Burger bash

Local chefs offer recipes for National Burger Month

Written by Joe Stump | Photography by Visual Fusion Photographics

You might not expect a Vietnamese restaurant to serve up one of the tastiest burgers in Wichita. Unless, that is, you've tried the lamb-beef burger with Sriracha mayo at Lemongrass restaurant in Old Town Square.

Danny Nguyen's creation shows the near universal appeal of the burger  and one of many ways a cook can dress up this sultan of sandwiches.

For May, National Burger Month, we asked Nguyen and three other Wichitans well-known for their food  Scott Redler of Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Patrick Shibley of Doo-Dah Diner, and Rob Schauf of The Flying Stove food truck  to do just that for SPLURGE! readers.

Try their recipes on your backyard grill, or stop by their places for a taste. Either way, we think they're worth enjoying all year long.

Lemongrass Lamb and Beef Burger

Danny Nguyen's lamb-beef burger started out as a slider-size lagniappe for diners at his Old Town Square eatery, but it's proven so popular that it will likely be on the menu by the time you read this. The addition of rich ground lamb means that even a slider-size burger still carries a big flavor punch.

Ingredients

1 lbs. lean ground beef
1/3 lbs. ground lamb
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hamburger buns
Tomato, pickle, lettuce and onion for topping

Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 teaspoon ranch dressing

Directions

Combine beef and lamb into patties with rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Form into patties. In small bowl, stir tougher mayo, chile sauce and ranch dressing. Grill burgers over medium-high heat until desired doneness is reached. Serve on buns with sauce and toppings.

Suggestion: This recipe makes excellent slider size burgers.

The Flying Stove's French Onion Burger

Rob Schauf, who launched Wichita's food truck scene with his brother, Jeff, evokes the delicious flavors of French onion soup with this burger  caramelized onions, sherry and melted cheese over the top. While he adds a bit of braised beef and fat to his burger mixture, this recipe works just fine without it. Check out The Flying Stove's Facebook page to find the truck.

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef (FS uses the Ark City-based Creekstone brand)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sherry
4 slices each Gruyere and Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Arugula
Hamburger buns

Directions

Before cooking burgers, melt butter or heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 10-15 minutes or until onion is a deep brown and beginning to break down; don't burn. Splash in sherry, turn up heat and cook just until sherry evaporates; remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine mayo and mustard. Spread on interior surfaces of buns.

Form beef into four patties. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place burgers on medium-hot grill, cooking and turning until desired doneness is just about reached. Divide caramelized onions between burgers, then top burgers with one slice of each cheese. Place buns on grill around burgers, sauce side down, and close grill. Cook until cheese on burgers is melted and buns are lightly toasted. Place burgers on buns with arugula, and serve.

Doo-Day Diner's Outside In Burger

Patrick Shibley has taken burgers and other diner food to a new level at the Doo-Dah Diner, 206 E. Kellogg. He likens this burger to a souffle  except with cheese instead of chocolate escaping the center with each bite. The key is to cook the burger slowly after an initial sear, and don't press down to avoid squishing the center. This makes a big burger, so feel free to cut down on quantities or cut it in half for two servings.

Ingredients

10 oz. ground beef, formed into two patties
Two slices jalapeno-flavored bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
3 slices American cheese
Brioche or pretzel hamburger buns
Lettuce, onion, pickle for topping

Directions

Flatten one beef pattie in your hand. Top it with cooked bacon pieces and cheese. Place the second pattie on top. Seal the edges of the patties together, making sure to keep the bacon and cheese "inside." Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place burger on grill. Cook over high heat a few minutes until first side is seared (this should also help sear the "seal" between the patties), then flip over, reduce heat to medium low and cook about 15-20 minutes, until juices run clear or desired doneness is reached. Serve on buns with toppings.

Freddy's Double Cheeseburger with Fries

As a partner in the Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers chain, Scott Redler has probably sold as many burgers as any Wichitan in history. There are more than 250 Freddy's in 31 states. The recipe below isn't a combo meal  the fries and Freddy's Fry Sauce go right on the burger. Freddy's Fry Sauce and Steakburger & Fry Seasoning are now available in supermarkets, as well as in Freddy's restaurant. If you can't find it, we've given some hints for substitutes below.

Ingredients

6 oz. ground beef (85 percent lean, preferably), formed into two patties
2 American cheese slices
1 batch French fries, store-bought or prepared at home and kept warm
Freddy's Steakburger & Fry Seasoning (see note)
Freddy's Fry Sauce (see note)
Several slices yellow onion
1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, sliced
Jalapenos
Hamburger buns

Directions

Before cooking burgers, saute onion and jalapeno slices in a skillet with oil or butter until soft.

Season patties to taste with Fry Seasoning. Cook burgers on medium-hot grill until almost done. Add cheese, cover and continue cook until cheese melts. Place one cheeseburger on bottom bun. Top with Fry Sauce, grilled onion and jalapeno slices, fries and second cheeseburger. Top with second bun and serve.

Note: According to one copycat recipe online, a reasonable facsimile of Freddy's seasoning mix can be made by combining salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, turmeric, onion salt and garlic salt. To make Fry Sauce, combine some of that with mayo, ketchup and pickle juice.

 
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