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Blackened Katrina Bistro Burger with Cajun BBQ sauce

A year ago this month Hurricane Katrina created an impact that was felt nearly worldwide. Her effects to this day are still vivid in the minds and hearts of those she affected. Numerous eating establishments in and around New Orleans were left in ruins by her fierce winds and waters. Many have reopened, but the doors of many more will remain forever closed.

Being from the nearby city of Mobile, Alabama, many of the restaurants I frequented were lost.

I'm a Meteorologist with The National Weather Service in Mobile and was directly involved with the storm and it's impact. I orinarly would not enter a contest such as this, but I do enjoy cooking, but it's much more than that. Since New Orleans is so well noted for it's cuisine, and many of it's fine established were lost, I wanted to dedicate this burger in their memory.

Hurricane Katrina left a memorable impact. And if you will, and with all due respect to those who experienced loss from the storm...I want my burger to leave a memorable impact on your taste buds. The spiciness of it's cajun and blackening ingredients will hit you and "blow you away", but hopefully not leave you in ruins.

To the Bistros of New Orleans....Enjoy


Cajun BBQ Sauce
1 t black pepper
1 t kosher salt
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t white pepper
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 lb sliced bacon
1 c chopped onion
2 c beef stock
1 c chili sauce
1 c honey
5 t fresh orange juice
1 t orange zest
2 t fresh lemon juice
1 t lemon zest
2 t garlic puree
1/4 c unsalted butter


3 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoon onion salt
2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons blackening seasoning
4 slices of horseradish cheddar cheese

2 muffuletta breads, split
1/2 cup garlic butter

Vegetable oil or spray, for coating grill rack


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make Cajun BBQ Sauce:
Combine salt, peppers, onion powder, and garlic powder-mix well and set aside.
Cook bacon until crisp, add onions, cover, and cook until browned. Without burning add dry spice mixture, heat and stir for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients heat and stir for 20-25 minutes. Pour into a food processor, process to a smooth puree.

To make the patties, combine the beef, onion salt, garlic salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the
muffuletta breads. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of blackening seasoning over one side of each of the two patties, coating well.
Spread 1/4 cup garlic butter on underside of top portion of each muffuletta breads.

When the grill is ready, brush or spray the grill rack to prevent sticking. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until meat reaches 160 degrees F.
When meat is cooked place two slices of horseradish cheddar cheese on top of each patty and assemble burgers. Place each assembled burger, bread bottom side down on grill and place a foil wrapped brick on top of each. For grill marks on bread, allow each burger to remain on grill for one minute, then turn each burger 90 degrees and leave on grill for another minute. Using the large and regular size spatchulas, carefully turn each burger over. Follow the above grill mark directions and your burger is done.

Spread burger meat with warm Cajun BBQ sauce and cut each burger into thirds.

BBQ sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce if desired.

Makes 6 servings


Grilling needs:

Two foil wrapped bricks
One very large grill spatula
One regular size grill spatula
Blender or food processor
Meat thermometer