““Participating in Blended Burger Project™ isn’t about becoming famous, it’s about inspiring other chefs and proving that dreams do come true.””— Chef Adrian Cruz, The Orchard Lounge, McAllen, Texas
Chef Adrian Cruz is an aspiring self-taught chef. He grew up cooking in his mother’s kitchen at the age of 12, and has honed his skills while training at various restaurants in the Rio Grande Valley. He incorporates influenced culinary traditions from around the world into his own work, adding seasonings and techniques drawn from Asia, Mexico, Europe and the Mediterranean.
What intrigued Chef Cruz the most about the Blended Burger Project™ was the opportunity to create a healthier burger with some of his favourite ingredients. He loves the flavor and texture that mushrooms bring to a traditional patty.
DIRECTIONS FOR PATTY:
Combine the sirloin, pork chorizo, salt, peppercorn mix and garlic in a medium bowl. Finely mince the shiitake mushrooms using a food processor or knife. Add the raw mushrooms to the meat mixture and mix until combined. Form the mixture into 6 patties and set on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Grill burgers on flat-top grill or cast iron skillet for 3-5 minutes per side. Top with Gouda and cook until melted.
DIRECTIONS FOR PICKLED ONIONS AND CUCUMBERS:
In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients over medium-high heat. Boil until sugar dissolves, then remove from heat. Add the red onions and cucumbers to the hot liquid. Once the onions are wilted, remove from the liquid. Leave cucumbers in the hot pickling liquid for one additional hour. Remove cucumbers from liquid and set aside.
DIRECTIONS FOR STRAWBERRY FIG JAM:
Add strawberries, figs, sugar, lemon juice and vinegar to a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thick. Let cool.
DIRECTIONS FOR CONCHA:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add yeast and water to large mixing bowl, and stir until dissolved. Add egg, salt, sugar, butter, flour and baking powder. Mix to combine. Transfer dough onto a lightly-floured surface, and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 2 1/2 ounce balls and place on a baking sheet.
To make the topping, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until a silky sugar dough icing is formed. Divide the dough into six equal parts and pat into a circle. Place a circle of topping dough onto each concha ball, shaping it down over the sides. Make five or six cuts across the topping to form a criss-cross patter. Slice concha in half and spread one half with aioli and the other half with jam. Place the blended burger on the bun, then top with tomato, lettuce, fried egg, bacon, pickled cucumber and enokitake mushrooms.