Recently I had a get together at my place and instead of the usual Pakistani Cuisine I setup a “Build Your Own Burger” bar.Both the adults and the kids loved it. The burgers were flavorful and juicy and the sides complimented them. I prepared most of the things a day before, so on the day of the party it was mostly assembling and grilling.
- Chicken Burger
- Beef Burger
- Hot Dogs
- Macaroni Salad
- Ice Cream
If you want to host a similar party keep on reading below on how I did it:
THE DAY BEFORE:
- BEEF: Mix Beef with black pepper, gochu garu, soy sauce/worcestershire sauce, oil and chopped onions (try to squeeze as much water from the onion as possible). Mix using the kitchenaid or any other food processor with the plastic blade to get the fibers to bind together. Do not use the steel blade or it will be super hard to manage the patties. Cover it and put it in the refrigerator.
- CHICKEN: Mix ground chicken with salt, chilli powder, gochu garu, cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, dried pomegranate powder, dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala powder, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped onion, chopped green onion, oil. Mix it using the food processor, cover and put in the refrigerator.
- COLESLAW: Shred cabbage and carrots. Make the salad dressing (mayo, sugar, vinegar, salt & pepper)
- MACARONI SALAD: Chop the veggies, make the dressing (mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt & pepper)
THE BIG DAY:
- Make the coleslaw by mixing the dressing with shredded cabbage and carrots.
- Make the macaroni salad by mixing the dressing with elbow macaroni and veggies (chopped bell pepper, carrots, celery, serrano chilli, green onion).
- I did not use any fillers and initially weighed the patties to make sure that each was the same size to ensure proper cooking. I did it a few times till I got an idea and then eye balled the rest.
- Make sure to do a taste test before starting to form the patties.
- I added the salt just before making the beef patties to keep it juicy. Adding onions make it super moist so do not omit this step. (An amazing tip from my awesome friend)
- Hot Dogs were store-bought and I just grilled them.
- I used my lodge cast iron stove top grill and it did a wonderful job.
- I grilled the corn and smeared it with garlic butter which gave it a rich taste.
ITEMS ON THE BURGER BAR:
- Slice onion
- Slice Tomato
- Butter Lettuce
- Franks Hot Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Do no use extra lean beef or else you will end up with hard, dry patties. Use 80/20 which basically means 80% lean and 20% fat.
- Do not make more than 4 patties from 1lb of meat.
- Make sure to make a thumb imprint in your burgers which will prevent it from bulging in the center.
- I used ground chicken breast and the patties were juicy.
- Place patties on the hottest part of the grill, let it sear. Do not try to move it. When the time is right, it will lift easily and once you see the char marks, move it to the cooler part and continue cooking.
- If you have time, butter the buns and warm them.
- Try to keep a variety of condiments and cheese as they add more flavor to the burgers
- If you are going with the “Build your own” theme, keep the dessert the same way. I setup an ice cream bar with waffle cones, icecream and toppings.