Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pizza Burger Throwdown Results!

My burger (the one in the middle) has been crowned the champion, with 14 votes. Mega Munch's burger (the top one) came in second, with six votes, and Skinnyboy's (the bottom one) came in third with four votes. Mega stayed true to the burger form, with a bun and melted cheese; Skinnyboy thought a little outside the box and used Red Baron individual frozen pizza for buns (a good thought).

I thought way outside the bun for mine; my burger is resting on a hand-tossed whole wheat pizza round, about seven inches in diameter. To save time, I bought a ball of pizza dough from the local Wegman's and separated it into six pieces. I then stretched each piece into a seven inch round and let them rest before baking; resting allows them to remain flexible and chewy instead of getting crispy, as I wanted them to be able to be folded like a taco around the burger and the insalata caprese.

After I had baked the dough rounds, I started on the burgers. My burger mix was 90/10 lean ground beef, fortified with 8 ounces of mild Italian sausage, spices and a little ketchup, mixed lightly:

After mixing the meat, I used one of the plates that I would be building the burger on as a guide for the half-moon shape of the burger I wanted:

On to the grill. I used my Brinkman smoker with my turkey fryer as a heat source. As the smoker had the smoke residue in it from the brisket I smoked over the fourth, the burgers got a little smoke flavor on them, and even turned a little red as they cooked:

As the burgers cooked, I started building the rest. After selecting the most visually appealing pizza crust, I spooned on some Wegman's Roasted Garlic marinara sauce and layered the burger side with some sandwich size pepperoni:

I then built the caprese salad, layering vine-ripened tomato slices with fresh mozzarella. I then added red onion rings, cut in half, and then sprinkled it with chiffonade-cut basil leaves:

I sautéed some steak-cut mushrooms in butter, Italian seasoning, and salt over high heat, just long enough to cook the mushrooms through but still retain their form. I retrieved the burgers from the grill, laid one over the pepperoni, and put the mushrooms on top:

The burger in the picture is about 10 ounces before cooking; unfortunately, being that size with everything else, Melissa couldn't fold it up and eat it as I had designed, and resorted to eating it open-faced with a knife and fork. I managed to get it folded and eat it as I had hoped; the combination of the various flavors was incredible.

What I had in mind with using the pizza crust was something that you could fold and keep all of the burger goodness together while you ate it; Derek Payne mentioned on Mega’s blog that a burger should have “buns” – could you imagine trying to eat this burger on a bun? Everything would be sliding out as you attempted to eat it. If you used an insubstantial bun, it would fall apart before you finished; too substantial, and you increase the likelihood of wearing the burger as you try to gnaw through the bun. It’s not really a wrap, either, as I envision a wrap as something that would enclose the whole thing. This was more of a soft-taco shape.

On to the next challenge – Skinnyboy wants to do a burger using grilled cheese sandwiches as the bread. Can’t figure out at this time how to come up with a presentation for that yet, but something will bubble up through the subconscious.

Thanks to all of you who visited our blogs and voted for this throwdown!

1 comment:

Mega Munch said...

Damn, that thing looks good man! Congrats on the win. Can't wait to see what you come up with for our grilled cheese burger contest.