Before I go on, I should tell you that I am not really a burger fan. Usually, I have to have my patties grilled up over the charcoal before I am willing to concede that they might be tasty. But, that night, Hubby and I combined the methods from a couple of different stops featured on DDD and fried our floured, super thin patties in a sizzling cast-iron skillet...with*gasp* a bit of oil. Truly, they were the most tender and flavorful burgers ever. The heat of the cast-iron sears the burger in seconds and traps all of the yummy juices inside. It doesn't take long to come away with a browned crust on the outside and a pink, medium-rare on the inside perfect burger.
However, we didn't stop there. One diner on the show had become famous for the "cheese skirts" on their burgers. Gooey cheeseburgers surrounded by a ring of crispy, fried cheese? We were all over that. We pulled the cooked burgers from the cast-iron skillet and slid them into a preheated non-stick skillet. (This is our contribution to the process, as I didn't really like the cheese fried in the oil of the first skillet.) There, we tossed a heaping handful of shredded cheese on top of the patty and made sure that it spilled over the edges before topping it all with the toasted top of the bun and covering the skillet with a tight-fitting lid. The overflowing cheese immediately crisps in the pan and forms a "skirt" around the burger while the lid holds in the heat to steam the cheese directly on the burger into melty goodness.
On the toasted bottom half of the bun, squirt a healthy dose of ketchup (Heinz only for me, please)...or not, if you aren't a fan of the red stuff...and slide that perfect burger surrounded by the crunchy cheese skirt into place. I bite directly into the almost cracker-like cheese skirt first, then chomp into the burger. Hubby, breaks off the cheese skirt and uses it to scoop up any drips of ketchup or burger crumbles that might hit his plate. Either way, crispy cheese is an amazing pairing with a juicy burger. I don't care if it is a heart-attack waiting to happen. Sometimes, I just crave DDD Burgers with Cheese Skirts On My Plate.
finely shredded cheese, Cheddar is excellent, but the Mexican blend works, too
Divide ground beef into 6 equal portions and form thin patties (about 1/4 inch thick).
Combine flour, salt and pepper on a plate.
Dredge thin patties in the flour mixture.
Meanwhile, heat enough oil to cover the bottom in a cast-iron skillet. (The frying process can be messy, and since our first meal of these burgers, we have used the grill to heat the skillet...and keep the grease outdoors.)
When the oil is sizzling, but not quite smoking, add the patties to the pan.
Cook on each side for just a few minutes to sear the beef and create a browned crust on the burger. We like our burgers medium-rare, and this doesn't take long.
While the burgers are cooking, butter the hamburger buns and toast in a non-stick skillet.
When the burgers are fried to your liking, remove from cast-iron skillet and slide into a preheated non-stick skillet.
Top each burger with a large handful of shredded cheese and allow to topple over the edges.
Place a toasted top of a burger bun on top of the cheese on the burger and cover the skillet with a lid.
Watch closely as the cheese skirt crisps and the cheese topping melts.
Meanwhile, spread ketchup on the toasted bottom of the burger bun.
When the crunchy skirt has formed, use a spatula to place the cheesy burger on the bottom bun and serve. (Serves 6)
This is more of a method than a recipe, and don't be afraid to adjust it to your own preferences. Good food really is about whatever blows your skirt up.