Behold, the (Allegedly) Perfect Hamburger

Categories: Whimsy

Thumbnail image for Comissary burger.jpg
A simple Commissary burger (that's not so simple)
Just about everyone knows that John Tesar has a pretty bang up burger at the Commissary. Those grass-fed patties get treated like a Park Cities trophy wife at the spa, bathing sous vide until cooked rare before receiving a final sear on the grill. Toppings are always top shelf -- it's a posh preparation for sure.

But a new cookbook written by power trio Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet pushes advanced burger mechanics to the brink. Sous vide might get you the perfect doneness, but how about the perfect crust? The team behind Modernist Cuisine flash freeze the outer layer of the burger patty, then deep fry it. The result is a burger that's medium rare the entire way through, with a perfect golden brown crust.

And that's just the start.

Cheese is emulsified with binders to melt like American cheese while tasting of a fine aged Gruyere. They custom bake buns and fashion each condiment from scratch. The result is what they proclaim is the perfect burger. Check out this video if you want to see how the sandwich comes together.

Can someone in Dallas do this, please? Even if it's a one-off special. Tesar would be a good candidate. And Jeff Harris told me he'd be playing with some liquid nitrogen over at Bolsa Mercado (I hear they're opening on Monday). Maybe he could offer a double secret science experiment burger and keep it off the menu. No telling what the labor costs on this bad boy would be, but if Dallasites love to buy $60 strip steaks, I don't see why we couldn't talk them into the occasional $25 burger. I'd buy one.

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68 comments
primi_timpano
primi_timpano

This double foul is a double drivel: drivel recipe, drivel article about the drivel recipe.  More Alice, more LDD, less shit splat that even Kergo's American Standard would fail to drain.

Zigi
Zigi

Pretentious shit. Grill or griddle is a burger. Sous Vide is French for "I'm a douchey cook". I'm sick of Sous Vide, flash freezing, "foams" and any of that geeky-science cooking. Escouffier is shitting in his grave.

If you can't achieve a juicy burger in the traditional way, it's because you suck as a real cook.

robertjueneman
robertjueneman

Ignorance is bliss, they say, and some people are a lot more blissful than others.

But just to be factual, you DON'T have to incinerate your hamburger, pork, chicken, etc., to be safe.  You can cook it sous vide, and as rare as you like it, and still pasteurize it to the point that all of the e coli, salmonella, listeria, etc., etc., bugs are completely eliminated.  It just takes time -- on the order of several hours, depending on the thickness, and a minimum temperature of 131F.  The results will be delicious, and much SAFER than if you just throw in on the grill.  You don't have to believe me -- check the USDA Food Guidelines, or see http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/....

Likewise, just because you deep fry something doesn't mean that you are going to be swimming in grease and clogging your arteries, at least if you cook it quickly, at a high enough temperature.

And for the record, although I didn't go the whole way with the custom bun, cheese, etc., I have tried the sous vide, liquid nitrogen, deep fryer trick for both hamburgers and a Cornish game hen, with fantastic results.

The equally good alternative is to cook the burger sous vide, and then sear it with a propane torch.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

"Just about everyone knows that John Tesar has a pretty bang up burger at the Commissary."

Scott, you are saying this tongue-in-cheek, right?  If not, that is an awfully pretentious statement.  I would think that at least 98% of the people living in Dallas have no clue who John Tesar is or where the Commissary is located.  I've heard of John Tesar, have never eaten his food and have no clue as to where the Commissary is located.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Finally, the perfectly douchy burger.

Excuse my language, but fuck that shit.  The beauty of the burger is in its simplicity.  You have taken the girl next door and swapped her for a high maintenance, anorexic, bitchy super-model.  That is not a trade up.

Get your ass to Keller's and do penance.

Steve
Steve

War and Peace (Russian: Война и мир, Pre-reform Russian: «Война и миръ») is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature.[1] It is regarded as Tolstoy's finest literary achievement, along with his other major prose work Anna Karenina (1873–1877).War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to the French invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families. Portions of an earlier version of the novel, then known as The Year 1805,[2] were serialized in the magazine The Russian Messenger between 1865 and 1867. The novel was first published in its entirety in 1869.[3] Newsweek in 2009 ranked it top of its list of Top 100 Books.[4]Tolstoy himself, somewhat enigmatically, said of War and Peace that it was "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less an historical chronicle."[5] He went on to elaborate the best of Russian literature usually do not conform to standard norms. Tolstoy regarded Anna Karenina as the first of his novels.War and Peace is well known as being one of the longest novels ever written, though not the longest. It is actually the seventeenth longest novel ever written in a Latin or Cyrillic based alphabet and is subdivided into four books or volumes, each with subparts containing many chapters.Tolstoy came up with the title, and some of his themes, from an 1861 work of Proudhon: La Guerre et la Paix ('War and Peace' in French). Tolstoy had served in the Crimean War and written a series of short stories and novellas featuring scenes of war.He began writing War and Peace in the year that he finally married and settled down at his country estate. The first half of the book was written under the name "1805".During the writing of the second half, he read widely and acknowledged Schopenhauer as one of his main inspirations. However, Tolstoy developed his own views of history and the role of the individual within it.[6]The novel can be generally classified as historical fiction. It contains elements present in many types of popular 18th and 19th century literature, especially the romance novel. War and Peace attains its literary status by transcending genres.Tolstoy was instrumental in bringing a new kind of consciousness to the novel. His narrative structure is noted for its "god-like" ability to hover over and within events, but also in the way it swiftly and seamlessly portrayed a particular character's point of view.[7] His use of visual detail is often cinematic in its scope, using the literary equivalents of panning, wide shots and close-ups, to give dramatic interest to battles and ballrooms alike. These devices, while not exclusive to Tolstoy, are part of the new style of the novel that arose in the mid-19th century and of which Tolstoy proved himself a master.[8][edit] RealismTolstoy incorporated extensive historical research. He was also influenced by many other novels.[9] A veteran of the Crimean War, Tolstoy was quite critical of standard history, especially the standards of military history, in War and Peace. Tolstoy read all the standard histories available in Russian and French about the Napoleonic Wars and combined more traditional historical writing with the novel form. He explains at the start of the novel's third volume his own views on how history ought to be written. His aim was to blur the line between fiction and history, in order to get closer to the truth, as he states in Volume II.The novel is set 60 years earlier than the time at which Tolstoy wrote it, "in the days of our grandfathers", as he puts it. He had spoken with people who had lived through war during the French invasion of Russia in 1812, so the book is also, in part, accurate ethnography fictionalized. He read letters, journals, autobiographical and biographical materials pertaining to Napoleon and the dozens of other historical characters in the novel. There are approximately 160 real persons named or referred to in War and Peace.[10][edit] Reception Front page of War and Peace, first edition, 1869 (Russian)The first draft of War and Peace was completed in 1863. In 1865, the periodical Russkiy Vestnik published the first part of this early version under the title 1805. In the following year, it published more of the same early version. Tolstoy was dissatisfied with this version, although he allowed several parts of it to be published (with a different ending) in 1867, still under the same title "1805". He heavily rewrote the entire novel between 1866 and 1869.[11] Tolstoy's wife, Sophia Tolstoya, wrote as many as seven separate complete manuscripts by hand before Tolstoy considered it again ready for publication.[12] The version that was published in Russkiy Vestnik had a very different ending from the version eventually published under the title War and Peace in 1869.The completed novel was then called Voyna i mir (new style orthography; in English War and Peace).The 1805 manuscript (sometimes referred to as "the original War and Peace") was re-edited and annotated in Russia in 1983 and since has been translated separately from the "known" version, to English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Albanian, and Korean. The fact that so many extant versions of War and Peace survive make it one of the best insights into the mental processes of a great novelist.Russians who had read the serialized version were anxious to acquire the complete first edition, which included epilogues, and it sold out almost immediately. The novel was translated almost immediately after publication into many other languages.Isaac Babel said, after reading War and Peace, "If the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy."[13] Tolstoy "gives us a unique combination of the 'naive objectivity' of the oral narrator with the interest in detail characteristic of realism. This is the reason for our trust in his presentation."[14]

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

American Standard approved sir.  AND Imma need it; I got the backsweats!

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I wanted to trash "Sous Vide" soooooo bad..but glad I dished it off to you for the slam dunk.  Zigi is my homeboy/girl/inanimate object.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

I don't know you, but you just earned instant credibility.

Zigi = Gets it.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

No sh*t Sherlock-and wipe your $ss when you poop!  The OBVIOUS blog is two doors down...say hi to Mary, cp and Matt1L for us. 

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Dude.  Give up your man card for publicly admitting that you have eaten/prepared Cornish game hen...

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

That's why I meh'ed him.

Hey Scott, Uptown called ..they think you may have left some of your doucheness up in da club. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

you sir are not a food snob then, good to know

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Keller's, Goff's or Jake's.....leave it up to Dallas to completely douche out a burger.  Word. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Wow, I REALLY like this........we need more!  And please, bring back half cat.  But, something tells me this was copied?  But STILL funny, and informative.

FOODDICK approves!

Meow Russia, Meow meow, dirty, drunk Russia.-meow. 

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

Natasha is one of my favorite literary characters...ever.

No doubt she would like that burger.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

WTF is this, please dont tell me you ate Kergo

cp
cp

Who is "Mary"?

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Give it up?  Forcefully take it from him, and put a pic in the Townhall with him, and his game hen.  Let the people speak, for "thay shalt leave himt forelorm with smittem shame"

ps-Ya'll like my Ole English?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Personally, I'd allow Cornish game hen seeing how it's basically a mini-chicken. If he'd said squab, that's a different story.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

I'm not sure Scott is a douche.  The man drinks Bud, he can't be all bad.  I think that he just feels pressure to pander to the douche contingent.

G_David
G_David

Never, ever Jake's.  Burger's just okay.  And I once ordered stuffed jalapenos, and what I got were some breaded cheese balls that had minced jalapenos mixed in.  Just awful.  Plus, their location on Henderson is adding to the massive douchification of that area. 

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Mmmmmmm Goff's.  It's been way too long since I've had a Goff Puppy.  Thanks for the reminder.

Now get your over-rated team to overpay CJ so we can quit hearing about it.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I heard that Half-Cat died, sorry to say.  The former mayor of Coppell quit feeding it for some reason.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

I'm here (dead quiet here), but my boss is looking for TPS reports.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

sh*t man, 

right now, probably just:-Mary (crazy like a piece of rabid dog sh*t)-Scott (the office hom@)-Rob Em (dump points)-dr. g.(banal points)

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

You know, Mary the f#cking crazy cat lady!  She'll post something sweet like "oh, that sounds wonderful, I'll have to try that at my bridge meeting", and then twenty minutes later, post that she hopes you stop breathing, or die-or a victory combo of both.  AND she's real graphic; not just die-but "DIE F#CKER!!!!!". 

That, my friend is Mary.  And now cp is off the "bad" list. 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'd make this suggestion to the Cornish marketing dept: Cornish "It's in the Game" Cocks

Takes a bow, POW! 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'll give Scott that, Scott you are better at your job than the midget formerly know as Richie Shitt.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Scott is more than a few steps above that midget twit Witt. Scott can write, and has cognitive thoughts!  RW's writing was the worst; but I do miss kickin' him in the nuts twenty times a day.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Hey Bud bro. 

I would suggest that places would be wise to play to their strengths.  If you are eating a burger at a polished steak house, I would table the theory that you are indeed in a poser steak house.

Or you are 8.

Find a dive joint that serves a burger better then Keller's for under $6, and then you have burger worth writing about.

PS.  Isn't it about time for Bud to break out the commercials with classic jingle and the Clydesdales?

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Agree that Alice is the queen of the staff, but Scott seems like he might have potential.  Give the dude a chance.

Surely we can agree that he is a few steps up from Whitt.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

I've been drinking Bud since long before I'd ever heard what a hipster was and thankfully it has yet to turn my mornings into a throbbing hell. Maybe I'm still young at heart, or at least young at liver.

As for food snobbery and genuine writing I'm as happy with a burger from a polished steak house as I am with one that comes out  of a dull and greasy sack.

I like food that's not fucked up. And I get excited when I see people who are passionate, push boundaries and continue to polish and refine even the most simple dishes. Doesn't matter if it's a cook, or a carpenter. I dig consistency and people that hone their craft.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'd wager that his drinking of Bud is yet another hipsterish affectation.  (I used to drink the Bud too, when I was young and didn't get headaches while on the lake or the next morn.)

I'd prefer my food writers like I like my strippers/women food writers/wifes, foul mouthed and relatively genuine.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

He drinks Bud Light? Then I have no problem with the man then. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Correct on that notion sir. Actually, I like that it's frickin' dump; and it has a very nice bar-in Plano!?  AND it's close, so I can walk home if needed.  Although, walking in Plano will get you arrested faster than a DWI.  NOBODY walks in Plano. Kinda sucks actually.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Jake's in Plano is cool baby; and the food is great!  AND it's a no-doucher place, in Plano!?  The one on Skillman and Audelia is pretty awesome also...........must be that area of town that draws folks with the "doucher" mentality.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

The one in Plano doesn't suck, but it isn't worth the drive the way Keller's is.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Word on the Street in ole Beantown is that it is not happening.  Methinks Rangers (NO!), Marlins, or a Cali team.  And good riddance Ceej!  Besides, Sox can overpay and be just fine.  2 championships in 8 years......I'll take that-anytime sir. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

I don't know where the Marlins have found all this money!  It's incredible.  If they sign Pujlos, coupled with Reyes, a solid manager in Ozzie, and an already pretty good 2011 team (Stanton, Hanley, that pitching staff); they could be considered serious contenders. Bravo, I'm a baseball fan first, and I think what they're doing is fantastic. 

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

The Sox still have the "If NY wants the player, we want him, too" syndrome going.  They don't want NY or the Angels to get him and have him come back to haunt them.  Ergo, Kergo, they will overpay for a dude who will just make their locker room worse and their rotation more unpredictable.

Can't wait to face CJ in the playoffs.  Those are games in the bank.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

Latest rumor at MLB rumors is that Papi is going to arbitration with the Sox, which is too bad because he would be a hell of a player for the Rangers.  I think the Rangers' weaknesses (in order) are a stopper pitcher (ideally a guy who can mentor the young guys and pitch in the heat), a first baseman, and a center fielder.  The last is based upon what I read and may not be true, namely playing CF increases Josh's propensity for injuries.  If that is true then Josh moves to 1B or DH, or is traded off.  I've read Moneyball and pored over Bill James in the original, but some guys like Josh you try to keep even if their pay is going up in a year.  And when he is good he is great.  BJ Upton is not worthy of Arlington's CF grass, but I would take him to get Shields and trade him for anything else (lottery tickets, fresh grouper, etc.) so long as his salary goes with him.  I don't think Shields is really on the market.

Fielder hits all the right buttons, but at his price you ought to be able to staff a Josh, a Shields, and a utility infielder.

Oswalt makes me a little nervous.  34 isn't real old but neither is it young; I fear for increasing declines in effectiveness.

What I don't understand is how the Marlins can bribe their way into a new stadium, pay for Reyes, offer drunk stripper prices (the payer being drunk, not the sly stripper) for Puhol (10 years at $20mm+), and still have money to spend.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

That is a good plan. Cecil's not so little boy is not worth the asking price. Let's hope we can get someone from the minors to burn up middle innings, and "number 5" starts, someone like M.Perez? That, with a Papi or Oswalt type would improve this team.  

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Nope, y'all are gonna go all in on him and he and Bobby V will spend the first half of the season locked into a Staightedged Zen fueled knife fight.

Rubbing my hands together at all the fun Old Man V is gonna be to watch, until his inevitable melt down/stroke/cardiac infarction.

Hotstove Idea of the Day: Instead of spending huge dollars/years on Cecil's not so little boy, Give Big Papi and Oswalt two year, 25 million deals..and then get two or three of these guys signed to extensions: Colby, Nap, Kins, Cruz and Hambone. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Good gravy, did you see how bad we tanked last year?  Please, dear god, send CJ to anyone BUT the Red Sox. That guy sucks!  I'll take a 50 year old Wakefield any day over that guy.  

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