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January 24, 2010

I’ve made many a burger at my different werks and a couple accouterments stand out for being particularly delicious. Pretty much the best things to put on burgers are different kinds of pickles and bacon.

The pickle recipe I have grown to love is very easy and makes a sweet n spicy kind of pickle. You need roughly

6 cucumbers

4 jalapenos

1 bulb of fennel

For the cucumber and jalapeno all you do is slice thin circles across the veggie. When cutting the jalapeno watch out for the seeds and the ribs, thats where the capsaicin comes from and what gives the jalapeno spice. If you cut these with your bare hands they can lead to an unpleasant burning that just gets worse when you touch yourself…Dan. You can take out seeds here too if you want milder pickles.

For the fennel, you chop off the fronds and green parts, then quarter it through the top. Cut the tough core out before slicing it like an onion across the top. Then heavily salt all of the veggies and let them soften and release water.

I think if you quarter it, its easier to get to the core you can see on the left side

While you’re slicing everything, put a small pot of:

1 1/2 c of Apple Cider vinegar

2 c of sugar

1 T mustard seed

1 T celery seed.

Let this combine and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then remove it from the heat and let it cool. After 30 min or so, rinse the veggies of the salt and put them into a container, pour the cooled vinegar juice over the veggies and in a day or so you have delicious pickles.

All pickles give a good crunch and tang that offsets the richness and texture of the burger. Pickled fennel works well for both the sourness and crunch. For this pickle, warm up about

3/4 c or so of red wine vinegar

~1/2c brown sugar

(the better the vinegar, the better the pickle) and add the brown sugar until you lose the sharpness of the vinegar. Then you can pour this over sliced fennel in a container without having to cool it or salt the fennel.

Then add a


(herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and oregano or whatever you have, wrapped in cheesecloth so they release their flavor without the stems and such) to the container and wait a day or so for the pickled fennel. Pickling is also a great way to keep produce if its going a little south.

So any ol schmuck can just put some bacon on a burger, but what about bacon JAM! Hell yea, its fucking amazing.


Its easy too, just cut up some bacon pretty small, begin cooking it over medium heat in a pot, to basically separate the fat (render), until it is cooked, but not quite done. At this point add some caramelized onions or shallots. You can use fat from the partially rendered bacon to make even more delicious onions. Alternatively, if you cut up the onions finely, you can probably just throw them in the pot with the bacon and let it keep cookin.

After the bacon has fully rendered and gotten pretty crisp and chunky, add a good amount of brown sugar to sweeten it and give it a nice consistency. Then pulse it in a food processor, season it with salt and pepper and a splash of sherry vinegar. Add some pickles and you have one hell of a burger.

Damn, now I gotta go make myself some bacon jam…

Recipes: Sweet and Spicy Pickles, Pickled Fennel

6 Comments leave one →
  1. dodoesdid permalink
    January 24, 2010 2:40 pm

    Okay. New life plan:

    Become magically wealthy.
    Move home to Minnesota.
    Hire you as my personal chef.
    Eat bacon jam every day.

  2. Joe permalink
    January 24, 2010 4:30 pm

    I agree. I want bacon jam. And your pickles. Make us a batch that we can bring back here.

  3. Emma permalink
    January 24, 2010 7:37 pm

    I totally amen these pickles. Hallelujah.

  4. Miroslav permalink
    January 24, 2010 9:15 pm

    Very nice, I will have to try this. If you ever get the chance, Id be interested if you have learned any interesting ways to pan-fry a cut of steak. (Ive been doing balsamic and beery reductions on the cheaper steaks I get.. Ive also found that short ribs are a tasty cheaper cut to do this with, as long as you get one with the fat nice and thinly spread out..)


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