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3 New Spins On Burgers: Tips From The Pros

By Franki Hobson

Reinvent your burger with tips from Australia’s top foodie, burger king and barbecue guru. Here are their insider secrets to create succulent beef, chicken and veggie burgers with full-bodied blue cheese slices designed especially for burgers. You’ll be ramping up the flavour of your patties with creamy, tangy blue notes and sweet and salty undertones, and impressing your guests in no time.

1. Add sweetness to your blue cheese beef burgers

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Burger king Jimmy Hurlston is the co-author of The Burger Book, owner of popular restaurants Guilty in Sydney and Melbourne’s Easey’s, and he is the man behind @JimmysBurgers, which has more than 63,000 followers. Yep, this man knows his burgers.

Jimmy has just created a beef and blue cheese burger available this month at his Sydney restaurant, Guilty, and not surprisingly, it’s a hit with foodie customers.

New spin: “I’ve created a burger utilising the Castello® Burger Blue cheese slices with a bacon jam made with whisky and figs, slices of fresh pear and lettuce. With this burger, the beef is always the hero, but by adding the blue cheese you create a whole new element. I use grass fed Angus beef – it’s important to have ethically grown and raised cattle.”

Serve it: If you are catering for a birthday, these burgers will certainly impress guests. But you could easily serve it up for weekend lunches, barbecues with family and friends, or as a quick, low preparation mid-week dinner that is rich in flavour. Everyone loves a burger! They’re so easy to eat and picturesque.”

Cook it: “There are a few very important things to remember when cooking burgers. You should always let your meat rest when you remove it from the grill. Allowing the meat to rest also gives the cheese a chance to melt onto the patty.”

Taste benefits: “Blue cheese has a very strong flavour. It is salty with a strong smell, so you need to either compliment this, or contrast it with your flavours. The Castello® Burger Blue cheese slices have a creamy profile, so I’ve used pear and fig to offer a sweet element to go with it, which works beautifully. As the Burger Blue slice melts it becomes like a sauce, so it is not necessary to add any other sauces.”

Match it with: “Beer or wine. It’s the obvious choice for blue cheese and helps cut the saltiness of the blue cheese.”

2. Turn veggie burgers into a full bodied epicurean sensation

*Image courtesy of Katie Quinn Davies

*Image courtesy of Katie Quinn Davies

Marie Phitidis is the foodie genius behind Phoodie.com.au, which has around 100,000 website visitors whipping up her tasty recipes every month. “I’ve always had a love and obsession of food – since the day I was born!” says Marie. “After a 10 year career in architecture, I decided to pursue my passion in food, first by studying at the world famous Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London, and then by starting my blog, Phoodie.com.au. My whole philosophy with Phoodie.com.au is around creating affordable, easy, impressive and delicious meals quickly.”

New spin: “Add blue cheese to your veggie burger! Veggie burger patties are super easy to make and freeze really well – perfect for fast and tasty mid-week dinners. You can always add sauces to enhance the taste but a slice of blue cheese really gives it a totally different flavour – and it makes it feel special, but all you’ve done is open a packet of cheese and added a slice.”

Serve it: “Adding a slice of blue cheese takes mid-week meals to a whole new level and is a simple way to impress friends and family with minimal effort. Or, serve mini-slider burgers at a cocktail party for a fancy and delicious treat.”

Taste benefits: “The good thing about Castello® Burger Blue cheese slices are that they are mild in flavour. People who wouldn’t normally eat blue cheese will be pleasantly surprised. It’s subtle, but the texture and flavour makes it feel indulgent and very satisfying.”

Cook it: “Veggie burgers work perfectly with blue cheese. I dust veggie burger patties in seasoned or spiced flour first, to give extra flavour and a crunchy texture. Then, cook the burger through, flipping it half way so there is equal cooking time on both sides. Melt the cheese on top of the patty once flipped for one or two minutes. This ensures that you have even coverage of the melted cheese so that you can taste it with every mouthful of your amazing burger.”

Match it: “Drink it with a sparkling water with a lime wedge, so you don’t have strong flavours competing with the blue cheese. Because this cheese is so soft and creamy, I match it with foods that create a textural contrast, like apple and walnut coleslaw. But it’s very versatile and really depends on the occasion of your meal. For a barbecue with family and friends, you could easily serve it up with chips or a salad.”

If you liked Marie’s suggestion, why not try this recipe from Katie Quinn Davies, the genius behind “What Katie Ate”: Deluxe Veg with Blue.

3. Spice up your chicken burger

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King of the grill, Adam Roberts is the co-founder of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance, Australia’s largest competition barbecue Sanctioning Body. The well-travelled and self-taught foodie specialises in hot smoked proteins and wood-fired barbecuing, including pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork, lamb shoulder, beef short ribs and, of course, tasty grilled burgers.

New spin: “I’ve created a Smoked Moroccan Chicken, Blue Cheese & Crispy Bacon Burger that’s packed with flavour. I add garlic aioli too, which gives it a bit of moisture, then serve it on a brioche bun. This burger has a lot of flavour, depth and texture. Top it with chilled cos lettuce for a greater crunch.”

Serve it: “This burger makes a great summer lunch or casual dinner. It’s fresh and it’s flavourful. It’s also quick to grill and easy to assemble – a no fuss, no mess burger. You can easily cook a restaurant quality burger in your own back yard, on your deck or balcony.”

Taste benefits: “It’s the most flavourful chicken burger you can eat! The blue cheese adds a whole new level of flavour and depth – chicken and cheese work beautifully together a load of different dishes. My inspiration for this burger came from my love of Buffalo wings dipped in blue cheese sauce. But this chicken has a mild Moroccan seasoning, rather than a heavy based chilli sauce. And the sweet brioche melts in the mouth – it’s almost like it’s not really there. It’s not too filling, but hits the spot.”

Cook it: “Lightly score the chicken breast in a criss-cross pattern and rub the Moroccan seasoning well into the grooves. Fire up the kettle smoker, then hot smoke the seasoned chicken breast and bacon rashers over Kingsford Applewood infused briquettes until the chicken is just tender and the bacon is crispy. Add the blue cheese slice onto the chicken for the last few minutes, until it’s lightly melted and infused with the chicken, becoming one element. This creates a beautifully balanced flavour and textured burger.”

Match it: “Serve it with lightly beer battered onion rings and beer, which balance out the full flavours contained within the burger. I’d drink it with a light and crisp lager – you don’t want to take away from the full bodied flavour of the burger. The burger is the hero with its crispy bacon, Moroccan spices and blue cheese. My beer suggestions are Casablanca Morocco, Pacifico Clara or Mexican Cerveza with a slice of lime for a fresh, bright taste to balance out the burger flavours.”

Find more recipe inspiration on castellocheese.com.