To celebrate this year’s July 4th, I have invited my good friend Harry Soo at Slap Yo Daddy BBQ to share an all-American burger recipe with us. Harry also came from Penang, Malaysia, and is currently the top 10 BBQ Pitmaster in the United States. His barbeques are truly legendary and the BEST I have ever tasted. Please take a few minutes to read through the guest post below as Harry shares his secret techniques for perfect, juicy, and delicious burgers. If you wish to impress your guests on Wednesday, try this burger slider recipe, as this is how the pro does it. Let’s indulge in Slap Yo Daddy BBQ cabernet and gorgonzola burger sliders.
Several years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to run across Bee Yinn’s recipes and Rasa Malaysia website while looking for authentic Malaysian recipes. As another transplanted immigrant from the tropical island of Penang just off the Malaysian peninsular, I’ve embraced America as my new home by learning to love and cook a wide variety of American comfort foods while living in Texas and now California. It was love at first barbecue bite for me when I tasted BBQ brisket while attending Texas Tech U in the mid-1980’s. In 2008, I made my first foray into competition BBQ after a co-worker suggested I enter a contest after being inspired by the 2008 movie The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freemen. Long story short, in four years, I’ve become one of the top-ranked BBQ pitmasters in America having won 20+ grand championships, California and Arizona Team of the Year, and numerous national awards.
I’ve also appeared on a reality TV show called TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters Season One in 2010. In that show, I was the underdog team from California pitted against six other BBQ teams, including two world champions, from Texas, Georgia, and Virginia. In the Season Finale episode 8, Slap Yo Daddy BBQ surprised the nation by defeating all the teams in the show including two BBQ World Champions in the winner-take-all Rib Throwdown in Texas.
Bee Yinn and I enjoy collaborating on recipe ideas and for the July 4th Independence Day Holiday, she asked me to suggest my favorite thing to cook on July 4th. That’s easy because the quintessential food that most Americans cook on Independence Day holiday are burgers. There are literally hundreds of burger variations which embrace the cosmopolitan nature of the American people and various diverse ethnic heritages. There are also many different types of meat and seafood that can be stuffed between two hamburger buns. My favorite burger is a simple classic cheeseburger with some twists that makes it extra special to share with loved ones.
Let me start with the beef patty. I prefer to use organic beef which has a high fat content of at least 20% because fat imbues the burger with flavor. For the cheese, I like to use a veined Italian Gorgonzola which belongs to the blue cheese family of Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton. Gorgonzola is also wonderful when melted into sauces and used to thicken stews. It’s quite strong so a little crumbled Gorgonzola on your burger goes a long way. When you have cheese, which is one of the great discoveries of humankind, you’ll need to have a wine pairing since cheese and wine are one of the oldest foods, 5,000 years BCE and 6,000 years BCE, respectively. For the wine, I like to use a Cab (from the small grape variety of Cabernet Sauvignon) which has a deep color and flavor that pairs well with beef. Instead of drinking the wine with my burger, I like to caramelize sliced onions with the wine and enjoy my burger with a good ale or beer. My philosophy is to keep my cheeseburger intentionally simple so you can taste the magical combination of beef, strong cheese, and hint of wine in the onions.
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