Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cowboy Burgers with Blue Cheese or Cheddar

Congratulations to 
Cleo Coyle with a new Coffeehouse Mystery 
Sheila Connolly with a new Orchard Mystery
Both with new books out this week! 
What a great month to dive into a new cozy!!! 
Tasty and fun.

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Do you love to barbecue? You all know I do. Have I gone on  and on and on about them this summer. I find such solace outdoors, listening to the wind, to the birds. Drinking in the aroma of the barbecue. Ahhh.

Earlier in the summer, I shared a steak with blue cheese. But what about a burger? With blue or cheddar.  I adore a good burger. Juicy. With or without a bun. A crisp salad. A hearty red wine like a Sin Zin Zinfandel, with upfront flavors of black cherries, blueberries, vanilla and spice. Fabulous!

Now, you probably know which cheddar you prefer, but not every blue is the same, so here are a couple to choose from...depending on your palate.
From the heart of Emmentaler cheese territory in Switzerland comes Blause Wunder Blue cheese.
I read about this cheese in Culture Magazine and had to try it. It was totally different from typical blue cheeses. The exterior rind of the cheese is powdery blue in color. Inside the semi-soft meat of the cheese is a bone white/gray interior, shot through with fine blue vein lines. The magazine said the cheese offered flavors spice imparted and an underlying sweetness. I thought it was a mild blue cheese, lovely for eating with appetizers. Mild for a cowboy burger.

 Another choice is Bayley Hazen Blue. This comes from Cowlgirl Creamery in California. It iis a buttery, natural-rind blue cheese made with raw Ayrshire cow’s milk. These cows graze from late spring to early fall. Though it is drier than many blue cheese, and the flavors are spectacular, offering all the hints of the grasses that the cows feed on and a hint of anise. It’s a strong enough cheese to hold its own against a fat juicy burger.



(4 burgers)
2 pounds hamburger (15-20% lean)
1 sweet yellow onion
¾ cup (6-8 ounces) crumbled blue cheese  or shredded Cheddar (plus more to adorn burger) 
4 tablespoons Penzey's Bouquet Garni (mixed herbs *)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper


Heat oven to broil or prepare barbecue to a medium high heat

Peel and chop onion small bits. 

Shred 6-8 ounces of cheddar cheese.

I used Penzey's Bouquet Garni herbs. If you can't find Penzey's at your store, you can mix together your favorite herbs. [*Suggestion: 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon dried parsley.] Add salt and pepper.
In medium bowl, mix hamburger, onion, cheese and spices.  Mold the mixture into four thick patties.  [Keep them thick in order to keep them rare to medium rare.  If you desire medium to well-done, make the patties flatter.]  [By the way, I saw Ina Garten making burgers, on a rerun, and she was adamant that you not pat the burgers too hard or they won't stay juicy. So be gentle.]

In an oven or on the barbecue, cook the burgers approximately 4-5 minutes on each side.  Pressing on the burger with the back of a spatula will give you an idea of “doneness.”

Adorn burgers with extra cheese. 


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  1. " listening to the wind, to the birds. Drinking in the aroma of the barbecue. Ahhh."

    Swatting at flys, slapping the mosquitoes, and let's not talk about the heat during the last couple of weeks.

    But aside from life in Kansas (I miss grilling, just too darn hot), you make it sound delightful and i do love a good blue cheese burger. I usually serve mine open face as well unless we have company. Then it just freaks people out.

    Dave (formerly year on the Grill)

  2. Hi, Dave, now "Inspired,"

    Forget the swatting flies etc. And the heat. Yes, think of the poetic barbecue. Which can be made inside if the mindset can wrap itself around that! LOL



  3. I haven't heard of these cheeses, Avery. Thanks so much for introducing them to me! They sound delish. :)

  4. Elizabeth, I've been tasting a whole bunch of new blues. There is an amazing assortment. Mind you, some of them aren't cheap, but a tiny wedge is affordable and tastes great, even for snacking.


  5. Before HLD/LDL, my husband and I would frequent a restaurant that had great bacon-blue cheese burgers with fries.
    Anniversary is coming up. Wonder if the evidence would be gone by the next doctor's appointment.

  6. This sounds like a wonderful combo! Two of my special foods. I have learned a lot about cheese from you, Avery, all of it good.

  7. Wow, Avery. That's a cheese-lover's delight! I know someone who would flip for your Cowboy Burger!

    ~ Krista

  8. Liz, it sounds like you know what you're doing for your anniversary. Maybe split a salad for the doctor's sake.
    Mary, I am so glad that you have learned so much. I love learning, actually I really love the tasting part.
    Krista, it is great meal for a warm evening.

  9. Avery - thank you so much for the shout-out on my new release this week. Delicious post. That tip on not patting the raw meat patties too hard is wonderful. It pays to be kind--even when it comes to burger meat. :)

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter