HOMEMADE BURGERS: Why even bother leaving the house?
Photo by Tracey Lindeman
Burger Week is just about the best thing ever. It gives me a license to talk about burgers all the time without sounding like I have an eating and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
To celebrate, I’ve been spending some time with The World’s 60 Best Burgers PERIOD., by Véronique Paradis. The book, part of a series of best-60-format cookbooks, was published this summer by local bilingual publishing house Les Éditions Cardinal. While a lot of the recipes are glammed-up variations of the classic all-beef patty burger, it also includes other meats like lamb or different kinds of fish, veg options and a few classic sandwiches like pulled pork or sloppy joes.
Food porn-wise, the book is all money shots. Burgers was beautifully photographed by Antoine Sicotte, with fetishized close-ups of ingredients and well-styled dishes, and the accompanying graphics are also cutely stylized and clear.
Each recipe is accompanied by logos indicating its flavour, assigning a rating from one to four as to spiciness, richness and acidity, as well as price point. These were useful, especially the cost indicator, but it would have been nice to have a similar index of cooking time and difficulty.
The recipes are clear and easy to follow, and most avoid the trap of resorting to obscure or expensive ingredients to make dishes tasty and unique. The 10 or so recipes I sampled were all mind-blowingly delicious — but it is, after all, a burger cookbook. I can confidently recommend the bacon-filled burger (don’t judge me), lamb with pancetta and a roasted garlic cheese spread and fish croquettes tasty enough to stand alone. Paradis’s tofu burger means I’ll never have to resort to store-bought again.
Do you need an all-burger cookbook? Probably not. If you can’t figure out fun stuff to put on a burger, then you don’t deserve to eat said burger. The condiment recipes and side dishes are strong, though, including a Jack Daniels BBQ sauce that’s my new go-to. If you’re a passionate hamburgler who wants to diversify, then this is the book for you. ■
The World’s 60 Best Burgers PERIOD., Éditions Cardinal 2012, 190 pp., softcover $19.95