Wisconsin Fontina cheese with bacon, guacamole, and tomato on a cheeseburger! Are you humming “God Bless America” now? I am.
Why does America love cheeseburgers? Why are cheeseburgers considered so very American? What does our love of the cheeseburger say about us?
It’s hard to have grown up in this country and not have strong feelings about our cheeseburgers. They are ingrained in our culture. They have come to symbolize so much more than a casual meal. There will always be a part of me that remains a seven-year-old boy peeking under the bun to make sure my mom didn’t slip anything sneaky onto my cheeseburger.
That’s the power America’s cheeseburgers have – because cheeseburgers make me think about long-past backyard barbecues, fireflies, mosquito bites, and my parents drinking beer out of a can. And of course, childhood trips to fast-food burger diners, where we just might (if we were very, very quiet in the car) get to order a vanilla shake. But it was hard to be quiet in the car knowing that we would soon be sitting on those little twirly stools spinning and spinning to the sound of mom saying. “I am going to count to three. One, two, two and a half, two and three-quarters….”
So to honor the advent of summer, and America’s love of the cheeseburger, let’s go on a road trip to San Francisco with Cheeseburgers Across America by The Cheese & Burger Society – because like a good cheeseburger, the road trip is quintessentially American.
The San Francisco
8 slices bacon
1 1/2 lb ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
Wisconsin Fontina cheese, thinly sliced, to taste
8 slices sourdough bread
1 cup baby red oak leaf lettuce leaves, loosely packed
1⁄2 cup guacamole
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced and separated into rings
Preheat your outdoor grill.
Add the bacon slices to a cold cast-iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook until crispy. About 5-7 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Divide the ground beef into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball and then gently press into patties shaped to match the sourdough bread slices. Sprinkle each patty with salt and pepper.
Cook burgers over medium heat. About 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. At the last minute, place Wisconsin Fontina cheese slices on top and continue cooking until cheese melts slightly. Move the burgers to a plate to rest. Lightly grill the sourdough slices on both sides. Just enough to get toasty grill marks.
To assemble the cheeseburgers, place 4 pieces of toasted sourdough slices in front of you. Divide the oak leaf lettuce pieces for an even layer on each slice. Top this with a dollop of guacamole, one or two heirloom tomato slices, the burger, three or four rings of red onion and two bacon slices. Top with the remaining sourdough bread. Cut the cheeseburgers in half and serve warm.
Check out a video of Greg making The San Francisco.