Bobby Flay, The Early Show's resident chef, is the man with the plan.
And burgers are the next frontier.
While a lot a lot of chefs are closing up shop or pairing down their menus in these hard economic times, Flay is expanding.
He had the idea years ago to open a smaller, reasonably priced line of East Coast burger joints called Bobby's Burger Palaces. He's opened a few, and they're doing very well.
So, in celebration of his new restaurant line and his new classic burger joint-with-a-twist menu, Flay is releasing a book of recipes called "Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries and Shakes."
And on The Early Show Tuesday, Flay shared a mouthful of a recipe -- for a breakfast burger with bacon, cheese and a sunnyside-up egg with shoestring fries. He also whipped up a caramel latte shake to go with it.
"There are some mornings -- and they usually come after a long night -- when all I can think about is a breakfast sandwich piled high with eggs, bacon and cheese. Add a side of hash browns and I might as well be in heaven," Flay says. "Given my love for a good breakfast sandwich, it was only a matter of time before I decided to move that sandwich out of breakfast-only terrain and onto a burger. Breakfast, lunch, dinner -- I can get my fix any time. I prefer my egg cooked over easy, because I love how the yolk runs out and saturates the burger after the first bite, but if that's not your thing, you should of course cook them according to your own preference."
Making a burger can be deceptively easy, and onced you've mastered the basic burger, there are a ton of flavor combinations you can play with. You can throw anything on them, from the classic lettuce, tomato onion combo to avocados, fried onion rings, garlic butter, parsley, feta, ham -- you name it.
Flay also has a ton of sides, including recipes for fries from steak to shoestring.
Finally, the milk shakes in Flay's new book have a ton of sophisticated flavors, such as blueberry cheesecake, to caramel latte.
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80/20 percent) or ground turkey (90/10 percent)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 large eggs
4 slices American cheese, optional
1/2 recipe Shoestring Fries
8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp
4 hamburger buns, split
Chipotle ketchup, optional
1. Divide the meat into four equal portions (6-ounces each). Form each portion into loosely into a 3/4 -inch burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
2. Cook the burger until slightly charred on both sides and cooked to desired doneness. Add the American cheese, during the last minute of cooking. Remove the burgers to a plate and loosely tent.
3. Reduce the heat of the pan/griddle to medium heat. Crack the eggs onto the cooking surface you used for the burgers and season the tops with salt and pepper. Let the eggs cook until the white just sets up, about 45 seconds. Gently flip the eggs over (trying not to break the yellow) and cook for 10 seconds. Place the eggs on top of the cheese on the burger. Place the burgers on a bun and top with the bacon and some of the shoestring fries. Drizzle the fries with chipotle ketchup and serve immediately.
For Bobby's recipes for Shoestring Potatoes and Mocha Caramel Shakes, go to Page 2.
Thin and crispy, shoestring potatoes are like a cross between a French fry and a potato chip. Because the potato is sliced so thinly, these cook in a matter of seconds and you won't need to cook them twice as you would French fries. Unless you have an incredibly sharp knife and your knife skills are borderline-masterful, I suggest using a mandolin to cut the super-thin slices of potato. You can of course season these with any of the spice mixtures, but if you really want to be decadent, try them with a drizzle of white truffle oil and some shaved Parmigiano Reggiano -- delicious!
3 russet potatoes, peeled
1 quart vegetable oil
1. Heat oil to 375 degrees F.
2. Slice the potatoes lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices. Then cut each slice into 1/8-inch long strips.
3. Add the strips in batches, separating them when they hit the oil. Fry until golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels and season with salt.
Mocha Caramel Milkshake
This is my version of my favorite frozen coffee drink from that very popular coffee house that you can find on just about block in every city. Make sure to top it with lots of freshly whipped cream and maybe a few chocolate covered espresso beans, although it is more than sufficient on its own.
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons chocolate sauce
2 tablespoons caramel sauce
11 ounces Coffee ice cream
Freshly whipped cream
Chocolate covered espresso beans, for garnish, optional
Combine milk, espresso powder, chocolate sauce and caramel sauce in a blender and blend for 5 seconds. Add the ice cream and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.
Adult: add one-ounce Kahlua
Win a chance to cook with Bobby Flay