One of my first full-time jobs after graduating from college was working on a popular animated television show on Fox. It wasn’t Bob’s Burgers, Futurama, or Family Guy. It was the other one. I was an assistant to the producers, and through my time working at the show I learned a lot about the long process of animation.
I remember during my very first week working on the show, I attended my first table read of my Hollywood career. It was July. That episode was the season finale which aired the following spring. There are so many steps between writing, re-writing, voice recording, and many stages of animation that take place before even a 30-minute animated episode is ready to air. I have a lot of respect for animation.
With that said, this is a food blog after all, so where am I going with this? Another popular Fox animated series has a very food-centric theme. Emmy Award-winning Bob’s Burgers features hilariously titled specialty Burgers of the Day. Scheduled for release tomorrow, March 22, 2016, The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book features recipes from Cole Bowden’s fan blog, The Bob’s Burger Experiment. This book brings together my love of animation and cooking. How exciting!
There are tons of clever burgers in this cookbook, and each recipe is tested by chefs so the recipes are the real deal. If you’re a fan of the show, you’re sure to find some great inspiration between the pages of this book. And even if you’re not, you’ll still love these burgers!
I decided to try the Hit Me With Your Best Shallots Burger from Season 1, Episode 10: Burger Wars. If features herb-laced caramelized shallots, chèvre, and arugula. The recipe below is exactly as it’s written in the book, but I personally made some changes to my preparation.
For the post part, I followed the instructions for caramelizing the shallots (which I cut into wedges–slivers just didn’t really resonate with me as a vegetable cut). My preferred method is sweating them in a covered pan on low until they are tender and then uncovering and continuing to cook very slowly until caramelized. I didn’t do that. I used the frying pan as the recipe indicated, and the shallots browned a bit more aggressively, so I hovered on lower heat for the most part. They could have gotten even darker with more patience, but we were getting hungry 🙂
I also chopped the rosemary and sage. The recipe didn’t really indicate how to prepare them. I assumed perhaps you were meant to include them whole, and then remove them at the end of cooking, but it wasn’t clear, so I just chopped and incorporated them right into my shallots.
I used potato buns instead of French rolls. I just felt the shape was more appropriate for a round burger, and I personally just love the flavor! I grilled them lightly before grilling my burgers, another variance from the recipe. It states to cook the burgers in the frying pan after removing the shallots, but I decided to go for the grill instead.
The final change I made was to mix my seasonings of salt, pepper, paprika (not in the recipe), and fresh thyme right into the meat instead of seasoning the exterior.
Even with my tweaks, I thought these burgers were fantastic! I’m not sure if I’ve ever had goat cheese on a burger, but I really loved it! Placing the arugula on the bottom bun, with the burger on stop of it really helps to keep it in place and yields a less messy burger than you’d otherwise get. The shallots had a great mild sweetness that paired beautifully with the chèvre.
The recipes in this book are considerably easy and straight-forward to prepare. There are lots of creative and clever burger creations throughout the book which would please any burger lover, even more so if they’re fans of the show.
Hit Me With Your Best Shallot Burger
Season 1, Episode 10: Burger Wars
Makes 4 Burgers
(From The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book by Loren Bouchard, Universe Publishing, 2016)
10 small shallots
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs sage
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 (4-ounce) log chèvre, room temperature
4 French rolls
This is a garlic peeling technique that works for shallots too: Put your shallots in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. Remove from the water, cut the root end off, peel them, and then slice into slivers.
In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Put your shallots in, along with the rosemary and sage. Cook, stirring once in a while, until the shallots are dark brown. Stir in the red wine vinegar at this point. Remove the shallots and set aside, leaving any liquid in the pan.
Form 4 patties and season both sides with the fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook your patties in the pan you used for your shallots.
Spread some chèvre on your top bun, and build your burger: Bottom bun, arugula, burger, a couple shallots, top bun. “Best shallot?” More like new best friend, right?