Burger Challenge: The Mediterranean Burger
Burger Challenge: The Mexican Burger

Burger Challenge: The California Burger

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer 

Can a person get tired of eating just burgers?  HECK NO!

In a celebration of summer, yours truly is celebrating with what is THE iconic food of summer, the burger.  For a week, lunch and dinner will feature some sort of burger, starting off with a classic cheeseburger and then going on an adventure from there.  The adventure will travel through flavors from around the globe, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and more!  There will be a variety in spices, toppings and meats!

California burgerFor Day 4, it's dinner in California!  This burger features avacado and bacon jam!  I've never had bacon jam before and after tasting it, I was like, "Where have you been all my life?"  As Guy Fieri might say, you could put that stuff on a flip-flop and it would taste good.  

The California Burger


  • One pound of ground beef
  • One Tablespoon seasoning salt
  • One teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
  • Cheddar cheese slices (white or regular)
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • One Tablespoon minced garlic
  • One heaping Tablespoon brown sugar
  • A healthy splash of apple cider vinegar
  • A splash of chicken stock
  • Hamburger buns
  • 3 slices of fresh avacado
  • Sliced tomato
  • Lettuce
  • A few tabs of butter and a bit of garlic to toast the buns

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, seasoning salt, Thousand Island dressing and fresh black pepper.  Once incorporated, form the patties. Grill the burgers over direct heat, about five minutes per side.  While the burgers are on the grill getting happy, put together the bacon jam.  Toast the buns with garlic butter, melt the cheese on the patty, then assemble the burgers with that FANTASTIC onion bacon jam, avacado, the rest of the toppings and enjoy!  

For the Onion Bacon Jam:  Fry up the bacon over medium low heat.  Once the bacon is brown but not yet crisp, reserve 3 slices for the burger, drain excess fat and chop up the remaining bacon.  Add the onion and garlic.  Once the onions are translucent, add the brown sugar, the splashes of vinegar and chicken stock.  Let that simmer, stirring occasionally until things get thick and 'jammy.' 

TIP:  Ground meats should be cold when putting on the grill. If patties are at room temperature, they tend to fall apart or droop through the cooking grate. As I make patties, I like to stack them with plastic wrap between each patty and put them in the freezer for about an hour before grilling.  

This burger cost only about $2.85 to prepare.  Try spending just that at a fast food restaurant for all that bacon jam deliciousness!

Stay tuned for more great burger recipes like the "Classic," "Idaho," "Meatloaf," "Pizza," "Thanksgiving," "Cajun," "Mediterranean," "California" and more, it's the Burger Challenge!



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