Cooking in Langley: Take a close look at your buns

Here’s part 3 of Chef’s three part series on building the best burger

As the final entry of a three part series on perfecting homemade burgers, this one will focus on burger toppings and bread selection.

Perfect burgers Part 1

Perfect burgers Part 2

When building a burger from scratch, many people will tend to be scant with the toppings in order to minimize the amount of prep, but they’re missing the best opportunity to compliment the patty that they proudly created. Going without complimentary toppings is like having mashed potatoes without the gravy, or apple pie without the ice cream.

Mayo, mustard, relish, and ketchup are obvious additions. A classic, but essential way to also top any burger would be with the traditional lettuce, tomato and cheese, but there any many others to consider: bacon, onion (fresh or sautéed), pickles, etc. The main thing to remember that when adding vegetables (such as lettuce & tomato) make sure you season them with salt and pepper – this one step will dramatically enhance the flavor of your finished burger.

The toppings don’t have to stop there. There are countless others that could crown your masterpiece but there is not enough room in one column to list them all. They could be hot sauces, ethnic sauces, different types of mustards, salad dressings, dips, spreads, olives, sundried tomatoes, and an assortment of cheeses for example.

The type of bread/bun you choose could be based on many factors. Maybe you are creating a burger of a certain ethnic cuisine, such as an Italian burger; then I would use a type of Italian bread like a ciabatta bun for example. Or perhaps your burgers are quite messy because they are dripping with toppings; then I suggest a denser type bread/bun to help make it firmer when it comes to eating the burger. Try to stay away from the plain, generic, small white burger buns as they are just so ordinary and boring.

Also toasting the bread/buns on the grill always and more texture/flavour to your finished burger; brush lightly with oil and put directly on the grates of your barbecue until lightly charred and toasted.

One last note, always melt the cheese onto the burger patty during the last part of the cooking time, if using a melt-able cheese. Melted gooey cheese is more appealing in not only taste, but presentation as well.

Dear Chef Dez:

Someone once mentioned to me that there is a proper order to assembling a burger or sandwich for best flavour. Is this true, and if so what’s the secret to doing this?

Michael F., Chilliwack

Dear Michael,

Yes, there is a proper order for assembling a sandwich or burger. The rule I tend to follow is this: Strong flavours below the protein and light/creamy flavours above the protein. So for example on the bottom half of the bun/bread below your burger patty or meat slices you should put such ingredients as onions, ketchup, relish, mustard, etc.

Layered on top of your protein should be items such as lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayo, etc. I have been told that because different taste buds at different locations on our tongues pick up different flavours, this is the best way to experience the finest a burger or sandwich has to offer your awaiting palate. If you don’t believe it, assemble it as I have suggested, take a bite, and then take a second bite with it upside down… the first bite will taste better.

Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4.

Just Posted

Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Langley Spartans enjoy multiple wins and a tie Friday

First-year rookie puts five points on the scoreboard for Trinity Western’s Spartans.

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Langley’s own Vancouver Giants fall in Prairies during overtime

G-Men fell 6-5 to the Brandon Wheat Kings Friday night.

Body located near Langley fire

A corpse was found near a mall off the Langley Bypass Friday morning.

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Most Read