The Smoky Mountain Burger
I know. I know.
Before I get to the meat of the matter, I just wanted to show you what I’m up against in my Char-Broil blogging world. This is Kita Roberts, one of my fellow bloggers. No, she doesn’t show up looking like this to grill. But the fact that she’s capable of looking like this at any stage of daily life is highly annoying.
This is the best I can do. And this was on a good day… competing in a televised grilling competition last year. I will say I was the prettiest contestant as the rest of them were boys. It stung a little when one of my fellow competitors posted a photo of us on his Facebook page and someone replied, “Don’t let that old lady beat you.”
But I digress. I gather I now have your interest in talking about burgers. Burgers and Kita are related because she has a ridiculously fattening promotion running on her website, Girl Carnivore.
It’s a month of burger recipes from bloggers across the country. And now that you’ve seen what she looks like, I know some of you (at least 50 percent of you) will hop right on over there. Shallow.
Here’s my contribution: the Smoky Mountain Burger. It’s loaded with all things Appalachian: hot pickled green tomatoes (we will pickle anything as long as it will fit in a jar on the top of a seedy bar – oh, look, I made a rhyme), hoop cheese, barbecue sauce, fried onions (yes, those ones out of a can) and fatty, fatty meat. My hamburger blend is 75/25, made for me especially by my butcher who clearly does not think it’s a good idea but gives it to me anyway. He’s wrong, by the way.
Yes, the bun is buttered and toasted. And, yes, this must be accompanied by Golden Flake potato chips out of Birmingham, Alabama.
If you cannot find hot pickled green tomatoes, a regional specialty, it would behoove you to order them from Moonshine Ridge, a gift shop in Sevierville, Tennessee, that specializes in all things Southern: pickled watermelon rind, corn relish, hot pepper jelly, pickled okra, chow-chow and, of course, fudge. There is more fudge per square mile in Sevierville than in the rest of the United States of America. You will notice there is no online store. You will have to call, the old-fashioned way, and tell them what you want.
Now get on over to the Girl Carnivore site. And, as Kita says, get out your yoga pants. Not that she has any idea what those are.
- 1 pound ground chuck, preferably 75-25
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices of hoop cheese (or mild Cheddar)
- 4 kaiser rolls
- 1 cup chopped hot pickled green tomato, diced
- ½ cup French's fried onions
- Your favorite barbecue sauce
- Heat a cast iron skillet to medium hot.
- Loosely form the chuck into four patties, making an indentation in the middle to keep them flat while frying.
- Add the burgers to the skillet, indentation side up. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until a good crust forms on the bottom.
- Flip and add the cheese to the top of each burger. Cover the skillet to melt the cheese. Fry another 2-3 minutes and remove. Let rest on a plate.
- Preheat the oven broiler, butter the kaiser rolls and broil on a cookie sheet until lightly browned.
- Add the burgers to the bottom bun and top with pickled green tomato, fried onions and barbecue sauce.