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Family Food Fight: Battle “Burgers”

August 24, 2009 by Joan Nova in Family Food Fight, Meat, Sandwiches | 20 Comments

Most of you know that here at FOODalogue Sunday is a family day. It’s either spent enjoying celebratory dinners with the extended family (when you number 17, it’s always someone’s birthday or a holiday) – or – Jim, Cassie and I have food challenges. No birthdays this week, so we planned a ‘Family Food Fight': Battle “burgers”. Though unspoken, we each came up with a non-ketchup burger (not that we have anything against ketchup).

I made a Gaucho Burger.

Ground sirloin. Flavored with a small blend of chorizo, cilantro and olive oil pulsed to a paste. Stuffed with provolone (you can see it oozing). Topped was more flavors of the pampas, balsamic-glazed grilled onions, peppers and chimichurri (parsley, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, hot red pepper flakes). Served with Plantain Fritas (green plantain mandolin-cut to shoestrings, fried, salted and sprinkled with cilantro).

Jim did a Steakhouse Burger.

Predominantly ground beef mixed with some ground veal, ground pork, and a puree of raw bacon which was simply seasoned with S+P (enough flavor going on in the meat). To serve, the burger was layered on top of  2 slabs of bacon and topped with a blue cheese wedge salad which was sprinkled with proscuitto crisps. The spread for the toasted ciabatta roll was a smear of roasted garlic.

Cassie made a Mid-Eastern Burger.

Cassie’s recipe was to use ground lamb seasoned with salt and Allspice and to serve the burger on Pita rounds which she hand-cut to the size and shape of the burger. The layer beneath the burger was baba ghanoush (eggplant puree) and the layer on top was Laban (the Lebanese word for yogurt) which is prepared similar to Tsatsiki with Greek yogurt, diced cucumbers, mint, garlic, lemon juice and salt.

The Verdict. All 3 were pretty spectacular and bursting with flavor. And, no, we didn’t eat 3 burgers each. We were 4 people so we made 2 of each variety and split them in half so that we could try each one. So I am guilty of eating 1-1/2 very large burgers.

And a Question for You. If you could choose just one, which would it be? Gaucho? Steakhouse? Mid-Eastern?

To see more challenges, click on Family Food Fight under Categories in the sidebar on this blog and visit Jim’s blog (for better photos!).

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Liz says:

    They all look great and I would love a taste of each one. My top choice is Jim’s creation. Your new site continues to look terrific!

  2. norma says:

    Loved your burger with the cheese oozing out. Great presentations. QUE RICO!

  3. BEKKY says:


  4. Aurora Gil says:

    My preference would be gaucho. But kudos to Jim and Cassie for great presentations!! When is our next BBQ?

  5. Connie says:

    Loved all three “burgers”. But I think I would like to try the Gaucho first (love the glazed veggies). Can’t help thinking that Cassie – smart as she already is – is getting a wonderful education in global food appreciation.

  6. Lidia Lipstick says:

    I have to say the Gaucho. I would probably leave out the Cilantro, not crazy about it, but love the Provolone!!! Would also consider Blue Cheese. Kudos to Cassie and Jim as well, both look delicious.

  7. jim says:

    FYI, had a tough time deciding which photo to feature on their site:the gaucho burger or the plantain fries.
    Ultimately, they chose the fries!

    • Joan says:

      Thanks but since they are all about the photography, the slap on the back goes to you since they accepted the photos you took. I’m sure if I sent in my photos of the same subject, I’d get R-E-J-E-C-T!

  8. Arlene says:

    It’s a close call between the steakhouse and the gaucho, but I think I’d have to go with the bacon and blue cheese. Great challenge.

  9. Awesome burgers! I would love a taste of the Gaucho!

  10. Peter G says:

    Definitely the gaucho burger Joan! I love the addition of chorizo and provolone! I’m drooling! It def makes the burgers I made the other day, pale in comparison!

  11. elra says:

    Hmmm, they all look very tempting and delicious!

  12. doggybloggy says:

    superb! I cant pick a winner – they all win until I can give them a taste test!

  13. Great burgers! I don’t want to choose just one. =)

  14. Diana says:

    Oh my, that’s a tough choice!! I’d have to go with the chorizo gaucho burger AND the lamb burger! Yeah, I’d eat two WHOLE burgers!! Joan, I absolutely adore your header!! So COOL!!!

  15. Erica says:

    Wow!They all look great, but I love the gaucho burger.

  16. elly says:

    I will say it again – you have the funnest family! I LOVE your burger. Between the chorizo and the ooey gooey cheese, I’m drooling big time.

  17. Wow! A very hard choice! All 3 look insanely good. My husband would choose the Gaucho burger for sure. I might go with the Mid-Easten because I really love those flavors.

  18. I am always drawn to Middle Eastern flavours, but I wouldn’t ban any of these delicious burgers from my kitchen.

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