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Cajun Tailgate Burger

Just in time for all your tailgating needs, a burger that satisfies the Louisiana palate with a good kick from jalapeno juice and Cajun seasonings. Made with an ultra big pattie and served on muffuletta bread, it will clearly label you Rex of the tailgating party. If you like the recipe, then visit Louisiana Cookin' magazine. Subscribe with the promotion code wwoz2011, and they'll donate $5 to WWOZ.

Marcelle Bienvenu

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Dress this burger classically with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and mustard or get creative and make it your own with unexpected ingredients such as jalapeños and guacamole or grilled onions and blue cheese.

2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
4 pickled jalapeños, chopped
3 tablespoons liquid from a jar of jalapeños
1 tablespoon onion juice
1 tablespoon garlic juice
2 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning mix
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup dry fine Italian-style breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
1 round bread, such as Vienna, muffuletta, or sourdough, 10 to 12 inches in diameter, cut in half horizontally
2 tablespoons butter, melted
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
4 large lettuce leaves
1 large tomato, preferably Creole, sliced
mayonnaise
Dijon mustard

Combine ground beef, jalapeños, liquid from jalapeños, onion juice, garlic juice, garlic, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, breadcrumbs, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix well. Let stand for at least 1 hour, covered, in refrigerator.

Shape mixture into a large patty, about 1 inch larger than bread and 1 1/2 inches thick. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium heat.

Grill patty to desired doneness, about 10 minutes on each side for medium or internal temperature reaches 130°F. Butter each half of bread and place, buttered side up, on grill. Toast for 3 to 4 minutes. Assemble burger on bread and dress as desired with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and mustard or other combinations. Cut into wedges to serve.

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