Creole Sweet and Zesty Bacon Blue Burger
1 loaf 24 inch long x 3 inch wide Par-baked French bread (e.g. Take& Bake brand) or enough smaller loaves to make six: 4â€x3â€ mini-baguette segments
3 Strips Thick Slab Bacon
1/2 c Dark Brown Sugar
4 t Coarse Cracked Black Pepper
2 t Kosher Salt
2 lbs Fresh Ground Chuck
6 Ice Chips (nickel size)
Vegetable Oil For Brushing the Grill
1 Romaine Lettuce Heart
1 Large Tomato (diced)
Â½ c Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 jar Creole Mustard
In a kettle grill with a cover, prepare a 2 section hot fire for direct heat cooking. A portion of the fire (roughly half) should hold a single layer of briquettes for moderate heat. The rest of the fire is multi-layered 2-3 briquettes deep for high heat. The single layer area should be large enough to hold 6 individually wrapped 4â€ mini-baguette segments of the French bread and the 3 strips of bacon. Add the clean grill rack and heat 2 minutes. While the grill rack heats up, slice the French bread into 6 equal pieces to make four-inch mini-baguettes and wrap each individually in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Crumple a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil thatâ€™s long enough and wide enough to hold the 3 strips of bacon, turn the four edges of the foil up to capture the bacon grease, and set on top of the grill rack along the edge of the single layer of coals closest to the multi-layer stack. Put the 3 strips of Slab Bacon directly on the foil and set the wrapped mini-baguettes on the rack over the rest of the single layer of hot coals. Cover the grill and cook. Be sure to turn the mini-baguettes frequently. Turn the bacon occasionally until crisp. The bacon is crisp when it breaks when bent. The bread will be ready to remove when it sounds hollow when tapped and has a light golden crust.
Remove Bread and set aside. Remove the crisply cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and let cool.
On a small plate mix the Dark Brown Sugar, Coarse Cracked Black Pepper, and Kosher Salt to make the Dry Rub. Divide the 3 cooked strips of Bacon in half to make 6 servings and shred each serving. Divide the Ground Chuck into 6 equal servings. Working quickly, gently flatten each serving of beef and place 1 serving of bacon and 1 ice chip in the center of each. Gently pull the edges of the meat up and around to enclose the bacon and ice filling into a ball. Gently form each filled meat ball into a patty being sure to keep the filling in the center and to seal the edges.
Dip each finished patty into the plate of Dry Rub, being sure to coat all sides. Brush the grill with vegetable oil and place the finished uncooked beef patties onto the multi-layered high heat level of the grill rack. Grill, turning once, until their internal temperature registers 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.
While the burgers cook, wash and dry the lettuce and dice the tomato. Set aside.
Remove the cooked patties from the grill to a plate and top each with a heaping tablespoon of crumbled blue cheese. Cover the cheese-topped patties with aluminum foil and let rest until the cheese warms and just begins to soften. Then remove the foil.
While the patties are resting unwrap the French bread and slice the mini-baguettes in half lengthwise to make tops and bottoms. Return the tops and bottoms to the single coal layer side of the grill rack to toast uncovered crust side down until the crust is dark golden and crisp. Then, remove from the grill and scoop out the soft center from each half of the mini-baguette leaving the crusty exterior.
Spread the bottom of each hollowed mini-baguette with a heaping tablespoon of Creole Mustard and set enough lettuce leaves on top of the mustard to cover the bottom. Fill the hollowed top of each mini-baguette with diced tomato. Set each finished cheese-covered patty on top of the lettuce and cover with the tomato-filled mini-baguette top. Makes 6 Burgers