fan of avocado and then a prosciutto slice. Cover with the muffin tops and serve with a small bowl of the fruit fries on the side.

Reviewed by Jenna Conant


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