Get Your Hands Dirty this National Hamburger Month

National Hamburger Month calls for an exceptional burger recipe. Not your ordinary bacon cheeseburger, these black-and-blue burgers featured in the Margaritaville: The Cookbook combine spicy black pepper bacon with blue cheese and Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing. If you’re afraid of flavor, this is not the burger for you . . .

Black-and-Blue Burgers

Serves 4

8 slices black pepper bacon

1¾ pounds ground beef

1 tablespoon Margaritaville House Spice Blend (page 000)

2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable)

4 burger buns, split and lightly toasted

4 large Bibb or green-leaf lettuce leaves

1/4 cup Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing (recipe below), plus extra for serving

8 large tomato slices

1/2 cup crumbled Danish blue cheese

Place the bacon in a large cast-iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook, turning the bacon a few times while it cooks, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate. Leave the fat in the skillet and set aside.

Divide the ground beef into 4 even portions and shape each into a patty. Sprinkle both sides of each burger with some of the spice blend.

Set the skillet over high heat and turn your exhaust fan on. Add the oil to the skillet and once it’s smoking hot, place the burgers in the skillet and cook until the bottoms are nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the burgers and cook until the second side is nicely browned, 2 to 4 minutes more.

Put a slice of lettuce on the bottom half of each burger bun and top with a burger. Top each burger with 1 tablespoon of the Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing, 2 slices of tomato, 2 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese, and 2 slices of bacon. Close the burgers and serve immediately with extra dressing alongside.

Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

Makes about 2 cups

½ cup buttermilk

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar

¾ cup crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Place the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, and vinegar in a large bowl and whisk well to combine. Stir in the chives and blue cheese. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Margaritaville House Spice Blend

Makes 1/3 cup

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground cumin

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.