Posts Tagged by hoop cheese

Everything Pork Smash Burgers with Toasty Hoop Cheese

Published in Carolina Country Magazine May 2015

Smashburgers!  or Smash Burgers?  No matter which you way you prefer, they’re everywhere these days… but do you know what that actually means?  

My definition is a good old ground meat burger,  smashed somehow or other, and cooked so that you get a nice, uneven edge from “smashing” that has little nooks and crannies with crunchy little bits and pieces and a crusty bite to them.
The kind we love from our favorite hole-in-the-wall grills and diners!

Most smashburgers are made with ground beef.  But y’all know I don’t do “most.” That’s why I made these with good old NC ground pork!  If you can’t source from a local farmer, you can find ground pork in any grocery store… it’s what I use in my egg rolls too!  

When I was growing up, this is how mama made hamburgers, because she near’bout burnt everything she cooked… and our burgers were no exception. They were crunchy alright!  But actually real good.  Even if they were shriveled up little things… the steamed buns daddy insisted on (and me too to this day) made them tolerable while lost inside the bun.  They just didn’t have a “name” way back then. But now I know, she was cooking smashburgers!

For me, there are 5 things that make up a really great smashburger. The first three… the key to getting that crunch is the right fat ratio (at least 80/20 fat), making them not very big (3-4 ounces) so you can smash big and thin, and a very hot cooking surface… like a preheated cast iron skillet or griddle. 

These days, lots of folks have Blackstone griddles… found at varying price points here and there (self included), and I love that thing!  It’s perfect for making smashburgers and with this recipe, making the “toasty cheese” alongside them! You can cook these in a hot skillet indoors, but because of the high heat and grease, I highly recommend cooking your smashers outside.  If you don’t have a griddle, a cast iron skillet works great!

Number four… as for the cheese, you can use any kind of melty cheese, but I’m a big fan of hoop cheese! (Read about hoop cheese here at North Carolina’s Ashe County Cheese.)

I grew up with it. And it’s often seen… little slices wrapped in “cellophane” with saltine crackers by the register at country stores. Just right to grab for breakfast on the way to work, or a mid-morn or afternoon snack when taking a break from work on the farm.  Enough to “tide you over” till lunch or suppertime.

Mama, not being a cook, would sometimes melt hoop cheese in her cast iron skillet and throw some canned biscuits in the oven. Supper would be biscuits and cheese… spoonsful of the ooey gooey melted cheese over top of those split biscuits.  I can see that good stuff now… with that little golden orange ring of grease around the edge that cooked out of that melted cheese.

Last but certainly worth special attention… really good rolls are the crowning glory for your burgs.  You’ll want something that’s going to hold that luscious burger without it falling to pieces while you savor every crunchy bite!  My favorite are potato rolls, that only get better with the brushed-on butter and light grilling inside out, so you get a little soft with a little crisp too. 

As for toppings, offer up anything that suits your fancy. I like to keep those simple on my smashburgers, so not one bit of the crunchy goodness is lost. 

Memorial day is almost here… and a perfect time to fix a bunch of smashburgers and have a grand ole time with those you love! A Smash Bash… to celebrate and remember those who have served our nation to protect the land of the free… home of the brave!  

Fix some of my Smoky Okra Fries to enjoy alongside and Hummingbird Ice Cream Parfaits for dessert. 

Before you go, I hope you subscribe while here.

And… I invite you to come on over to my social media homes and like those too!
Wendy’s Home Economics on FB
culinaryadventurstwendy @ IG

Aunt Dee Dee’s Online Store
Aunt Dee Dee’s Kitchen on FB
auntdeedeeskitchen @ IG

Get your burg on y’all!

Everything Pork Smash Burgers with Toasty Hoop Cheese

When the burger craving comes upon us, nothing else will do. Smashburgers: those delectable little patties with a bit of crunch — the kind we seek out at our favorite hole-in-the-wall burger joints. I used NC ground pork for these, topped with hoop cheese.

Course: Fun Food!, Main Course, Supper
Cuisine: American, Gluten Free, Grilling, Keto Friendly, Kid-Friendly, Southern, Summer Food, Tailgating
Keyword: blackstone griddle, burger, cast iron cooking, hoop cheese, smash burger, smashburger
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground pork (at least 80/20 fat)
  • 2 tablespoons ‘everything bagel’ seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt (optional-due to saltiness in cheese)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil in bowl
  • Buns (potato or brioche)
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 pound wedge hoop cheese
Instructions
  1. Place griddle or large cast iron skillet on grate. Preheat grill (or griddle) to highest heat.

  2. Combine pork and seasonings and mix as little as possible. (The more you handle, the tougher the meat will be.)

  3. Divide into 12 balls. Roll in bowl of oil and place onto hot griddle or skillet. Do not move for at least 1 minute. Flip, then using the bottom of a mason jar, “smash” the burger to make it thin. Cook about 2 minutes, turn and cook the other side about the same to get a good sear. Stack in pan to the side to keep warm.

  4. For the buns, brush the insides with melted butter. Grill the buttered sides while the burgers cook. Place burgers onto “ungrilled” outsides of buns (buttered side out).

  5. Put mounds of hoop cheese into hot skillet or on griddle. As it melts, scoop a portion with spatula onto each burger and eat as is or add toppings.

Hoop Cheese Biscuits… ooey gooey and OMG! good.

Hoop Cheese Biscuits

Pull out a muffin tin and bake some hoop cheese biscuits… fluffy biscuits with a hunka cheese hidden inside for the BEST first bite surprise!

keep reading

Cheery Grilled Corn with Hoop Cheese & Bacon Dust

I know, I got you with BACON dust, right?  Well then let’s add Cheerwine to the party too!

Cheery Grilled Corn with Hoop Cheese & Bacon Dust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon doth make everything more better, and on my “Cheer”y grilled corn is no exception.  We’ve all seen the “same old same old” grilled corn recipes…. usually Mexican in nature.  Well y’all know this southern gal is an evangelical when it comes to preaching that we should all cook and eat local.  And around here, it’s North Carolina goodies, but the same applies wherever your “local” might be.  Local and nekkid…. the way God gave it to us! 

So when it was decided I’d do something featuring sweet North Carolina corn for the July issue of Carolina Country magazine, my little brain went to spinning…. because I do love some grilled roasted toasty corn.  But I wanted to give it some good old North Carolina pizzazz, and when I opened my fridge and pantry to find my inspiration…. there it was, glistening in my face…. CHEERWINE!

We are the proud birthplace of Cheerwine here in North Carolina and all celebrating their 100th birthday this year with them. So a basting glaze with that was “it!”  

So then, I needed cheese.  I grew up loving hoop cheese. My mama, rest her soul, was no cook and made no bones about it. I can count on both hands (actually more like one) the cooking memories I have of her. But one of those that I vividly remember was the nights she would take out her well seasoned 10″ cast iron skillet (I’m sure my grandma gave her to be a 60’s housewife!) and melt hoop cheese daddy had brought home from the little family-owned downtown Zebulon grocery store up the street from First Federal Savings and Loan where he worked.  

That hunk of bright orange cheese, with its cherry red rind, would be wrapped in “freezer locker” paper. While mama’s canned biscuits were burning in the oven (she cooked everything on HIGH or 500…. no other settings were needed on our appliances!), she was melting that greasy gooey hoop cheese in that skillet.

I really don’t even recall having anything “on the side” with those cheese biscuits… and adding a side dish might have sent mama into culinary panic and running for the hills!  So cheese biscuits it was. A “Menia supper” in all its glory.

OK…. let’s hop off memory lane and get back to this corn thing!

I know hoop cheese crumbles nicely, so keeping with my local and southern recipe and ingredients, Ashe County Hoop Cheese would be the perfect cheese to crumble and throw on the hot corn off the grill.  I can pick that up at the Raleigh State Farmers’ Market, but if that’s not convenient for you, many grocery stores carry hoop cheese, and you’ll likely find it sold down the road in your local country store with saltine crackers…. if you are fortunate enough to live out in the country!  

But my corn needed one little something else.  And naturally, I concluded that should and must be…. B.A.C.O.N.!  Bacon Dust!  

So once I had all of this new concoction in my head, I could hardly wait to make it. With plans at the beach with the family that coming weekend for a mess of steamed crab legs, I knew testing my new recipe with that crowd that would be perfect, one of my gaggles of guinea pigs… and what’s better alongside crab legs than corn?

Well turns out my first trial run was perfect and didn’t need any tweaking. (A recipe developer loves it when that happens!)  Lips were smack’n and fingers were being licked…. and nothing was left but a big old pile of gnawed off corn cobs and demolished crab shells…. 

Remnants of happy time and happy bellies!

 So I’ll leave you at that… and wish you and yours a fun and safe and most blessed July 4th!  I do hope this week or sometime soon while corn is plentiful you will give this recipe a try. And if you do, come back and tell me what your crowd thunk about it!  I’m pretty darn sure you will be the hostess with the mostess and be crowned “best corn” winner. 
And while here, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss more local goodie recipes to come!

 

And God Bless America!   Land that I love…

 

5 from 1 vote
Cheery Grilled Corn with Hoop Cheese & Bacon Dust
To celebrate Cheerwine’s 100th Birthday in 2017, fire up the grill and cook your crowd this Southern version of roasted summer corn on the cob! It’s so good you’ll want to plan at least two ears per guest.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Grilling, North Carolina Goodies, Southern, Summer Food
Servings: 6
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Cheerwine® soft drink
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dozen ears of fresh corn shucked and cleaned
  • 1/2 pound hoop cheese crumbled
  • 12 ounce package bacon cooked and crumbled into "dust"
Instructions
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill to high heat. While grill is getting hot, combine Cheerwine, molasses, mustard and butter in heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to low boil and cook until sauce has reduced to about half, making a thickened glaze. Remove from heat and whisk in sage.
  2. Put corn onto hot grill, baste with glaze and cover. Turn every 1–2 minutes, basting as you turn, until charred in spots (about 8–10 minutes). Remove to platter and while hot, scatter with cheese crumbles and bacon dust. Drizzle with any remaining glaze. Serve immediately.