Southern Comfort-Burger: I Use All of the Kitchen Gadgets!
The air fryer, sous vide, and gas grill pull off this Southern themed cheeseburger!
I had an idea in my head that seemed to fester and grow; I wanted to make a Southern themed cheeseburger! I wanted to grab some of those flavors associated with Southern comfort foods and harness them in a totally ridiculous and bad-ass burger! When I thought about the foods people in the South love, the ones that would really pair well with a cheese burger, I thought of fried green tomatoes. I thought of pimento cheese. I thought of BBQ rub. And I thought of bacon!
The plan started with the pimento cheese; a cheese spread consisting of cheddar, pimentos, and mayonnaise. For a little extra zing, I used jalapeno pimento cheese spread for my Southern Comfort-Burger. I decided to stuff my burger patties with the pimento cheese, in the style of a "Juicy-Lucy" burger. This can cause some challenges, as typically the gooey, cheesy awesomeness inside the burger patty can leak out of the middle while grilling as it gets hot and turns into molten lava. This is typically a disappointing mess!
To combat the problem of leaky burgers, I used the sous vide method of cooking to cook and firm the burger meat around the cheese as it equally all came up to temperature. I started by using a sweet, Southern style BBQ rub to help flavor the beef. I then formed a thin patty into a meat cup, put a dollop of pimento cheese in the middle, and then formed another thin patty over it, making sure to seal in the pimento cheese. I then inserted the pimento cheese stuffed patty into a vacuum sealer bag, and carefully vacuum sealed it to maintain it's shape. Once that was all set, the sealed bags of cheesy stuffed patties went into the sous vide bath for one hour at 140°F (60°C).
BBQ rub screams Southern, to me!
Here is a nice, blurry picture of pimento cheese being stuffed into burger patties!
...and into the vacuum!
All ready for the sous vide bath!
The next pieces of this puzzle were the fried green tomatoes! The air fryer was going to be perfect for this, and much healthier. I sliced a green tomato in 1/4 inch slices and then coated the applied fresh ground Himalayan salt and fresh ground black pepper to both sides of each green tomato slice. Then, each slices was drug though flour, an egg and buttermilk mixture, and a panko breadcrumb and corn flour mixture. I was really please with how well the coating stuck to the tomatoes! All that was left was to apply more salt and pepper to the coated tomato slices, spray them with cooking spray, and into the air fryer they went! I cooked them for five minutes before flipping the fried green tomatoes over to finish for another three minutes. They came out perfectly crispy!
Sliced up green tomato!
Gotta get 'em dredged!
All nice and coated!
Perfectly crispy from the air fryer!!!
While the tomatoes were cooking in the air fryer, I sprinkled some more BBQ rub on the outside of the sous vide cooked burger patties before tossing them on the grill for a quick finishing along with some buns for toasting. All it took was a a quick minute, and the pimento cheese stuffed patties were ready, and without loosing any of their cheesy goodness! It was now time to assemble my creation!
Toss 'em on the grill!
On the top bun, I spread some Duke's mayonnaise along with a healthy dollop of bacon jam. On the bottom bun, I stacked a pimento cheese stuffed meat patty with a fried green tomato slice on top of that. It made for a really huge, tall burger! It looked divine!
Bacon jam: sweetness and umami!
Oh Holy Lord! The flavors!!! Th Southern Comfort-Burger packed a ton of different flavors! The burger meat had a sweet and savory flavor to it, from the BBQ rub. The pimento cheese had a nice zing to it. It was creamy and cheesy, with a little pepper heat; the perfect accompaniment for a southern themed burger. The fried green tomato not just provided a touch of tartness to the cheeseburger, but also a beautiful crunchy texture! And on top of all of that, the Duke's mayonnaise added a little more zing while the bacon jam laid down notes of sweetness and umami. So much flavor!!!
Look at all of that Southern goodness!
Just a small touch of pimento cheese oozing out!
Nice char from the grill!
All stacked up! Very tall! I present to you: The Southern Comfort-Burger!
YES!!! So much flavor! Perfect!