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If Heaven were a Hamburger

Posted: Friday, Jul. 12, 2013

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

"Chef Troy" Gagliardo hosts a weekly cooking segment called "Troy's Everyday Eats" live every Tuesday on WCCB News Rising from 7 to 9 a.m. He has made over 300 appearances on the show showcasing over 1000 of his unique original recipes. He was also voted one of the Top Five best chefs in Charlotte in 2013. Troy has penned a cookbook called Pseudo Southern, which has been endorsed by celebrity chef and best selling author Fabio Viviani. His business Motown Spice Provisions supplies some of the top restaurants and country clubs in the greater Charlotte area for the past 10 years. He is a self-taught chef who learned early on the importance of family and food, and the connection between both, from his parents and grandparents. Contact him at troygagliardo@gmail.com. Visit www.cheftroy.net, and follow Troy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

No doubt that it is grilling season. Well except for the fact that we have had so much rain that most of our grilling has been done under an umbrella. Tops on the list every grilling season to treat ourselves with is always burgers.

Trying different types of meat like bison (buffalo, which is low in fat and high in protein), lamb, turkey and even chicken are always fun. For my money I love the thrill of the topping/flavoring. Much like creating interesting pizzas, the burger is a blank canvas for anything and most certainly everything you can think of. From a PB&J burger to pimento cheese stuffed burger, to a mac & cheese topped burger and they all are unique and tasty.

This is the time to let your creativity run wild and think of your favorite flavor combinations and just go with it. That is what I did last week for my Fourth of July Burger Bash on my weekly Tuesdays with Troy segment on WCCB Rising (click link for wrap-up video). I created what I like to call “THE” Farmhouse Burger. It is a combination of all that is good in the world, at least in my world that is.

I went with all beef patty seasoned generously with my Chef Troy’s Spice Mix (store locations available at www.cheftroy.net) and grilled it medium with a nice charred outer crust. I whipped up an easy chipotle mayo to smear on the onion roll before adding the burger, which is smeared with farmer’s cheese that is creamy and buttery. That gets topped with a perfectly fried egg and buttermilk/hot sauce marinade fried okra.

The final touch is a quick bourbon bacon marmalade that is sweet and salty, with a slight bourbon flavor punch that sets this burger off to new dimensions unknown to mankind. Ok…that may be a little over dramatic but give this a try for yourself and you will be just as excited and singing its praises to your family and friends. Enjoy!

The Farmhouse Burger

• 2 Pounds-Ground Beef-divided into 4 equal portions
• To Taste-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix-or salt and pepper
• 8 Ounces-Farmers Cheese
• 4 Each-Large Egg
• 5-6 Each-Okra-sliced thin long ways
• 1 Cup-Buttermilk
• 2 Cups-Corn Meal
• To Taste-Bacon Marmalade-recipe below
• ½ Cup-Mayo
• To Taste-Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
• 1 Tablespoon-Chipotle Pepper-deseeded chopped fine
• 4 Each-Onion Roll


1. Make bacon marmalade according to recipe and set aside.
2. Pre-heat grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
3. Soak sliced okra in buttermilk, 15 minutes.
4. Combine mayo, chipotle, black pepper and refrigerate.
5. Heat a few inches of oil to about 350 degrees.
6. Drain okra, dredge in corn meal to coat.
7. Place in hot oil and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Remove okra, drain on paper towel and set aside.
9. Lightly oil burgers and liberally season both sides with Spice Mix.
10. Grill to desired doneness, adding cheese to melt toward the end.
11. Remove from grill, let rest and lightly toast inside of buns on grill.
12. Cook eggs sunny side up and set aside.
13. Assemble burger in this order:
14. Burger Bottom bun, mayo, burger with melted cheese, fried egg, marmalade, okra and top bun.

Bacon Marmalade

1. 6 Strips-Bacon-sliced thin
2. 1 ½ Cups-Onion-chopped
3. 2 Teaspoons-Granulated Sugar
4. 1 Tablespoon-Apple Cider Vinegar
5. 2 Tablespoons-Bourbon
6. To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper
7. 1 Teaspoon-Smoked Paprika


1. Warm small pot over medium high heat and add bacon.
2. Cook until slightly crispy and drain off about half of the drippings.
3. Add onions, lower heat and cook until golden.
4. Add bourbon, vinegar, sugar, and smoked paprika
5. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Set aside to cool.

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