RECIPES: Recipe Details
Local Yolkal Buffalo Burger
Summers spent on my grandparents farm in New Jersey are the inspiration for my deliciously decadent local yolkal burger. I have fond memories of picking corn and tomatoes from our garden and getting fresh eggs from the farmer down the road. I also remember many nights my grandmother frying up eggs and bacon for dinner because she was too hot and tired to "cook". My love for farm life remains true. A few years back I traded in my 9-5 heels for muck boots. My husband and I grow many of the burger ingredients ourselves, the rest come from neighboring farms and markets. The secret to a better burger is quite simple...keep it local, make it yolkal!
2 ears summer sweet, sweet corn , husk left on
1/2 cup Hellman's mayonaise
1/4 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Asian chile garlic sauce*
1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 slices Blooming Glen Farms thick sliced applewood smoked bacon, or any quality thick sliced applewood smoked bacon, cut in half
1 1/2 lbs. Hillside Farms ground buffalo, or any quality hormone free buffalo
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chilled D'artagnan White Truffle Butter** , optional, corsley chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 large Heirloom tomatoes, I grow Brandywine and Cherokee Purple
a pinch of kosher salt, for each tomato slice
6 Big Marty's*** hamburger buns, or other soft sesame seeded hamburger buns
2 tablespoons,plus extra for oiling the grill Colavita extra virgin olive oil
6 Happy Farm's Khaki Campbell duck eggs, or organic free-range chicken eggs
a pinch of kosher salt
a few twists of fresh ground black pepper
6 large leaves butter crunch lettuce, or Boston lettuce
For the Sweet Corn Mayo:
Preheat a gas grill to med-high.
Peel away the first few outer layers of husk from the corn. Be sure to leave a few layers on for protection and steaming. Grill the corn over direct heat, turning often, until the top layer of husk is completely charred. Depending on your grill, this could take from 7 to 12 minutes. Remove the corn from grill and let it rest/steam for 5 minutes.
Place a cast iron skillet on the grill over direct heat and close the lid.
To a food processor add the Hellman's mayonaise, Vidalia onion, garlic, asian chile garlic sauce, lemon zest, basil, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
Remove the husk from the corn. With a sharp knife remove the kernels. Add the kernels to the processor. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Place the sweet corn mayo in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate or place in a cooler packed with ice until ready to use.
Add the bacon to the cast iron skillet that has been pre-heating on the grill.Cook the bacon until it is crisp and nicely browned on both sides. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Loosely tent with aluminum foil, set aside.
Carefully remove the skillet from the grill. Strain the grease through a fine mesh strainer into a glass measuring cup. Measure out 2 tablesoons of the drippings into a small glass bowl and reserve for frying the duck or chicken eggs, discard the rest.
For the Burgers
The juiciest burgers are made with simple, quality ingredients and minimal handing. I like to take it a step further. I keep the meat exceptionally cold by mixing the meat in a stainless steel mixing bowl set over an ice bath. It may sound strange but, this keeps the flavorful fat in the meat and off of your hands. This step is completely optional, but I encourage you to try it out.
Prepare an ice bath if using. To a large stainless steel mixing bowl (set over an ice bath, if using) add ground buffalo, garlic, chopped white truffle butter (if using), kosher salt and black pepper. Gently fold the ingredients together just until they are evenly distributed though out the meat.
Line a cookie sheet tray with parchment paper or wax paper. Divide the meat into six equal portions. Handling the meat as little as possible, form into individual patties appropriately sized for your buns. Wrap tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in a cooler packed with ice until moments before they hit the grill.
Slice tomatoes into thick juicy slices. Place only the choice three slices from each tomato on a plate. Sprinkle each slice with a pinch of kosher salt. Pop the remainder tomato "scraps" into your mouth and roll your eyes back in delight. Cover the tomatoes with plastic wrap, set aside. Please do not chill!
Put your Big Marty's or other soft sesame seeded bun on a cookie tray. Brush the insides generously with 2 tablespoons of Colavita extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside.
Check that the grill is still med-high. Saturate a paper towel with Colavita Olive Oil. Use a long set of tongs to rub the oil drenched paper towel over the grill. Remove burger patties from the refrigerator or cooler and immediately place on the hot oiled grill. Cook 5-7 minutes per side or until an internal temperature of 145 degrees for medium-rare. Transfer patties to a platter, loosely tent with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes.
While burgers are resting, line another cookie tray with parchment or wax paper. Place 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease in a medium sized grill safe non-stick skillet. Put the skillet on the grill over direct heat. Once the grease is very hot crack three of the duck eggs into the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes sprinkle with kosher salt & black pepper, then flip eggs over and cook another 1-2 minutes (the yolks should still be runny). Slide eggs onto lined cookie tray, separate with spatula if necessary. Repeat with remaining three eggs. Loosely tent eggs with foil. Drop grill temperature to med -low.
Place Big Marty's oiled side down on the grill. Toast each bun until light and golden. Transfer buns to a large cutting board toasted side up.
Remove the sweet corn mayo from the refrigerator or cooler.
Build all 6 burgers assembly line style from the bottom up. First, generously spread sweet corn mayo inside the top and bottoms. Next place one leaf of lettuce on each bun bottom, followed by an heirloom tomato slice, next the burger patty, then two pieces of bacon per burger, top the bacon with one fried duck egg being very careful not to break the yolk, gently replace bun tops.
Whisk the finished burgers over to your friends and family (or the judges) and smile big, because you know they are about to eat the BEST local yolkal burger they've ever tasted!
* Asian chile garlic sauce or sambal is used as a condiment on just about everything in the far East. It is made from fresh ground chiles and garlic and it can be very hot. It is available at Asian food markets or in the international aisles of most supermarkets. I like the brand that has a bright green lid and a rooster on the label.
** D'artagnan's (a New Jersey based company ) white truffle butter is available from www.dartagnan.com, or at most gourmet supermarkets.
*** Big Marty's are oversized soft sesame seeded buns that are a staple at any local backyard cookout in our region.