Monthly Burger Series: Valentine’s Burger
Welcome to the second installment of our Monthly Burger Series. For February, we had to go with a themed burger celebrating this month’s beloved holiday: Valentine’s Day! We know not everyone is a fan of the holiday; some find it too cliché, expensive, or commercialized, and for single folk, it can be a sad reminder of their singleness. But none of that should stop you from celebrating it.
Make the holiday your own! Stay home and cook a delicious meal for yourself, your spouse, or your whole family. Prepare a fun and enjoyable dish that you, or whoever you’re cooking for, would love. Take a burger, for instance. It’s simple to prepare, whether for one, two, or ten. It’s easy to customize; just add your favorite toppings and condiments. And…we’ve never heard of a burger making anyone sad before. You can’t go wrong!
We kept our Valentine’s Burger simple by forming everything into a heart shape and using colorful toppings in shades of red, purple, and white. Oh, and topping with a special burger sauce you’ll love. You can customize your burger to your liking following a similar method.
Check out the recipe below, then continue reading for some tips on how to plan a successful Valentine’s date night in.
Heart-Shaped Valentine’s Burger
This “hearty” burger makes quite the first impression with its unique shape and colorful ingredients. Stun your date with this homemade comfort dish topped with vibrant veggies and a special pink sauce reminiscent of your favorite burger joint’s sauce. For our colorful toppings, we chose white American cheese, red tomatoes, red onion, and purple cabbage, but you could also customize it with foods like red peppers or beets.
Video how-to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHY4MWutxAQ
Mayo-Ketchup “Special Sauce”
Do you have a favorite burger restaurant? Whether it’s quick service or fast casual, chances are their signature burger comes topped with some kind of “secret sauce.” This sauce usually resembles Russian or thousand island dressing and consists of some combination of mayonnaise and ketchup with a blend of spices.
In other regions of the country and abroad, this sauce has a name. In Utah, it’s known as “fry sauce.” In Latin American countries, it’s called everything from “mayo-ketchup” to “salsa rosada,” meaning pink sauce.
No matter what you call it, this sauce takes any burger to the next level. It’s also easy to customize to your liking. Starting with a 4:1 ratio of mayo to ketchup, add in some touches of flavor from popular condiments like mustard and relish (or pickle juice), and you have the basis for a delicious spread. (And it’s no wonder—since those are each alone popular burger toppings!) The true creativity comes in with the blend of spices. Most recipes call for garlic powder, which adds some nice zest. Other great additions are smoked paprika, a dash of cayenne, and maybe a pinch of sugar for a balance of sweetness.
Check out our recipe below for Secret Burger Sauce, along with some tips and customization techniques!
- ½ Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard (or ½ tsp mustard powder)
- 1 Teaspoon Dill Pickling Brine or Relish
- ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Pinch of Cayenne
- Optional: Dash of Worcestershire Sauce, Lemon Juice, and/or Hot Sauce
- Combine sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Tip: Add a pinch of sugar, dash of vinegar or lemon juice, and/or additional salt to adjust the flavor balance as desired.
How to Plan the Perfect Valentine’s Day Date Night In
Going out to eat on Valentine’s Day is overrated. Restaurants are overcrowded, difficult to reserve, and often have limited or pricy holiday menus. What is meant to be a romantic or relaxing evening with your significant other turns into one filled with stress and too much chatter to hear each other from just across the table.
Make a change this Valentine’s Day by planning a date night in. Stay home, cook up a delicious dinner served just the way you like it, and make it your own! Here are a few tips to help you plan the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner.
- Keep it simple. The purpose of the holiday is to celebrate each other—by spending quality time together. Try to pick a menu of items that are either easy to cook or that can be prepared in advance. (For example, our burger recipe takes only 15 minutes.)
- Set the mood. The great thing about date night in is that you don’t have to settle for a restaurant’s cheesy decorations or music selection. Put on your favorite playlist. Set out candles or flower petals if that’s your style. Do whatever fits your personality.
- Tailor it to your liking. Serve the food you love. Pick a few of your favorite foods and plan a multiple course meal. Try pairing our Valentine’s Heart-Shaped Burger with some Raspberry and Cream Bread Pudding for dessert, which can be prepared a little while in advance.
- Choose your budget. By not going out to a fancy restaurant, you can save a lot of money. You can use that money instead to splurge on decorations, gifts, or fancy ingredients for your dinner. Want to top your burger with some shaved truffle, lobster, or foie gras? Go right ahead.
- Get Creative. If you’re single or just not one for Valentine’s Day celebrations, consider inviting your other single or like-minded friends over for an anti-Valentine’s Day party. Think outside the box!
Stay tuned next week for some sweet treats perfect for Valentine’s Day!
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