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Craving Good Stuff

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Written by foodie pam   
Friday, 28 May 2010

ImageCraving a hamburger?  I was - it's a great way to kick-off the summer grilling season, perhaps only second to some ribs

But after I stumbled upon TopChef season four contestant Spike Mendelsohn's first cookbook, The Good Stuff Cookbook, I found myself not only craving a hamburger but also fries and a milkshake (oink oink!).  Now, I admit this food is not necessarily good for you, but everyone has to live once in a while, right?  And this food is a great way to do it because Spike's Good Stuff Cookbook is literally filled with lots of good stuff.

But I digress, I was in mid-hamburger craving. Spike offers many amazing hamburgers (and other good stuff too!) to choose from including a melt with caramelized onions and roasted wild mushrooms and even one with an egg that was really hard to not make on the spot.  Ultimately, it was this double-decker Farmhouse Bacon Cheeseburger that that got me. Yes, it's fairly simply, yet in one glance I knew I just had to have it and I'm betting you want it too…

Farmhouse Bacon Cheeseburger

From The Good Stuff Cookbook by Spike Mendelsohn and Micheline Mendelsohn. Wiley 2010.

Serves 6

  • 30 ounces ground sirloin
  • 6 potato buns, cut in half
  • Canola oil
  • 1 pound applewood-smoked bacon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 6 leaves iceberg lettuce
  • 6 ruby red tomato slices
  • 6 red onion slices
  • 12 pickle slices
  • About 1 cup Good Stuff Sauce (see recipe below)

To make the patties, roll six 5-ounce sirloin balls, and form each ball into a patty. Arrange on a tray, cover, and refrigerate. Line a plate with paper towels.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add just enough oil to cover the entire bottom. When the oil begins to smoke, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain on the paper towels. Drain off the fat from the skillet but do not wipe clean.

Reduce the heat to medium and place the patties into the same skillet. Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Flip, and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Place 3 strips of bacon and 1 slice of the cheese on each patty and continue to cook 2 minutes more for medium-rare doneness. Cover with a lid for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese.

Toast the buns. Set aside.

To assemble the burgers, place 1 patty on 1 toasted bun bottom. Top the patty with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, 1 onion slice, and 2 pickle slices. Dress with some of the sauce. Cover with the bun top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Don't forget to wrap the sandwiches in wax paper. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.

Big Stuff Bacon Meltdown: Double the amount of ground sirloin, make double the number of burgers, and layer two patties in each sandwich.

Good Stuff Sauce

From The Good Stuff Cookbook by Spike Mendelsohn and Micheline Mendelsohn. Wiley 2010.

Makes about 2 cups

After reading several books and articles on Americans and the hamburgers they love, my mother found that people's favorite sauces were different takes on Thousand Island dressing (ketchup and mayo). At one of our family tastings, Mike Colletti, a chef I met at Le Cirque, and I came up with our twist on it-we locked ourselves in the kitchen and added a little something to the sauce to give it a real kick.

  • 2 cups Homemade Basic Mayonnaise (see recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Add the mayonnaise, ketchup, molasses, vinegar, and salt to a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Homemade Basic Mayonnaise

From The Good Stuff Cookbook by Spike Mendelsohn and Micheline Mendelsohn. Wiley 2010.
Makes about 2 cups

In France, they used to make fun of me about my love of Hellmann's, but if you ask me, it's pretty damn good. If you want to go the extra mile, though, it doesn't get any more basic than this recipe.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups grapeseed oil

Add the eggs, mustard, vinegar, and salt to a food processor or blender. Process for 30 seconds in the food processor, or for 10 seconds in the blender. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil slowly at first, then add in a thin, steady stream until all the oil is added and the mixture is smooth. Stop the motor and taste. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little hot water. If too thin, process a little longer. The mayonnaise can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.


Last Updated ( Friday, 28 May 2010 )
iced_coffee (Registered) 2010-05-28 10:29:06

My mouth is watering. I'm a huge burger fan. This looks amazing!
Memoria (Unregistered) 2010-05-28 23:52:54

Oh my goodness!! This burger looks absolutely amazing!! It looks like it came from a restaurant. This is a great recipe for summer holidays. I bet it would be even better with my favorite homemade burger buns. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
vindee (Registered) 2010-05-29 20:07:06

Rustic and moorish... that is calling my name!
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