Cheddar BLT Burgers with Tarragon Russian Dressing
All countries and cultures have their signature dishes that play an important role in defining their cuisine. Spanish tapas, Greek gyros, Israeli falafel, Moroccan tagine, Indian tandoori… If you were thinking French cuisine should include French fries, French dressing or French toast, that’s not it. French Onion Soup would be a better choice (here’s a link to a great recipe).
What’s American? Apple pie and the hamburger! There’s actually a little history behind our hamburger. According to CHOW, the hamburger made its first début in 1836 at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York. It was 10 cents and was listed as a “hamburger steak.” The cheeseburger wasn’t created until 1924, when a guy named Lionel Sternberger put a piece of cheese on a patty at the Rite Spot Restaurant in Pasadena, California. McDonald’s opened its first franchise in 1955, but it took until 2004 for the documentary Super Size Me to show us that fast food hamburgers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Today burgers take on many forms. For example, turkey, black bean, veggie burgers and lamb burgers. All good options, but this Cheddar BLT Burger with Tarragon Russian Dressing is the ultimate killer hamburger in our house. I discovered this recipe in Food and Wine magazine many years ago. It’s super flavorful with the tangy Russian dressing and smoky bacon. I love the addition of fresh tarragon to the dressing. It adds something really special to an already awesome burger.
Adapted from Food and Wine, 2009
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 8 slices good thick cut smoky bacon – cooked crispy
- 1lb ground beef (enough for 4 burgers)
- Kosher salt & pepper
- Garlic powder
- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 hamburger rolls, split and toasted on the grill
- Red leaf lettuce
- Tomato slices
- Red onion slices
To make the tarragon Russian dressing, combine the mayo, ketchup, vinegar, parsley, tarragon and Worcestershire in a bowl and whisk together. Put in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.
Make 4 hamburger patties and sprinkle each with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Grill until cooked through to your liking. Top each patty with a slice of cheddar cheese and allow cheese to melt.
To assemble, top each cheddar burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, 2 slices of bacon and tarragon Russian dressing. Enjoy!
* This is a great all-purpose Russian dressing that would be delicious used on other sandwiches as well.