I don't specialize in hamburger or other "too simple" recipes in Food Nirvana, but in special cases I make an exception. Going back about 14 years, to 2003, my darling Marie bought a recipe book of Elvis Presley's favorite foods/recipes. She did it on a whim via the Internet (Amazon®), for he had died sometime in 1978 if I remember correctly. The book, "Are You Hungry Tonight?" was copyright 1992, and thus unlikely to be found in book stores. I didn't make anything from that book until quite recently ... Perhaps to my shame! Bottom line, Peggy and I thoroughly enjoyed Elvis' favorite cheeseburger recipe a few weeks ago, so I simply had to include that recipe in Food Nirvana.
Okay ... I gave credit where credit was/is due (sort of). Having said that, let's get on with doing something delicious!
The secret to the Elvis Cheeseburger, in my humble opinion, is seasoning the ground beef prior to cooking the hamburger patty on a hot charcoal grill. My point is that I typically do not season ground beef prior to cooking a hamburger or a cheeseburger. I have now been properly chastised. Preseasoning the meat per the Elvis recipe turned out to be a wonderful idea.
Having achieved Nirvana, food wise at least, thanks to Elvis, etc., I now have to totally rethink my approach to hamburgers, etc. In other words, even my recipe for a bleu cheese and bacon burger may be deficient to the extent the chef seasoned the ground beef prior to frying the burger way back when. Did he? I'll bet that sneaky fellow fooled me by pre-seasoning the ground beef!
Historically I hated burgers people made with raw onion and other unspecified crap in the meat prior to grilling. On balance, that simply means that I traveled in the wrong culinary social circles! I am very fortunate to have at least partially corrected that problem.
That is enough yacking from me. Let’s get on with the recipe as this cheeseburger is too good to miss. And note, as usual, you can vary the ingredients from what you see in Food Nirvana to produce your dream hamburger or cheeseburger. I just did by slightly upping the beef from 1/4 pound to 1/3 pound per burger.
Oh, yes, I buy nice chuck roasts and then grind the meat via my Kitchen-Aid mixer accessory, then typically vacuum seal and flatten it (for later easy thawing) in one pound amounts, and then freeze the product for later use. By so doing I guarantee that I will have top quality ground beef, not something that has the wrong fat content or that has been improperly extended in weight by the store adding water to freshly ground beef to increase their profit!
Ingredients: (for four cheeseburgers)
1 1/3 lb. Choice grade ground chuck (80% lean)
4 Big Marty’s® sesame seed sandwich/hamburger buns
4 thick slices of American Cheese (or eight thin slices)
1 tsp. of dried oregano
2 tbsp. of finely chopped red onion
1 tsp. of garlic salt
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
lettuce, prepared mustard, mayonnaise, sliced pickles, sliced tomatoes and sliced red onions as condiments
Prepare the charcoal grill to get things quite hot. At grilling time the hot coals should be three to four inches below the grilling surface and be evenly distributed.
Combine the meat and the chopped onion and the dry seasoning ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix well by hand, then shape that mixture into four hamburger patties.
Form each hamburger patty such that it has the same diameter as the Big Marty’s® bun. That will result in having the raw meat thickness exactly right, for at the end of the grilling the patty size will fit inside the bun perfectly, provided you didn't buy ground beef only 60% lean!!! Actually, 80% lean is about perfect.
Grill the hamburger patties for 5 to 7 minutes per side to create well-done burgers. I believe making them well-done is the best way in this instance to get the most flavor from the dry seasoning ingredients.
Two minutes before the end of grilling the second side, put the slice(s) of American Cheese on top of each patty.
Serve the burgers on the buns and add the condiments. Perhaps you want to season the underside of your burger first with a bit more pepper. Your choice.
Chow down and groan with pleasure. Take a nice swallow of ice cold beer, like Corona®, now and then!
I made macaroni salad to serve with the burgers using the fine Food Nirvana recipe. It was a good choice, but then, lots of other foods will go well with these burgers.
Hey, Mabel! Where's my Fries? Where's the salt?