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Zox Kitchen

Zox Kitchen: May 22, 2014

Best Cardroom Burger

Cardroom burgers should be called the American Burger. It’s almost patriotic when you bite into one of these gems. They are that good. You will taste the juicy, smoky flavor of the grill when you combine diced onions with ground chuck that has just enough fat content (80 percent lean) to make a difference. Adding a dab of garlic aioli with some cinnamon ketchup and a drop or two of sriracha takes the burger to a new level of deliciousness.

The burger got its name from club diners in Larchmont,who were playing cards while the unique burgers were being made. No matter who was ahead in the game, it was not difficult to break away or stop the card game for a few minutes to enjoy one or even two cardroom burgers with roasted potato logs on the side that were seasoned with kosher salt and a dash of cayenne. We felt they were “the best” so we gave them the name “Best Cardroom Burgers.”

Best Cardroom Burger With Aioli, Cinnamon Ketchup

And Sriracha Sauce—Serves 4

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 Lbs ground chuck (80 percent lean )

• 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice (Vidalia or Texas onions are too sweet for these burgers)

• Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

• 2 fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced

• 2 tbsp fresh ketchup mixed with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

• 1-2 drops sriracha sauce mixed with the ketchup

• 4 crisp romaine lettuce leaves, trimmed and sliced in half          

• 4 burger buns

• 4 Large Yukon Gold potatoes cut into quarters, seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper and roasted for 35-40 minutes at 400 F.

Directions

1. In a medium-size bowel, mix the ground chuck with the diced yellow onion forming 4 cardroom burgers—about two inches high by 4-5 inches wide.

2. Season the burgers with salt and pepper to taste.  

3. Over coals or gas, grill the meat about 5 minutes per each side.

4. Remove one of the burgers with a spatula and press on top with your forefinger. Rare will be soft to the touch. Medium will be firmer but still juicy. Well done will be firm to the touch and a bit dry. Adjust grilling time based on your taste.

5. When satisfied, place all the burgers on a plate off the grill. They will continue to cook for 4-5 minutes longer on their own.

6. Toast the buns 1 minute per side. You may wish to toast the outside of the bun for 30 seconds.

7. On separate plates place one burger inside each bun with one crisp romaine leaf cut in half. Place 2 thin large tomato slices on top.

8. Spread a layer of aioli on top of each burger or leave to your guests to apply on their own. In addition add 1 tbsp cinnamon ketchup mixed with Sriracha. Enjoy.

Aioli and Sriracha Recipe

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

• 1 large egg yolk

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 3 tbsp

Steps to Follow

1. Whisk together yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in a bowl. ( If uncomfortable using raw eggs in this recipe, use Hellman’s Mayonnaise. But you may want to try the “real deal” since the flavor is particularly delicious. In fact there is really nothing like it.

2. Add oil a few drops at a time to yolk mixture, whisking vigorously until all oil is incorporated and the mixture is emulsified.

3. Add 1-2 drops Sriracha to the aioli. It gives a wonderful punch to your mayo. Or, leave on the side for guests to choose what they would like to do— with or without aioli and Sriracha.

4. Cover and chill the sauce until ready to use.

Contact Chef Zox with questions or comments at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit his website at www.zoxkitchen.com to visit his archive of columns and catering availability.

Please send comments, questions or observations of interest to Chef Alan at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it