Labor Day weekend, also known as the last long weekend of summer, is a great excuse to grill as many burgers as you can. Check out these six recipes from celebrity chefs.
Burger: A Simple Tradition
Chef: Daniel Boulud
Secret Weapon: Fresh Ingredients
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French chef and international restaurateur, Daniel Boulud, may hold the key to a “perfect” burger. The all-star chef’s technique is simple: keep it simple. “The most important, of course, is meat. Have a good percentage of fat in your burger but not too much, I would say an ideal is 15-20 percent,” Boulud said.
With no tricks up his sleeves, Boulud buys all fresh ingredients for his burger and only uses salt, pepper and oil to season his meat. While his one-inch thick burgers cook on the grill, the chef preps his lettuce, tomato, onions and bun before assembling the perfect hamburger.
Burger: The Piggy Special
Chef: Gordon Ramsay
Secret Weapon: Bacon
When the "Hell’s Kitchen" host isn’t starting kitchen drama with his contestants, the British chef likes to make some good American sliders — calmly. "I travel all over the world, and I spend a lot of time in the States,” he said. “They know how to make a great slider."
His trick for making his barbecue pork sliders stand out: mixing cooked and chopped pieces of back bacon into the ground pork before grilling. Every bite is guaranteed to be packed with savory pork flavor.
Burger: Classic with a New Crunch
Chef: Bobby Flay
Secret Weapon: Potato Chips
It may be a privilege to “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” but it’s certainly a challenge to beat his burgers.
Flay suggests making a small indentation in the center of the patties so they don't swell up as they cook, "I just make a little well with my thumb in the middle of the burger and then when the burger cooks it actually comes back to shape, otherwise you're going to have this big sort of hump on the burger," Flay said. He cautions at-home chefs to never press down the burgers on the grill. "That’s when you lose all the juiciness," he said.
Flay likes to add a little crunch to his burger by adding potato chips. He even had the word "Crunchified" copyrighted for his restaurant chain, Bobby's Burger Palace.
Burger: Gourmet Salmon
Chef: Martha Stewart
Secret Weapon: Toasted Brioche Bun
It’s no shock Martha Stewart can cook about anything, even gourmet-style salmon burgers. These salmon burgers are an ideal substitute for meat or for people without a grill on the holiday. Stewart is generous with her seasoning, telling her audience, “Fish is bland, the salmon has a lovely taste, but it is a mild fish, so dressing it up with a little horseradish and lemon zest helps.”
A toasted brioche roll complements the high-scale restaurant tasting salmon patty.
Burger: Turkey with a spicy kick
Chef: Guy Fieri
Secret Weapon: Garlic butter
The "Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives" star is a professional when it comes to burgers. After tasting a countless number of beef burgers across the country, Fieri knows a good substitute when he sees it.
"Little turkey burger, some pablano pepper, now some caramelized onions and peppers right on top that's what I'm talking about, and talk about healthy-- it's a burger!" Fieri said about his spicy turkey burger.
While this turkey burger has a long list of all-star ingredients, a little garlic butter on the buns subtly ties all the flavors together.
Burger: Welsch Wildcard
Chef: Richard Blais
Secret Weapon: Homemade Rarebit
After taking a trip to London, "Top Chef: All-Star" Richard Blais, makes a crazy and complicated burger remix: the Cheese Fondue Welsch Rarebit Burger. Blais makes his patties square because they are served on toast, like traditional rarebit, instead of buns.
The namesake ingredient, rarebit, is made with a flour base, Dijon mustard, English dried mustard and Guinness beer. “Guinness beer is going to have a lot of malty flavor to it, going to give it a lot of sweetness, a little bit of bitter on the back pallet—that’s the thing about British food it’s really adult, it puts hair on your chest.”