Introduction: [Collegiate Meals] I Love You (Virus) Burgers

Picture of [Collegiate Meals] I Love You (Virus) Burgers

If stereotypes serve right (ha!), "I love you" is the hardest thing to say (or most dangerous). Unless of course its a contagious message in your mailbox awaiting outlook to execute and infect.... And these burgers are contagious!


I personally like my burgers thin, flavorful and I like to eat a lot of them. I really don't like burgers that are so thick that they take so long to cook that they crumble and leave you with a mouthful of meat (of any kind) and nothing else. Not to mention - no more circle burgers with square buns! I learned my lesson when I was little -- the cube won't fit into the circular hole :P

Here's how I make my burgers. If you like Parmesan cheese, you probably like Parmesano Reggiano which gives these burgers a unique aromatic flavor. Nothing says I love you more than a steaming heart made from ground meat :)

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

Lean Ground Meat (Red, White, Other White or just other)
Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt
Buns!


You'll also need a cheese grater for the Parmigiano, some sort of rolling pin (I used a beer bottle) and some freezer paper.

Step 2: Prep

Picture of Prep

Place your ground meat into a small bowl and add about a quarter cup of finely grated cheese per pound of meat along with two pinches (use your own judgment) of salt per pound.

Mix well -- don't be afraid to mash it up. Make a ball.


Place foil on a baking sheet and place the meat ball on top.Place a sheet of freezer paper on top of this and roll the meat out to a quarter inch thickness. Discard freezer paper.


Select your cutting utensil(s). I am using a heart shape. If you want squares, a pizza cutter works wonders (if you have one) - if not, use the dull side of a knife or a spatula to make squares slightly larger than your buns.

Buns
Before you go cutting away at your meat, take a look at your buns. Are they circular? Or square? If you got a mass produced pre-packed sack of buns (the kind that are typically 2 stacks of 4 connected buns), they are likely square ;) So make your meat square.

To fit our special shapes, first cut your buns using the same cutting tool that you will use on your meat - do this first.

Next, use your cutting tool to cut your meat.

Step 3: Cook and Build and Serve

Picture of Cook and Build and Serve

Look at my griddle/waffle maker.... Would you guess that it's 40 years old? Well, it's not -- but my parents have one that is -- and it doesn't look a day over 15 :P My grandmother and grandfather used it, my mother and father use it, I used it and when I went to college, I had to have one myself because my parents wouldn't give theirs up (and I can't blame them for that). Well, years and years later - It's still made! Same exact model.

I highly recommend it too - I believe I paid $40 and it's a waffle iron (flip the irons), griddle, grille and panini machine (makes great pressed Cuban bread/sandwiches).


Anyway - cooking. I set my griddle to a medium heat... So if you're doing the same in a pan, do the same ;) I allowed a few minutes of preheat and gave a very light spray of cooking oil (lean meat == less lubricating oils)

3 minutes used as a panini machine - no flipping. If you're using a pan, 3 minutes on the first side, 2 on the second - flip once. You probably can cook for even less time.

Don't forget to make sure your buns are well toasted -- if you're into that sort of thing ;)


Building
I like a little crunch and a little acid with my burger.... So some heat shaped slices of lettuce and some tomato. To add a bit more aromatic flavor, some grated cheese on top for garnish and flavor.

Served with an Ice cold beer... And I'll be the first here to say - Orange Blossom Pilsner is not good at all - not as bad as a skunky beer. Just cheap tasting.

Comments

CapnChkn (author)2008-02-12

Nothing says "Love" like Red Meat!

CrayfishYAY (author)CapnChkn2010-08-28

Ewwwwww! I hate anything that is not well done. My mom & I act like we are vomiting when we see stuff like that.

I Am An Evil Taco (author)2008-05-17

Seriously, I got divorced because of a heart shaped bacon cheeseburger that I made my wife on father's day. Heart shaped bacon is easy and cool. Bake the bacon (bakin bacon. baking ba... ok. I guess you have to say that out loud a few times) and you can to mold it any way you wish. A foremanizer (dorm room valentines? foreman grills rule for bacon and don't suck for high fat ground beef. 85/15 is best imo.) works just as well, as does a panini press. Bake it for about 7 minutes a side, or until a desired crispness. Bonus points for heart shaped tomatoes and lettuce, too. Cupid's arrow carved out of pickle spears? Baked bacon? How about some pestled pesto? Does anyone else think that avocado on a hamburger is the best thing ever? Damn, now I'm hungry.

david2222121 (author)2008-03-19

I swear, I nearly started drooling whilst reading this. I gotta make this sometime. Just one question, can you cook these on a pan rather than a griddle?

Treepwood (author)2008-02-13

Great instruction. Thx a lot!

incorrigible packrat (author)2008-02-12

Ahhh Reggiano! Smells much less like vomit than ordinary parmesan (especially that atrocity in a can), yet tastes at least 33 and a third times better. Ever try grating with a Microplane? Works dandily for grating, zesting or mincing garlic (and fingers, if you ain't careful). Afterwards, you can use it to shape Bondo on your car. Question: Can one use a press sold as specifically for paninis, to grill burgers on? Got a reallly nice one, for X-mas, from the in-laws and I'd rather not bugger it up. Also, got me a pound of ground elk, that I'm keen to try this on.

John Smith (author)2007-07-12

Try Thousand Island dressing as a replacement for mayonnaise, its great. Also, consider adding chipotle peppers to the meat before cooking.

jongscx (author)John Smith2008-02-12

Thousand island is effectively Mayo, Ketchup (or catsup, depending on where you're from), and potentially sweet pickle relish... All of which end up in a burger in many occasions anyway

Fenwick (author)2007-02-19

I don't know too much about cooking, but putting Parmesan Reggiano in the meat would make them really good, I'll have to try that next time.

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