You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~Bonjour French Onion & Swiss Smashburger Sliders~

IMG_4854For a straight path to my heart:  put onions on it.  In my food world, with rare exception, a sandwich sans onion is incomplete -- unfinished.  Under the right circumstances, if caramelized onions are an option -- tick tock.   I finally met my mouthwateringly onionalicious match -- the double French onion and Swiss Smashburger: Two juicy-drippy sublimely-seasoned smashed 'burger patties, piled high with shaved and sweet caramelized onions, served on an onion roll that has been slathered with (oh yum) a mayonnaise-based French onion spread.  Because a double smashed 'burger is too much food for me, I'm downsizing to sliders, and even they are huge.

 Smashburger, smashing 'burgers, &, my smashed 'burgers:

IMG_4777If you ate in some of the mom and pop establishments I grew up eating in (in the small towns of Pennsylvania and New Jersey), I am here to tell you, the concept of smashing 'burgers isn't new -- it has merely been revisited and remarketed.  As a kid living in the pre-McDonald's food world, I watched many grill-cooks grab and slap an ill-formed ball of ground beef onto a seething-hot flat-top-griddle, give it a solid whack with a big, heavy all-purpose spatula to smash it into a patty, then quickly season it with salt and pepper.  Juices would bubble up around the sides, but, they cooked so fast there was no reason to worry that might be cause to dry them out -- they were drippy-juicy to a fault.

SmashburgerSmashburger is an American 'burger chain that was founded in Denver, CO, in 2007.  It currently has over 370 franchises in 37 states and 9 countries.  The name explains what they do, as they literally smash secret-seasoned 'burgers on a flat-topped griddle over high heat, so the fat and juices stay trapped inside. American cheese gets melted over the top, then, crusty and cragged-edged, they are served with various customized toppings on a soft, sweet secret-sauced bun.

Screen-Shot-2015-06-17-at-7.48.45-AMWhile the technique for the 'burgers is precisely the same in all locations, everything else is open to interpretation.  To  avoid the stigma of a fast-food chain, after doing localized market research, every menu includes a signature 'burger crafted for the locals.  Colorado locations serve 'em topped with roasted green chiles; Miami's come with grilled chorizo; in Minneapolis, which has a big Scandinavian populous, Swiss and caramelized onion goes on; Oklahoma features fried-pickles, and, in Boston, it's onions and cranberry chutney (supplied by Ocean Spray).

To make my Smashburger-style double-decker (two patties) French Onion & Swiss Smashed-'Burger Sliders:

IMG_4691If you're thinking a smashed 'burger is a thin, scrawny, bordering-on-dry-edged 'burger, you'd be wrong. Smashed 'burgers are thickish and juicy crispy-edged perfection.  The only thing that can change that is if YOU overcook this all-beef plus American-cheese patty served on a Brioche roll topped with secret sauce, sweet pickle chips, acidy tomato slices, shaved red onion, and, soft Bibb lettuce leaves.  

One more noteworthy point:  In order to maintain the perfect temperature of 385º in the home kitchen, I turn to my trusty flat-surfaced 16" electric skillet to cook them and it works perfectly. While I am demonstrating one slider (two patties) today, the skillet is large enough to easily make two-at-a-time (four patties) -- or four sliders if you don't want to serve double deckers.  On a cheese-melting note, I have two cheese-melting domes which I can maneuver to accommodate four patties, but, there's no need for them -- just put the lid on the skillet and the cheese will melt.

IMG_4807For each double French-onion smashed-'burger slider:

2  3-ounce loosely-packed balls of meat mixture, prepared as directed below

1 1/2  teaspoons salted butter

1/3  cup shaved sweet onion, prepped as directed below

4-6  generous pinches Mel's seasoning blend, prepared as directed below

2  slices Swiss cheese, one slice per meat patty

1  3"-round slider-sized onion roll, sliced in half horizontally, toasted or not, your choice

1  tablespoon Mel's French onion sandwich spread, prepared as directed below

IMG_4661 IMG_4661 IMG_4661 IMG_4661 IMG_4670 IMG_4670 IMG_4670~Step 1.  Place 2 pounds ground beef (32 ounces) in a large bowl.  Cut 1 pound flank steak (16 ounces) flank steak into 1 1/2" chunks.  Place the chunked steak in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade -- depending upon the size of the food processor, working in two batches may be necessary.  Using a series of 30 rapid on-off pulses, process/grind/mince the meat.  Place the ground steak in the bowl with the ground beef.  Using your hands, thoroughly combine the two.

IMG_4642 IMG_4642~ Step 2.  Peel 1  large, 16-ounce Vidalia onion. Slice the onion in half.  Using a very sharp chef's knife and a precise hand (or a mandoline if your knife skills aren't sharp), slice/shave the onion into almost see-through half-moon shapes. The thinner the onions, the quicker they cook -- and smashed 'burgers are all about express (fast) cooking. There will be about 3 cups shaved onion -- you will need a generous 1/3 cup per slider.

IMG_4655For my seasoning blend:

2  teaspoons fine sea salt

1  teaspoon coarse-grind black pepper

1/2  teaspoon garlic powder

1/2  teaspoon onion powder

1  teaspoon beef boullion

IMG_4658Stir spices together. Makes a scant 2 Tbsp.

IMG_4793For my French onion spread:

1  cup mayonnaise

1  packet Lipton onion soup and dip mix 

1  teaspoon dehydrated onion

1  teaspoon dehydrated garlic

1  teaspoon cracked black pepper

IMG_4799Whisk or stir all ingredients together, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.  Makes 1 cup.

IMG_4706 IMG_4706 IMG_4803 IMG_4808 IMG_4810 IMG_4810 IMG_4810 IMG_4810 IMG_4822 IMG_4822 IMG_4822 IMG_4822 IMG_4834 2 IMG_4834 2 IMG_4834 2~Step 1.  To cook the 'burgers and onions, in electric skillet, melt butter over low heat.  When melted, using a pastry brush, paint bottom of skillet.  Increase the heat to 385°.  For every slider you plan to cook, scatter a generous 1/3 cup of shaved onion in the skillet.  Place two-to-four lightly-compacted 3-ounce balls of meat mix on the skillet.  Using the grill press, smash them down, lifting and lowering the press to make sure the entire surface has been evenly smashed (into free-form, craggy-edged 3"-3 1/2"-sized patties).  Lightly-season tops of 'burgers and onions.  Sauté for 2 minutes, using a spatula to keep moving the onions around during this time.  Flip 'burgers over, then scrape up and transfer the caramelized onions to a small plate or bowl.  Top each' patty with a slice of Swiss cheese, place cheese domes on (or lid of electric skillet) and cook for another 1-1 1/2 minutes (1 minute for rare-ish, 1 1/2 minutes for medium-rare-ish).  Turn the heat off.  When the butter-sputtering stops, use a spatula to transfer 'burgers to rolls and top as directed below.

IMG_4842 IMG_4842 IMG_4842 IMG_4842 IMG_4842~Step 2.  Slice onion rolls and lightly-toast, if desired (mine were placed on the rack of my toaster oven for less than 1-minute -- to ever-so-slightly toast the surface and gently heat the roll).  Place the bottom of the roll on a plate and slather 1 tablespoon French onion spread over the surface. Place and stack two smashed 'burger patties atop the sauce. Top with the caramelized onion and put the top of the roll on.  Serve (with napkins) and eat immediately.

French Onion, Swiss & Caramelized-Onion Smashed-'Sliders:

IMG_4860They're about as French & onion-loving as a 'burger can get:

IMG_4910French Onion Soup & Swiss Smashburger Sliders:  Recipe yields meat mixture for 8 double-pattied  sliders or 16 single-pattied sliders (3-ounce-size patties)/2 tablespoons secret-seasoning/1 cup French onion dip/instructions to smash, cook and top smashed-'burger sliders. 

Special Equipment List:  ramekin; 1-cup measuring container; small whisk; cutting board; chef's knife; food processor; kitchen scale; 16" electric skillet; pastry brush; 'burger press; cheese-melting dome; wide spatula; serrated bread knife; toaster oven (optional)

6a0120a8551282970b022ad39dd8d6200dCook's Note:  Armed with the right equipment (a skillet, a lid, and a heat source) hamburgers or cheeseburgers can be made anywhere, anytime -- even under the worst of circumstances.  My recipe for  ~ The  Iwatani 12-Minute Tornado Cheeseburger ~ is proof that just because you have no electricity for a week, is no reason to not eat great food.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary & Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment