Thousand Island Burgers

Late yesterday afternoon, partner-in-crime and I returned home from a night away in Charleston. We enjoyed a whirlwind 28 hour culinary tour of the Holy City. Blog post about Chucktown to follow shortly. The gastronomy was sensational. For breakfast, one of us had a buttery biscuit topped with a piece of golden fried chicken, grated cheddar and smothered in a thick sausage gravy. The sandwich was swimming in it. It would make a more inspiring photograph than plain old eggs I said. At least we walked 1.3 miles to the restaurant from our hotel and another 1.3 miles back. No judgement.

En route home, it was around mile 28 or so that we started noticing them. Massive billboards endlessly advertising juicy burgers with sauce simply oozing from the bun. Normally I ignore such marketing but something was in the air. Come hour two, my driver asked if we should stop. Absolutely not I said. You know what goes into making those things. Two words: absolute rubbish. By the time we arrived in Charlotte, I had seen enough fast food adverts to know that burgers would be requested for dinner. Accordingly, that night we made our own rendition of the world famous Big Mac.

There is no doubt that this particular holiday season has been beyond decadent in the food and spirits department. I suppose this is the case for most. I regularly hear the timeworn justification "it's the holidays". Comforting. It is almost as if I have been given a carte blanche to consume everything to my heart's content. I have been to the gym most days but I do feel that my appetite is defeating the efforts. On Tuesday I bumped into a friend and apologized for my appearance citing that I had been in the sauna. Aha, he said, the executive workout. 

Everything has been on the table this holiday season. Tollhouse chocolate chips on sale. Oh yes, that is a screaming invite to bake cookies at home. Would I like some crab dip. Not wild about crab but Ill eat it anyway. Mexican? Yes. Thai? Yes. Vietnamese? Yes. Steak again? Yes. Cheesecake? I am lactose intolerant but I will make an exception. Beer? Gluten sensitivity tells me otherwise but why not. Caramelized pork ribs on tap for tonight. Check. Good grief.

It should be noted that I do not have the physical composition to miraculously metabolize that of which I am currently consuming. Let's just say that come next week, the party is over and the 2014 New Year's regimen will begin.  Red meat, alcohol, dairy, flour and everything else we are consuming with reckless abandon will be supplanted by the good stuff. Gym, FlyWheel, yoga. You name it. Out with the old and in with the new. Clean eating is more my thing than the havoc of the past ten days. Recipes to follow. Game on.

Until next Wednesday however, carpe diem.  

I know that comparing our burgers to the real deal is not a fair benchmark but I will say that these were the jam. In using lean beef as well as light mayonnaise, you save calories. You could also get cute and replace the beef with ground turkey or chicken. You can even eat it without the bun. However you eat it, arm yourself with napkins. You are going to need them!

Adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

Gluttony Calls For

2 lb of ground beef - I purchased the organic, lean cut
1 white onion - Finely grated in your mini Cuisinart
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Shredded lettuce - Harris Teeter now sells Artisan Romaine - new obsession
Dill pickle slices
Kraft cheddar cheese slices
Kosher salt

1/2 cup of Hellmann's light mayonnaise
2 TBS French salad dressing - Any brand will do. If you are like me, I don't see this getting a lot of mileage outside of this recipe.
4 TBS Sweet pickle relish
1 TBS Minced white onion - you can nick this from finely grated above
1 TBS White wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar

Unleash the Zeal

1. To make the sauce, please mix the mayonnaise, French salad dressing, sweet pickle relish, minced white onion, white wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Give a generous stir until you have a sauce that looks familiar. Cover in wrap and put in the fridge. The recipe calls for refrigerating this in advance. I must admit however that I tasted the sauce directly after mixing and tasted it again three hours later. Both results were outstanding. If you are in a time pickle, simply pull all ingredients together and go for it.

2. To make the burgers put the meat in a big bowl with the grated onion, 1 TBS olive oil and mix. Normally when I make burgers, I also add 1/2 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley. I left that out this go around. Form balls and push down the middle gently with your thumb to leave a slight dent. You know what you are doing. This medley yielded 5 large burgers and a smaller one.

3. Throw them on the grill. The last few minutes or so add the cheese just to melt.  We also toasted our buns. Partner-in-crime took ownership here. I was busy in the kitchen reading the January edition of Bon Appetit. Pick up a copy, it is fabulous! Better yet, treat yourself to a subscription. This magazine is always on point.

4. Once the burgers are ready, begin assembly. Not necessarily in this order but you want bun, burger with melted cheese, shredded lettuce, pickles and sauce. I served our burgers with broccoli that I steamed, drizzled with a bit of flaxseed oil, white wine vinegar and raw walnuts. Get crazy. Do your thing. 



  1. Oh my these burgers look amazing!! I'm a fellow Charlotte blogger! Happy to have discovered yours -Stephanie

    1. Thanks very much for your enthusiasm! I will begin following you! Let's grab drinks sometime!

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