Cheeseburgers are anything but simple. You can vary the meat, the toppings, the buns, the cheese, and even the presentation. If I’m served a cheeseburger with a bag of chips and a crisp pickle slice, it’ll make a pretty different impression than if that same cheeseburger is handed to me with a mountain of fries and a selection of dipping sauces.
The Burger’s Best Friend
When it comes to hearty cheeseburger toppings, bacon is king. There’s nothing that beats the crispy texture of well-cooked bacon or the unique meaty flavor it adds.
For the home cook, bacon helps draw attention away from mediocre frozen burger patties. If you don’t want to take the time to make your own patties from expensive cuts of meat, bacon is an absolute lifesaver.
Making A Monstrosity
Appetizers mixed with other dishes aren’t exactly a new thing. I’ve been eating fries inside my burritos for years. It might sound totally crazy to put mozzarella sticks in your cheeseburger, but it’s totally not.
You’re simply adding an additional source of cheese and crunch.
It’s not quite as simple as it sounds, however. There are a few differences between the mozzarella sticks you get as an appetizer at your local restaurants and the frozen ones you heat up at home. If you’re not careful, you might end up detracting from the taste of your double bacon cheeseburger rather than adding to it.
Most eateries purchase their mozzarella sticks frozen from restaurant suppliers. So why do they taste so good in a restaurant, and why do the ones you microwave at home taste so mediocre?
The answer is simple: the restaurant fries their mozzarella sticks.
You can actually fry any type of frozen mozzarella sticks yourself. To do this, defrost them (ice + hot oil is bad) with your favorite method. I prefer to throw them in the microwave for a fairly short time and then let them sit out for a bit, but you can simply put them in the fridge or even leave them on the counter for a few minutes.
Once they’re de-iced, heat some oil in a pot (or fryer) and submerge the mozzarella sticks for about a minute. When they’re done, pull them out carefully and drain them for 2-3 minutes.
I find that it’s even easier to make my own mozzarella sticks. All you need is cheese (string cheese works great if you don’t want to spend a lot of time cutting mozzarella), bread crumbs, and eggs. Here’s a simple recipe:
MOZZARELLA STICK RECIPE: INGREDIENTS:
1 lb of mozzarella, cut into sticks
1.5 cups bread crumbs (seasoned is fine, or you can simply add seasonings yourself)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Thoroughly beat the eggs and add the water. Set this mixture aside in a bowl.
Next, blend the bread crumbs, salt, and any seasonings you care to add. Garlic is great, as is Old Bay. Again, set this mixture aside.
Add about a quart of oil to a large pot and heat it to about 365 F. You don’t have to be super precise here, but getting your oil too hot can damage your pan (or burn your oil) while low cooking temperatures can result in soggy, undercooked mozzarella sticks.
Dip each mozzarella stick into your mixtures: first the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. When you’ve assembled several sticks, gently lower them into the hot oil. Let them cook for thirty seconds to a minute or until they’re golden brown.
Assembling The Perfect Burger
For most people, the mozzarella sticks are the tricky part. Once you’ve either fried your favorite brand of frozen sticks or simply made your own, you’re all set! All you need to do is make a bacon cheeseburger however you normally would and put the mozzarella sticks on top (but under the top bun, of course).
If you’re happy with your own burger recipe, this is all of the information you need. If you’re not, however, here are a few tips:
* Your meat matters. Frozen patties taste a lot worse than patties you make yourself. I prefer my beef to be between 10 and 20% fat. The best burgers are made from more expensive cuts, but regular old ground beef is perfectly fine.
* Don’t handle your patties too much. Instead, add a bit of salt, pepper, and maybe one other seasoning. As long as you don’t overmix, you should be fine without any binding agents or liquid ingredients.
* For the grill, you want fairly thick patties. If you’re cooking your burgers on a skillet, however, smash them out very flat and cook them over high heat. They’ll be incredibly tasty. You may want to add a few extra patties to each burger to compensate for the thinner structure of the meat.
* If you’re using a skillet, consider cooking your bacon first and then frying your burger patties in the bacon grease.
* Toast your buns lightly. I brush mine with garlic-infused butter and then throw them on the grill, but you can toast them however you’d like.
* Cheddar goes fine with mozzarella, but if you want your burgers to really shine, you’ll melt a bit of extra mozzarella on top of the breaded and fried sticks. If you’re making a lot of burgers, the easiest way to do this is to simply melt some mozzarella in an oven-safe container and pour it on top.
Double bacon mozzarella stick cheeseburgers have a billion calories, so they’re not necessarily a “healthy” snack. Nevertheless, they’re a great recipe to have in your pocket for outdoor gatherings where a bit of excess will be appreciated.
This unique and delicious recipe is a great way to allow your guests to indulge in a silly trend they’ve seen on social media or simply eat some great food.