It’s not often that a recipe, particularly a novelty recipe from the teevee, delivers 100% on its promise. And that, friends, is precisely where we find ourselves today.
Let me set the stage for you. We’d been basically doing without cable television for about two years now, having cut the cord and jumped headlong into the world of streaming video, with your Netflixes and your Hulus and your Amazon Primes.
Oh, sure, we had a little cable box; a tiny, insipid, blinking thing that froze constantly and delivered no more than ten channels, which we kept connected simply because our cable company charges more for just internet, than they do for internet plus television. Don’t ask.
I feel like this is already getting long-winded and dull, which is the last thing anyone wants, when they’ve been promised cheeseburgers with ketchup that tastes exactly like a Bloody Mary. So I’ll jump ahead, and leave out the details about how I went to the cable company’s office intent on “giving them a piece of my mind,” and instead left with “a new cable box and lots more channels on my subscription,” and get on with it.
Fast forward several hours. For the first time in years, I was watching daytime television. I’d almost forgotten completely about those cackling ninnies over on “The Kitchen,” which is the Food Network’s version of a show like “The View,” but with even more cross-talking and cooking segments for lazy people.*
*(This paragraph is just to try and create some street creed and make a feeble effort to hide the fact that I love the Food Network, and I even love “The Kitchen.” Whattup, Sunny Anderson?)
During a segment that should have been called, “Interesting Condiments,” but which was instead blessed with the much more hyperbolic “FLAVOR BOMBS,” there was a method for enhancing bottled ketchup to make it taste much more like a Bloody Mary, which was the solution to a problem that I didn’t know I had but that I completely believed in, once I saw it unfold in front of me.
I have to confess that I had my doubts; there just didn’t seem to be any way that adding celery seed and Worcestershire sauce to regular old ketchup would suddenly make me feel like I was swimming through a boozy brunch with old friends, but I was determined to try it, since it has been ages since I have seen either “brunch” OR “booze” OR “old friends.”
And suddenly, just as easily as the people on television told me it would be, there it was: BLOODY MARY KETCHUP. Though it would be an almost perfect match for some fried shrimp, I wanted even more. I wanted it on a burger. A brunch burger! With deep-fried jalapeños, and an over-easy fried egg for good measure!
I try not to say things like this too often. But this might be one of the best burgers I have ever had. Go out and getcherself one.
- 3 hamburger buns, split
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 slices pepperjack cheese
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves.
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Cholula or similar)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Divide ground beef in thirds, and shape 1/3 pound beef hamburger patties. Flatten into a hot cast iron skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat to your desired level of doneness. Flip burgers, add pepperjack cheese, and set aside to rest while you whip everything else up.
- While the burgers cook, get some fried eggs going in a nonstick skillet. You can cook them to any temperature you'd like, here, but getting some egg yolk running through your meat is kind of the point here, so if you're weird about eggs, feel free to skip them altogether.
- Don't forget to make some fried pickled jalapeños! While everything else is cooking away, coat a few handfuls of pickled jalapeño in a mixture of flour and cornmeal. Fry in oil until golden brown, then drain on paper towels and set aside.
- To assemble the burgers, spread each cut side of the bun with the Bloody Mary Ketchup (instructions below). Top the bottom bun with a few of the cripsy jalapeños, then the shredded lettuce. Add your burger, then the over easy egg. Spread the top bun with more Bloody Mary Ketchup, and serve immediately.
- Combine all ingredients. Stir.