Goober Bacon Burger with Crispy Onion and JalapeÃ±o Laces
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
6 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise
Peanut oil, for frying and brushing grill rack
1 1/2 cups self-rising white corn meal mix
3 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large onion, 1/4 cup grated, remainder sliced lengthwise into 1/4â€ wide strips
3 jalapeÃ±o peppers, sliced lengthwise 1/4â€ wide strips
1 cup peanut butter, divided
2 pounds ground chuck
6 honey wheat hamburger buns, split
6 iceberg lettuce leaves, to fit buns
6 slices tomato
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.
Place peanut butter in small, heavy heat-proof saucepan and heat on grill rack until just warm.
In small bowl, combine mayonnaise and lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate.
Place bacon in a large, heavy heat-proof skillet; set on grill rack to fry bacon. Transfer bacon to paper towels when crisp. While bacon is frying, combine 1/3 cup warm peanut butter and grated onion (with juices) in a large bowl; mix well. Add ground chuck, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix lightly, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit buns.
Discard bacon drippings and wipe skillet clean with paper towels; return skillet to rack. Add about 1â€ oil to skillet; heat until oil is hot enough for frying. Combine corn meal mix, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl; place buttermilk in another shallow bowl. Dip onion and jalapeÃ±o strips into dry corn meal mix, then into buttermilk, and back into corn meal mix. Shake off excess and fry in oil for 2-3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Transfer â€œlacesâ€ to paper towels.
When grill is ready, brush the grill rack with oil. Place patties on the rack and cover. Cook 5-7 minutes, turn patties and cook an additional 5-7 minutes, or to desired doneness. Place buns, cut side down around outer edges of grill during last 2 minutes of grilling.
To assemble burgers, layer as follows: bottom buns, 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and patties. Spread each patty with about 1 Tablespoon warm peanut butter; add bacon, onion and jalapeÃ±o laces, and top buns.