The Ultimate Breakfast Burger - Our mouths are watering again just looking at the above picture and getting ready to describe the process, especially this first part of making the bacon. We found this pork shoulder bacon that looked phenomenal, so we started with a few strips of that and brushed it with a cherry jalapeño jelly. The glazed bacon goes in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the glaze is cooked into the bacon.
Now we can move on to the cheesy jalapeño hash brown. We mix equal parts shredded potatoes and shredded colby jack with a diced jalapeño pepper. We press the mixture into patties and cook in a frying pan with some warmed olive oil. Cook the hash brown on both sides until browned and slightly crisp.
With 2 of the 3 toppings knocked out, we can turn our attention to the burger itself. We're using 1/4 lb of grass fed ground beef and a 1/4 lb. of pork sausage. Combine the two meats and press into a patty. Season with salt and pepper.
To the grill we go with these guys. The fire is a two-zone fire with one side cool and the other at a medium hot and the patties go over the flame side of the grill. Char the patties on both sides and move them over to the cool side and cover. With the pork sausage component we want to make sure this burger is cooked all the way through.
Now to construct this burger. Place the grilled patty on a toasted brioche roll and place a cheesy jalapeño hash brown on top along with two slices of the glazed bacon.
The last piece is that runny fried egg. Of all the burger toppings that have been trendy over the last however many years, the fried egg has to be our all time favorite. Most burgers we cut in half, when there is an egg involved we mostly keep it intact so that our teeth punctures the yolk rather than a knife to get everything all nice and messy. We used "ultimate" in naming this burger and that wound being true and then some.
Finch's Brewing Hardcore Chimera IIPA - We're not just being homers, but we'd put the hoppy pale ales, IPAs and IIPAs from our beloved Chicago breweries up against any other city's any day of the week. Give us our Daisy Cutter, Anti Hero and the like and we are happy campers. Finch's makes some stellar hop bombs as well, and tonight we rolled out their IIPA Hardcore Chimera complete with bad ass Iron Maiden font. The beer pours a super cloudy dark orange, almost brown with a firm sudsy white head. The aroma is all citrus peel, mostly orange and grapefruit, and is unbelievably inviting. The flavor is delicious; crisp and bitter and overflowing with hoppy goodness. It's fairly smooth for an IIPA even given its hefty 9% ABV. It's actually pretty easy drinking which raises the danger level a little more on this beer. The pairing was spot-on, the big spicy burger and the big hoppy beer is a match made in food heaven.
Lo-Pan "Colossus" - A new Small Stone Records release is always a cause for a celebration and we couldn't wait to crank up this new release from Ohio rockers Lo-Pan. Some good time tunes for a good time beer and burger feast. The opening track "Regulus" is a nice synopsis of the band themselves; heavy yet melodic, bringing elements of Tool in the vocal department to go along with some catchy grunge-like groove and riffage, in a free flowing "Ten"-era Pearl Jam kind of way. "Land of the Blind" is a little darker and a little heavier, but still carries with it a lot of melody. The best track on the album is "Black Top Revelation". As the name implies, the tune is custom-made for the open road. The song slams and features some killer vocals, sharing some similarities with label mates Freedom Hawk. Another pedal to the metal track is "Marathon Man", complete with the intro of a key going to the ignition and the car starting up. "N.P.D" is a quick little punk-tinged number with huge soaring anthemic vocals. The title track is another highlight featuring some incredible drum work and vocals. The groove on this track is sick as well . "Vox" brings a Jane's Addiction feel with it, with some similarities to "Mountain Song". The band cools the engines a bit on the somewhat chill "Eastern Seas" and its hypnotic mix of Perfect Circle meets Kansas. The album closes with "The Duke" that features a heavy, dark but extremely catchy riff as well as a smokin' solo. "Colossus" is just a fun album to crank up nice and loud. You'll need your air drums and air guitar ready as you're going to need them when you spin this disc.