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RICHARD RUDISILL -

Heavenly Hamburgers

Posted: Friday, Jul. 12, 2013

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

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

Directions

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

Directions

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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