Jazzing up a juicy Lucy for July Fourth cookouts

ALISON LADMAN, Associated PressJuly 2, 2014 

July Fourth is a wonderfully over-the-top holiday. Which is why it would be a shame to offer up just basic grilled burgers at your cookout.

To create a burger equal to the holiday, we started with a burger already pushing the envelope -- the juicy Lucy burger! These not-so-ordinary cheeseburgers tuck the cheese into the inside of the burger. That's a fine start for our recipe, but not quite over-the-top enough.

So we mixed a few other toppings into the meat itself -- chopped jalapenos and minced garlic along with our slab of Jack cheese. That's when our patties hit the flames.

When the burgers are nearly done, we add corn kernels and another slab of cheese to the tops, then pop them on to toasted onion buns. Don't forget hot pepper relish and capicola (or other salami) to finally have a burger with enough flavor to earn its place at the July Fourth table.

Jazzy Lucy Jack Burgers

Start to finish: 30 minutes. Servings: 4.

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeno pepper slices
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 8 slices
1/2 cup corn kernels
4 toasted onion buns
4 slices capicola (or other salami)
Hot pepper relish

Heat a grill to medium-high.

In a medium bowl, gently mix the beef with the jalapenos, garlic, salt and black pepper. Avoid overworking the beef. Divide the mixture into quarters, then form each into a thick patty.

Carefully slice each patty in half horizontally, separating the halves. Top the bottom halves with a slice of cheese, then replace the top half of the patty, pinching the meat together around the outside to form a single patty again. Be sure the cheese is entirely enclosed inside the patty.

Using a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs, oil the grill grates. Grill the patties for 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Spoon a quarter of the corn onto each burger, then top each with one of the remaining slices of cheese. Cook for another minute, then remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. The cheese in the center will be very hot and must rest to avoid burns. Assemble your burgers by placing each patty in a bun and topping with a slice of capicola and some hot pepper relish.

Nutrition information per serving: 590 calories; 270 calories from fat (46 percent of total calories); 30 g fat (15 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 150 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 54 g protein; 1360 mg sodium.

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